A love of animals still going strong

Born Kathy Warner, I came into the world on February 22, 1976, somewhat a bit of an afterthought/accident to my parents Lorna, 39, and Jos 'Ziarh' Warner, 42.

A younger sibling to Christine, 10, and Michael, 7. My recollection of childhood with Christine and Michael is small, both leaving home as teenagers.

One thing I knew for sure was that I was horse mad! I started asking for one at six-years-old, every Christmas and birthday, racing to the backyard to see if there was a pony there (there never was).

Mum and Dad decided that if was I was still asking by 12, that it wasn’t ‘just a phase’.

The perfect pony came up when I was about 11 and they agreed that it was close enough, so I finally got my pony. From then on I was hooked!

I met my husband Conrad Olsen when I was only 17. Mutual friends of ours set us up on a blind date. We shared a love of Holdens, horses and Def Leppard, and I decided to do it for a laugh. I was not looking for “the one”, but I found him, just like that! We have been together ever since.

We moved to Tasmania in 1994, for about four months before coming back here, where it’s slightly warmer! 

Conrad asked me to marry him in 1995 and I said yes, of course! We were married on my 21st birthday, in 1997. 

Just before my 22nd birthday I gave birth to our first son Bailey, and two years later to our second son Jayden. 

In later years, we purchased 20 acres at White Flat, which is where we called home until Tuesday, January 11, 2005. The day Conrad was called to his first fire for ‘mop up’, little did we (or anyone) know, that all hell was about to break loose!

It was around lunch time, and Conrad was not yet home, I began to worry. I could smell the smoke, the sky was orange, and phones were down.

I realised that I was going to have to evacuate. It was too late to move horses off site so I said goodbye, and sorry.

I got down two suitcases, I got the boys (5 and 7) packing one with their clothes and I packed one with photo albums.

I loaded the dog, the suitcases, the kids (also a 20kg bag of Pedigree Pal, you know important stuff) and off we headed to Tumby Bay.

Around tea time, news came through that the house was gone and the horses were somehow fine, but I didn’t know until about midnight that Conrad was.

We rebuilt, and ‘moved on’ with our lives the best we could, until selling up and moving back into town about three years ago. I was struggling to ‘move on’ and decided that I couldn’t whilst still living out there.

The boys are now grown (21 and 18) and thankfully, they don’t remember that day. We are very proud of the young men that they have become.

I still ride horses occasionally, but sadly due to my fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s phenomenon, it is not often. 

In 2017 Conrad and I decided to buy a HSV Clubsport Sportswagon and we were thrilled to be accepted into the Holden Dream Cruise in October 2016 at Elizabeth. This was a day we will never forget.

Currently I work at Coles (about 20 years), and also started my dream job at PETstock (about 15 months) which I love immensely, as animals are a large part of my home life.