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Animal lover doesn’t even begin to describe Kathy Hodel

November 1, 2018

It was not on a whim that the late Kathy Hodel was a passionate supporter of the Western Arizona Humane Society. Her devotion was rooted in the fact that Hodel was an ardent animal lover.

Her husband, Don Hodel, said that when they were newlyweds in 1978, his wife looked after neighborhood strays.

“She immediately adopted six neighborhood feral cats. We didn’t let them in the house, but Kathy looked after them and fed them. The feral cats would even bring their kittens to Kathy because they knew she would take care of them,” he said.

When the Hodels moved to Lake Havasu City in 1991, they brought their cars, furniture and other household goods.

And 15 cats.

“Yeah, we brought 15 of them with us and built a kennel for them,” Don said. “We’ve had as many as 40 cats at one time. And we’ve had a lot of dogs. At one point, we had four dogs and 39 cats,” he said.

Marcella Lehr is a friend of the Hodels and spoke of her time she spent with the couple at their home in Kathy’s final weeks.

“I remember looking at her one day. I realized how many stray cats she was housing, and how many years she had been doing it. I witnessed the logistics that she had to go through to get time off, which included a cat sitter to feed those cats twice a day and clean the cat house -- all on her dime,” Lehr said. “It hit me how loving and generous she had always been for those without a voice. She is without a voice now, but the legacy she left is filled with the thunder and power of true love everywhere you look in our city.”