By Way of Introduction: The Residents of Centre Downe


Living here are the three of us, well, four, if you count the cat, (which we do).  By way of introduction, let us begin with the feline member of our household, in case any of you have concerns about allergies.  The first thing to know is that she is called Nepeta cataria.  This is, of course, latin for Catnip, which is an herb that is wonderful for calming the nervous system, as is Nepeta.  She is a gentle fluff ball, a purring machine and a shedder.  But the great news is that she is not much of an allergy trigger.  We researched Siberian cats and visited three NH breeders over quite some time before this one special one padded her way into our hearts.  She is from a long line of Siberian cats, bred specifically for their low allergenicity.  Our kitten came from White’s Farm breeders in Pittsfield, NH.  Here is what they have to say about the low allergen qualities of Siberians:

Kathryn has some reactivity to cats, but can live symptom free with this one (even if she sleeps on my pillow!)  Even so, we are designing Dr. Paterson’s external, first-floor, permanent treatment room as a cat-free space, keeping in mind those of you who react strongly enough that even Nepeta’s genetic super-powers will not be enough.  If you are being seen in Dr. Cranford’s upstairs office, or Dr. Paterson’s temporary upstairs treatment room, you may well at some point be visited by this social kitty.  But, don’t be fooled by her insistence that she is an indoor-outdoor cat.  She will try to convince you, but she’s not telling you the truth.  She is a tasty morsel who would be eaten up in a second in an encounter with many of the woodland inhabitants of Centre Downe of whom I’ve written previously.  So, please, feel free to boss her around when it comes to the door.  If you feel unable to come into even a low allergen cat space and need to see Dr. Paterson before his cat-free space is complete, please let us know and we will figure out special accomodations.

Kathryn is a mother and a doctor and a jeweler.  Pretty much in that order.  Our daughter, Sage’s schedule often defines my own.  My office hours are flexible so that Sage can attend all the things a 10 year old girl should.  She is old enough now that she can be around when some of my office hours are happening and keep herself mostly busy.  But, she may float through an office consultation from time to time (of course, not into the exam room with the closed door).  Being raised by two NDs, Sage knows all about the concept of confidentiality, she is quite literate for someone her age with herbal and homeopathic medicine, and has even helped me teach some of my outdoor herb walks and medicine making classes in the past.  So, while we absolutely respect confidentiality and your time, there may be moments when I have to take a moment to attend to our kiddo.

chickensUp until a year ago, I was also a practicing midwife for 15 years.  I have found that as wonderful as those birthing years were, I am just not able to stay up all night and then see a day of patients.  So, I have left the practice of midwifery to other wonderful providers in the state, although I do still assist at home-births from time to time with families for whom I’ve done births in the past.  This way most of my brain is freed up to focus on my original passion of naturopathic medicine. The jewelry is a hobby in the making.  My father was a jeweler for most of his life.  Several years ago I inherited all his tools (and some of his talent, I hope).  And as for gardening, as long as things are growing and blooming around me in the green months, I’m happy.

Brian is a father and a doctor and an acupuncturist and a lover of the outdoors.  His passion for his work is evident to anyone who has seen him as a patient.  His quiet, methodical, mostly hands-on way of working is a comfort in this fast paced, stressful culture.  His many years of eclectic study of numerous body work techniques, including massage, naturopathic manipulation, cranio-sacral, positional release, Kinsei to name a few, have evolved into a very unique and effective method of bodywork that is successful in relieving pain and releasing muscles that succeeds where often other approaches have not.  He has been described by patients as a “magician”, and a “miracle worker”.  While we cannot promise magic in every encounter, Dr. Paterson’s methods are simple and effective.

Be it a quiet walk in the woods, a speedy run across the ultimate Frisbee field, a kayak or canoe paddle across Pickerel Pond, a backpacking trip to camp by a mountain stream or a wrestling with bittersweet roots in the orchard, Brian is in the outdoors as much as he can manage.  He is also an avid reader and devours as many books as he can on whatever topic he is currently fascinated by, often accompanied by a lap full of fluffy cat.

Other than that, there are four pretty old hens running around (no rooster at this point), they are friendly and may approach you assuming that you are bringing them food, but rest assured, they will run when they find that you are just here to see us.  They may well hide under your car while you are in the visit, but as soon as you turn on your car, they will find another place to hang out.  They are pretty good at avoiding being run over.  Their names, in case you need to know, are Buffy-the Raccoon Slayer, Earth-star, Puppy-Chicken (yes, because she seems to think she is a dog) and Shakati.  Quite a diverse flock.  Welcome to the menagerie.