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Art project honors cat killed by coyotes

  • Friday, September 24, 2021 1:30am
  • News

Nicole Vani was drinking coffee one morning when she heard a “horrible” sound.

She responded to find her beloved cat, Max, lying in her driveway in Beckenwood on Bainbridge Island. She saw two coyotes run off in different directions.

Vani picked him up and took Max to an emergency animal clinic in Poulsbo. She was told Max’s brain had been punctured, and his back legs were not working.

They got him comfortable, and Vani went to see him. She was told a procedure would cost $3,000.

“I don’t have that kind of money,” she said. “So I had to make the decision right there to let him go.”

Vani was going to have him cremated, but “realized that’s an extra $300 I didn’t have,” so she took Max home, and she and her son buried him.

While most animal owners love their pets Max was extra special to her family. He was her son’s “transition kitty.” When she and her husband divorced, “Max went back and forth between each house,” she said. “He was such a trooper.”

Max not only helped her boys, he also helped the adults involved.

“It was one really sweet thing for all four of us,” she said. “It kept us nice and friendly with each other” and gave the boys something to focus on and everyone something for conversations. People love talking about their animals.”

Vani said she and Max were just going about their normal routine when the attack happened about three weeks ago. “Coyotes are everywhere,” she said. “You can hear them at night.”

She said people were so full of love and understanding after the tragedy that she wanted to do something to honor Max and also help other people who may end up in a similar situation.

She found out that the animal organization PAWS provides funds through donations to help people pay for their animal’s care if they can’t.

So, she decided to have a fundraiser for PAWS.

Vani takes photographs, mounts them on wood and sells them. So she asked friends on Facebook and Instagram to send her pictures of their animals. She is blowing them up to 8 inches by 8 inches and mounting them on wood. One woman paid for all 52 prints. Vani plans to sell them “after I do my little artsy thing to them” and donate the money to PAWS.

But before that, she wants the public to be able to see the collection. Starting Oct. 2 they will hang downtown at Danger, 285 Winslow Way E. “Together they’re really powerful,” she said, adding she likes to sit and look at each one and wonder, “Why did they submit that photo? and what’s the story behind it?”

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