April 25, 2013 in Washington Voices

Sociable cat welcome wherever he lives

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Uno the cat sits at the crosswalk outside Broadway Elementary School in Spokane Valley, April 9. Uno once lived in Browne’s Addition where neighbors sometimes found the friendly cat asleep on their couches.
(Full-size photo)

Children and crossing guards at Broadway Elementary School, where a black-and-white cat greets students on their way to school, know him as Kudo. As it turns out, that’s not really the cat’s name.

It also turns out this isn’t the first time he’s become a neighborhood fixture.

Uno, who is about 7, was the sole survivor of a litter of kittens. His owner at the time, Shanee Delp, named him Uno. He was a sociable fellow; he often visited with guests when Delp had parties.

When she moved to Spokane’s Browne’s Addition, Uno often dropped in on other apartments in the area. Neighbors would tell her they often found him sleeping on their couches.

“People would come over with cans of tuna,” Delp said.

Delp later moved away from the area and couldn’t take Uno with her. So she left him with her friend, Hilary Stowe, who now lives near the elementary school with Uno, a miniature poodle named Gilda, an elderly cat named Punji and Stowe’s two children. He seems to get along with all of them.

“I worried at first about traffic,” Stowe said, but Uno showed no interest in crossing the street.

Stowe said she has tried to get a picture of Uno with the students, but when she leaves the house, Uno expects dinner and will leave his post at the crosswalk.

He’s made an impression on the neighbors, as well.

Stowe said a neighbor once knocked on the door holding another cat she wanted Uno to meet.

After a story about Uno ran in The Spokesman-Review, both Stowe and Delp heard from people as far away as Portland who remember the cat when they lived near him.

His name changes depending on who he meets. While Delp and Stowe call him Uno, the children and crossing guards call him Kudo. Once, Delp met a woman who suggested she call him Oreo.

Stowe said Uno lives on his own terms. If he’s being brushed, he expects to be brushed a certain way. He likes people, but not all of them. He loves eating more than anything else.

He’s still greeting children on their way to school, and this summer, he will greet them when they come for summer school and the summer lunch program.

“I’m so glad he’s been socialized enough to be so awesome with kids,” Stowe said.


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