Cathryn Rakich

Editor and Home Design and Pets Columnist

About This Author

Cathryn Rakich has been a writer and editor in the Sacramento area for 35 years, with articles in local, state and national publications. She is also active in the animal-welfare community, volunteering for local animal rescue groups. Her latest endeavor is as a ceramics artist.

Articles by this author

Here And Gone

Their weapon is a crossbow—gunshots draw attention. They skulk under cover of darkness, late at night and early in the morning. Night-vision optics help locate their targets—big bucks with large antlers. The bigger, the better.

“They call the arrow a bolt,” says Tim McGinn, wildlife advocate, nature photographer and longtime member of the American River Natural History Association. “The tips are like five little razor blades. If they hit them in the lungs or chest area, the deer will last maybe two or three minutes. It’s lethal.”

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Leave No Trace

She always wanted to be a “nature person.” But owning her own business and playing and singing in bands around town kept Allyson Seconds too busy for life in the great outdoors.

Until she adopted her first dog, Lulu—and everything changed. “I go to the river easily 300 out of 365 days a year,” says the fitness trainer, singer, musician, photographer, avid hiker and certified naturalist.

Between 2006 and 2010, Seconds and her border collie/lab mix made daily treks to Sutter’s Landing Park, a 167-acre recreation area along the American River Parkway. “Those were the pristine days at Sutter’s Landing,” says Seconds, who discovered the area years before it was home to a dog park, skate park and basketball courts. “That was before a lot of people started going there. It wasn’t trashy. It was just beautiful.”

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Cool & Collected

Stroll up the walkway toward an enthusiastically red front door and you know there’s something fun and funky going on inside. The clue is five extra-large round panels, mounted along the exterior pathway, displaying 1950s artwork from a book on how to date, each with a chuckle-worthy caption.

That’s just a teaser of what’s to come. Get ready for an explosion of color, whimsy and humor decorating almost every square inch of this artfully wacky home.

Tony and Donna Natsoulas, both avid art collectors and mid-century modern enthusiasts, had their hearts set on a retro house when they stumbled upon this 1,563-square-foot Streng Bros. home built in 1963.

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Who is Zoe McCrea?

If you’ve driven down Folsom Boulevard—right at 60th Street—you’ve past the Zoe McCrea Feline Sanctuary, a two-story cat habitat at Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary.

If you’re a Sacramento SPCA supporter or have recently taken your pet to the SSPCA spay/neuter clinic, you’re familiar with the new Zoe K. McCrea Animal Health Center.

Unlike other big benefactors in Sacramento, McCrea might not be a name you recognize. But it’s time you did.

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Yes. This Is Legal

Take a close look at the photo. Chain-link kennel, maybe 4 feet by 6 feet. Hardpan dirt. Feces underfoot. Empty food bowl. Filthy water dish. Solitary confinement. Here in Sacramento. And it’s legal.

My husband and I foster dogs for a local rescue group. In August on a 100-plus-degree day, I stood in the backyard of Becky Browning’s South Sacramento home. She had applied to adopt one of our foster mutts and I was performing a home visit.

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