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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Valley cat greets students near Broadway Elementary

Kudo the cat sits beside crossing guard Jon Mickelson Tuesday, waiting for children from Broadway Elementary. The cat lives near the school and shows up twice a day as students cross Broadway. (Jesse Tinsley)

At Broadway Elementary School crossing guards help the students safely cross busy Broadway Avenue.

But at Broadway, crossing guards have a special helper. Uno is a black and white cat who lives nearby and loves to greet students as they walk to and from school every day.

“He meets me as I’m coming out,” said Kathy Meza who has been a crossing guard at Broadway and Pierce Road for two years. She said she talked to the cat’s owners and learned he was the only kitten in his litter to live past infancy. They also told her he looks a little sad during the summer months when there are no kids crossing the street every day.

While students and crossing guards know him as Kudo, his owner said his name is Uno.

“You call him and he comes running over here like a dog,” Meza said.

She said Uno won’t go out into the road and the children give him a pat before they head to class.

“He’s really nice,” said Jordyn Ruhl, 11, who was walking home with a group of students, some of whom said they noticed Uno is scared of dogs.

He doesn’t seem to be bothered much by the trucks and other cars whizzing by him, however.

Most days Uno is already waiting for Meza by the time she gets out there. He’ll even walk the kindergarten students to the crosswalk from the building.

“The kids love him and they love petting him,” said crossing guard Jon Mickelson. “He’s good, for the most part.”

While crowds of kids walk by Uno to pat him on the head, Meza calls to him to make sure he’s staying out of the road. Jordyn seems to think Uno doesn’t come for the kids, but for Meza.

“He loves her,” she said.