Karin crossed the Rainbow Bridge to join her beloved cats Misha, Pedro and the many other felines that she cherished throughout her life. The heart that so loved kitties for more than eighty years finally gave out...
Region 2 has lost a bright star... CFA has lost a treasure.
Photo by Joyce Lippincott
If the campaigners are the rock stars of the cat fancy, Karin was the folk singer. The national winners might get more attention... but Karin truly touched the souls of all the people she met. She did not care if you were a campaigner or a newbie, a judge or a steward, a winner or an also-ran, she embraced us all.
Once you met her, you couldn't forget her.
Spunky and effervescent, Karin was a tiny fireball of a lady. Her petite frame belied the size and scope of her personality. Renowned for a devilish sense of humor, she delighted in wearing risqué T-shirts - like the one that had "I Accept Pity Sex" blazoned across it.
Karin was the first person who was friendly to me when I was new to cat shows. I quickly learned that this was her way - that she welcomed many newcomers to the cat fancy. She gave the gift of her friendship freely.
Born in Prussia and from a wealthy background, she rode horses in her youth and competed in Dressage in the Olympics. When her parents divorced, she and her mother moved to Berlin where life was a struggle. Karin supported them by working at a Japanese news agency. She and her mother survived the bombing of Berlin and Soviet occupation during W.W.II. Always opposed to Hitler, she eventually worked for the US Army as an interpreter. She fell in love with a US serviceman and came to the United States as a war bride.
Her life was an adventure.
And somewhere along the way she discovered cat shows... but pedigreed kitties were not the ones that "spoke" to Karin. Her heart truly belonged to the moggies of indeterminate parentage - the Household Pets. Her willingness to rescue and socialize feral cats was unlimited. Her love for her feline friends was totally unconditional.
And how she adored showing her precious Household Pets. She traveled all over exhibiting her "kids". She'd beam with pride as she showed you her albums filled with photos of her furry kids. If you looked closely you might catch a peek of Karin in a swim suit in her youth... or her vacation photos - the last with Gary Powell.
At the same time she was showing off her photos she would be sharing an amusing story with you. There was something so unexpected about this adorable, angelic little lady telling a blue joke! And you could tell by the twinkle in her eye that she knew it too.
She possessed such wisdom. She always knew that the real meaning of her hobby was not in the goal but in the journey... not in the winning but in the lasting friendships made along the way.
Karin's puckish grin graced the show halls of CFA for many years... but the Northwest Region was honored to be able to claim her as one of their own. At the 2002 Regional Awards Banquet, the Region honored Karin for her sportsmanship, for her encouragement and helpfulness to so many people through the years, and for the joy she brought to the cat fancy.
At the last show of the 2002-2003 season, in Portland, Oregon, Karin showed her beloved Sabrina, the #1 Household Pet in Region 2 for the season.
Sabrina was retiring and true to her style, Karin held a final party for her kitty.
In the last ring of the last show of the season, Sabrina was Best Household Pet.
No one could have known that it would also be the last ring of Karin's life. Poignant but also absolutely right - her last show was shared with Sabrina and her friends of the Northwest.
They must be having one heck of a Grand Party up in heaven... for Karin was one heck of a Grand Lady.
The sun can take the day off. Karin's smile will be lighting up the sky.
Farewell Sweet Karin,
We Will Miss You Always