Dr. Mary Grant

Radiologist, Actress, & Proud Cat Lady

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

Sometimes, only other pet people can truly understand the unconditional love an animal can give, and the seemingly crazy lengths we go to in order to keep our furry ones happy. When we heard Dr. Grant has a dedicated cat room in her home, we knew we’d be in like-minded company. Although she’s a cat owner, Dr. Grant embodies exactly what our Doggy Style section is all about: seriously interesting, pet loving, go-getters who have designed a life we’re intrigued by. Read on as we get to know more about her and her kitties.

Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like.

I was born and raised in Toronto. I am a Radiologist by trade who works in downtown Toronto. I specialize in Women’s Imaging, specifically the screening for, and diagnosis of, breast cancer. I am usually in my office before 7:30 and my day consists of reading a combination of x-ray, ultrasound, mammography and MRI. Every hour, on the hour, I see a woman who has been called back for a having an abnormal mammogram, or who has found a lump in her breast. Through a combination of additional mammographic images and ultrasound, we determine the likely cause of the abnormality and, if a cancer is suspected or possible, I biopsy the lesion same day. My favorite part of my day is when I can tell a nervous woman that her abnormality is something other than a cancer, such as a simple cyst which are common in women’s breasts. A small portion of my day also consists of reading around complex cases and diagnoses, as there is always lots to know and learn.

Beyond radiology, I have recently started working in film and television as a “special skills actor”. As a new ACTRA member, I’ve played medical roles on some interesting projects coming out in 2017.

Please tell us a bit about your cats. How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind their names?

Hayley Sprinkles (8 year old brown tabby) has been with me from “a past life” as I would now call it. She was adopted as a baby from a litter of feral kitties in Hamilton, and she lived with me while I moved around Hamilton for residency, fellowship and my first staff job. I simply loved the girl’s name Hayley but her middle name Sprinkles comes from the television show ‘The Office’ after Angela’s cat named Sprinkles who has some ridiculously funny story lines.

Olivia Acorn (1 year old grey tabby) came into my life on my birthday in 2015. My best friend Jen Calafati, an ophthalmologist in Toronto who also works in my building, had just gotten engaged. After popping into my office to drop off a gift, and asking me to be her maid of honor, we walked down to the Toronto Cat Cafe on College St. for a celebratory coffee and kitty visit. In the cat room, Olivia (at that time Acorn, which is now her middle name) jumped up into my nap and snuggled. One of the staff walked behind me and said “I guess she’s picked her human” and Jen ran to get the adoption papers. She is named after Olivia Benson from SVU because I love her character (and I stole the idea from Taylor Swift). Jen still calls her ‘O Acorn’ to this day for a throw back.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

Quintessential Michael Kors. Absolutely love his style/ design and his clothes fit my body type/ shape perfectly. Beyond that, I would say feminine, classic and comfortable.  I’m certainly someone who avoids being a fashion victim; I’ll never make myself incredibly uncomfortable just to make a fashion statement. Really edgy pieces look misplaced on me. I’m athletic by nature, so while I love feeling chic and sexy, I always like to feel free and comfortable in what I am wearing. I have a few signature pieces which I wear often, such as my gold spade Kate Spade earrings. I am a big fan of black, which can be dressed up or down with accessories and jewelry to suit my mood or appropriate event attire.

How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

I would say contemporary or a modern-traditional fusion. As a new build in North Toronto, my home definitely reflects the modern times with an open concept and simplicity in form and design. Lots of linear inspired spaces and sharp edges are mixed with the traditional simple roofline, symmetrically spaced windows and little ornamentation. It has allowed us to incorporate some pieces past down to us from our parents and grandparents. Design wise, we have used a lot of neutral base colors with splashes of accent colors via pillows, artwork and area rugs to reflect our personalities. Our goal was to create a home that appears stylish and intentional while feeling inviting and cozy. It’s turned out to be a great space; one where I feel proud to throw a fancy dinner party or comfortable to simply throw my feet up and cuddle with the cats on the couch.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

I love “coffee mornings” as I call them. They consist of an hour or so of cuddling with the cats while drinking coffee and catching up on sports scores and the news. Midday is usually active time. I have played tennis since I was a kid and my partner was a national level swimmer, so we often hit a tennis ball or jump in the pool. Saturday evenings, we love to get together with friends and try new restaurants.  We love tasting menus. My favorite spot to eat is Bar Isabel. Sunday evenings we love to open a bottle of wine and cook together (or more accurately, I am the sous chef).

What inspires you?

I’d have to say my parents. My dad, specifically, came from a large family of ten with no money. His father died when he was a teenager (his youngest brother was three), and they all sort of pitched in to raise each other. My dad put himself through University and Law School on scholarship and eventually opened a solo practice here in Toronto. He is his own success story and yet is humble as can be. He has always worked hard to play hard; he has never taken life too seriously and has a great sense of humor. My mom is the most generous person I know. As a past recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for contributions to her community, she simply gets pleasure out of giving and assisting others. She operates day to day on a “be the bigger person” motto. She often performs random acts of kindness like giving a ride to someone carrying a large load of groceries. Both of my parents have made significant sacrifices to get me where I am today, and that inspires me to be the best version of myself and to live by their example.

 

Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your kitties?

This story starts very unfunny. When Olivia was just a babe (12 weeks or so) she fell 18 feet in our home; through the stairwell, into the basement, hitting the railing on the way. She suffered a fractured femur and pelvis, as well as broken ribs. After a successful surgery to plate and pin her badly displaced femoral fracture, with a shaved lower body and 20 stitches, she was supposed to live in a collar and cage for 6 weeks while she healed. Well she hated the cone and the cage. So, in order to keep her warm and to stop her from biting her stitches, I dressed her, daily, in a newborn onesie. The color and style changed every day. I also created a cat bedroom with a cat tree and toys where she could be comfy and play without being able to get up a run. At that time, I had just started dating my current partner. He would come over and this kitten would be bouncing around in a difference onesie and he wasn’t the slightest bit phased by it; I think that’s when I realized that he was a keeper.