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Cat C. Ellen: Biography

Biography

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Cat Christine Ellen

avatar_brunchCat
Christine Ellen
(Chris McGlothlin) was born in September
1968 in Fort Ord, California, the eldest of two children. Her
parents had each just returned from Vietnam—her father, as a Sgt
in the Army, and her mother serving a year as a Red
Cross volunteer
. They moved within a few months back to her
father’s home town, Akron, Ohio, where she and her sister grew
up in North Hill. As a youth, Chris pursued a variety of musical
and theatre hobbies, performing at Goodyear Theatre in Sound of
Music at age 12, helping perform in the melodramas and medicine
shows at the Yankee Peddler Colonial Days, singing with youth
choirs and playing hand bells at High Street Christian Church,
playing flute, piccolo, jazz piano, and
xylophone in junior high and high school groups, performing in
three high school musicals, and several All-City bands. In 1985,
her Mom moved her and her sister to Southern California, where
they completed high school in Santa Clarita. In 1986, Chris marched
in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA in January, the Rose Festival
in Portland, OR in June, and with the Velvet Knights Drum and
Bugle Corps, at the DCI Finals in Madison, WI in August.

yankeepeddlerIn
Fall 1986, she went to the University of California, Santa Barbara,
where there were so many “Chris” students in the dorms,
that everyone got a new nickname, and she adopted the name “Cat”
for the first time. In college, Cat was active in the local InterVarsity
Christian Fellowship (GCF) and toured as a vocalist with the
Continentals in Fall 1990 (Tour B, Bahamas). Also while at UCSB,
she was first introduced to the Society for Creative Anachronism
(SCA) in the Shire of the Isles, now a very prominent hobby. She
earned a degree in Linguistics, and a wide-variety of business
skills in odd jobs such as Inter-Library Loans, as a note taker
for both Associated Students and the Disabled Students Program,
and working for non-profits such as United Way Santa Barbara and Direct
Relief International. Since college,
Cat has worked in academic publishing, tech support, training
and courseware development for software companies, and in a variety
of analyst and training positions on a Navy and Marine Corps contract
at three bases in Southern California. And when not working or
doing any of her other hobbies, Cat can be found occasionally
studying yet another language (just for fun), such as Spanish,
Italian, Russian, American Sign Language (ASL), Mandarin, or her
latest passion for Hebrew.

performingbandMarried
in 1996, divorced in 2000, Cat is still quite proud of her former
step-children. Post-divorce, she finally made the name change
complete, taking “Cat” as her legal first name, and
moving all the other names “over one to the right.”
In 1999, Cat first joined up with some musicians in Los Angeles,
to form the band Forever
Twelve
. They’ve self-published three CDs, on which Cat is
the featured lead singer, as well as occasional lyricist and instrumentalist.
They’ve performed a handful of live venues, including the international
progressive music festival in Mexico, Baja Prog, in 2004.

lyonbardThe
rest of Cat’s spare time is spent actively pursuing “history
through hands-on participation” through the SCA,
where she’s served as a local branch officer for over 17 years,
in such offices as heraldry, the arts, president, newcomer’s,
newsletter, and website
development
. On the weekends you can find her throughout Southern
California, at events, teaching spinning (from fiber to finished
yarn), singing and composing, or helping with calligraphy. She’s
also pursuing photography, her continuing language studies, fiber
arts, and trying to be the best auntie possible to her growing
collection of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

(October 2010)

 

Photos (top to bottom): Out with family in 2008, Playing flute
at Yankee Peddler Colonial Days 1980, Singing with the band 2005,
and in costume with the SCA 2006


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