I'm Melissa Ray, Cathy's niece. I only met Cathy a few times at family reunions when I was growing up. I always thought she seemed very exotic and I was a little intimidated. Then, when I was in high school, Cathy and another aunt (Edwina) came to visit us in Shreveport, LA. I called her "Aunt Cathy". With a very serious expression, and a twinkle in her eye, she looked me at me and said, "Now, Melissa. I can tell that you and I are going to get along just fine. But lose the 'aunt'." I thought she was about the coolest adult I'd ever met.
I saw her a number of times between then and now. I treasure each visit. Most recently, I've come with my son, Griffith (now 4). Griffith, usually a cautious child around people he doesn't know well, went right up to Cathy from the first, seemingly fascinated by her. I know how he felt.
She will be missed.