Young started painting for McMenamins at the beginning of the Kennedy School project in the mid-1990s. Her brother, Scott Young, had been painting for McMenamins for several years and suggested she apply for a job as painter. At that time, the core group of painters working at the Kennedy School included Lyle Hehn, Jenny Joyce, Myrna Yoder and a few others. Lyle, Scott and Cathie Joy tended to begin work at the end of the day when the construction crew was beginning to disperse. Thus they would end up working into the early morning hours, "drinking lots of coffee, listening to creepy late-night radio, telling stories and getting punchy."
On some of the following projects Young worked on, Jenny and Myrna would also work late at night; the more painters and the later the hour, the more fun and kooky it became. Along with extremely high levels of productivity, there was often hijinx and general silliness.
Young also painted at Edgefield, Hotel Oregon, Roseburg Station Pub & Brewery, the Mission Theater, the Grand Lodge and various pubs. For the last ten years, she has been doing her own artwork in one form or another and most recently has concentrated on acrylic paintings, which she shows and sells in galleries and at cathiejoyyoung.com .