Parkland Press

Sunday, May 20, 2018
Dr. Debby Cougar, a small animal veterinarian and founder of Simmonds Veterinary Hospital, South Whitehall Township, holds a copy of her first poetry book titled “14 Cats.”PRESS PHOTO BY SUSAN BRYANT Dr. Debby Cougar, a small animal veterinarian and founder of Simmonds Veterinary Hospital, South Whitehall Township, holds a copy of her first poetry book titled “14 Cats.”PRESS PHOTO BY SUSAN BRYANT
press photo by Susan BryantThe poem “Wet” is one of the 17 poems in Dr. Debby Cougar’s book “14 Cats.” press photo by Susan BryantThe poem “Wet” is one of the 17 poems in Dr. Debby Cougar’s book “14 Cats.”

S. Whitehall veterinarian publishes her first poetry book

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Susan Bryant sbryant@tnonline.com in Local News

A South Whitehall Township veterinarian has published her first book of poetry.

Dr. Debby Cougar, a small animal veterinarian since 1996, said she accidentally wrote “14 Cats,” a 34-page book of personal loves, losses and heartaches.

“I don’t read poetry,” Cougar said. “If you told me I would write this five years ago, I would have laughed at you.”

The first poem, “Colors,” just came to her one fall day.

She shared it with her family and they liked it.

“Since then anytime something came to me or I got inspired to write, I would share it with them and they liked it,” Cougar said.

When she had a collection of poems, she copyrighted them.

Rose Dog Books (Dorrence Publishing Co.) in Pittsburgh, contacted her and asked if she wanted to publish the poems.

“I came up with the title after I was told writing poetry is one step away from owning 14 cats,” Cougar explained.

She was asked why people should purchase her book.

“Because it is relatable,” she replied. “It is not your typical poetry book and people can relate to some if not all the poems in the book.”

“The Storm” was written 10 years ago and the last poem in the book, “Home,” written in two sessions, is a reflection on her childhood.

“I don’t know if I will write more books,” Cougar said. .“Let’s see how this one does first.”

Cougar, a native of Jamaica, immigrated to New Jersey in her early teens.

She now lives in the west end of Allentown with her whippet, Stanley, three cats and two snakes.

She attended St. Mary High School in St. Mary, Jamaica, before graduating in 1987 from Eastside High School in Paterson, N.J.

A 1992 graduate of Rutgers University Cook College, she is a 1996 graduate of the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Cougar has been in practice since 2008 at her Simmonds Veterinary Hospital, named after her grandfather Nathan Simmonds who raised her.

“14 Cats” is available through Amazon, rosedogbookstore.com or at simmondsvet.com.