Joan is a noted authority on the domestic cat.
She is a retired Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Allbreed Judge; a former breeder of National and Regional award-winning Abyssinians. She was an instructor for 15 years at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine as part of the Advanced Feline Medicine course giving talks on the breeder-veterinarian relationship, the genetics of feline color and pattern and other topics.
She began education rings at CFA cat shows in San Francisco and continued for 12 years at the annual CFA San Diego show. In addition, she has also trained shelter staff members and volunteers on handling fractious cats so they become more adoptable.
In recent years she has written articles with awards from the Cat Writers Association (CWA) and has received numerous awards for her work over the years including the CFA Medal of Honor, Winn Feline Foundation Emeritus Award, the CWA Lifetime Achievement award and the American Veterinary Medical Association 2017 Humane Award.