Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

To all those celebrating it today. This is a nice story for the day:

Just before Halloween, Urlina Nozlic sat in the basement of the Union Gospel Mission holding Pumpkin, an orange cat, on her lap.

Kiki and Brano sat quietly next to her in cat carriers.

"We have a special rapport," she said of the furry brood.

She has to. They all live in her car.

"It's a good thing I have a 1992 Buick LeSabre," she said.

It is Saturday afternoon, and Nozlic is waiting to see one of three veterinarians and an assistant who donate their time every other week to the furry friends of the homeless and the very poor.

In the basement of the Union Gospel Mission men's shelter in Pioneer Square in late October, a few people tell hard-luck stories -- and the comfort provided by the cats and dogs they clutch.

Near Nozlic and her cats sits a blind man holding the leash of a 13-year-old brown terrier.

Witton Rabon says Buster is the last of his litter. "He's a survivor," he says. And so it seems is Rabon.

The dog, like the other animals, is quiet, resting his aging head on the floor at Rabon's feet.

There are those who volunteer at food banks to nourish people in need. And there are those, such as Dr. Stanley Coe, a retired veterinarian, who nourish the souls of people by volunteering to keep their best friends -- and sometimes only companions -- healthy.

"It seemed like there was a need to provide the service," said Coe, who has run the Doney Memorial Pet Clinic for 20 years. The pets "probably give some people a reason to live."

You can click on the link to find out how to send a donation for this cause.