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A heART for the Cats

The art of Laurie Manzano reflects 'life in Globe-Miami and mankind’s connection with nature,' and will be available for purchase this holiday season to raise funds for the spay/neuter program at High Desert Humane Society. GMT is hosting an album of her prints for sale on our FB page at www.facebook.com/globemiamitimes.

Well-known artist and a patron saint of Globe-Miami’s homeless cats for over three decades, Laurie Manzano is donating a select catalog of her fine art prints this holiday season to raise funds for a local spay/neuter program. GMT will be hosting an album of her prints for sale on our FB page and providing details on the program. 

Her paintings, she once said, are a “documentary of our times.” 

A bit of background on Laurie for those who may be new to the area helps explain why GMT got involved with her request to raise funds for the cats of Globe-Miami. 

I first met Laurie when I moved to Globe in 2001, on a visit to the Blue Mule Gallery, where she and her husband, Jon Stalnecker, operated an art gallery, frame shop … and cat rescue. Both are artists who first moved here in the ’80s. Laurie worked mainly with watercolors, and her subjects reflected life in Globe-Miami and mankind’s connection with nature; and Jon was a sculptor. Together they ran the art gallery and frame shop and succeeded in adopting out thousands of cats — cats of all ages, from kittens to seniors, feral wild things to abandoned lap kitties. I was fortunate to find my cat there so many years ago and enjoyed 15 good years with him before losing him this fall.

Jon built the beautiful cat cages which were arranged gracefully towards the back of the gallery. Each morning, she would transfer her adoptees from the “cat room” upstairs, where they could spend the night unfettered in each other’s company, before being placed in cages during the day for viewing. 

Each cat came with a story … and a name, which Laurie would concoct and carefully write on a card that would hang from their cage. She was the key, not only in caring for the health and welfare of her charges, but in helping to make the match required to get them adopted. To that end, she would load up several cats in her car each week and make a trip to a Petsmart in the Valley, where there was always a better chance of getting adopted. 

She and Jon retired years ago and sold their building, but Laurie continued to help out the High Desert Humane Society when called upon. Now, at age 75-plus, Laurie is done with rescuing cats. But her heart is still in the cats. Her inventory of fine art prints will be available this Holiday with the proceeds going towards a spay/neuter program. 

We especially love the highly collectible series of Globe-Miami in the ’80s and ’90s. 

Visit GMT’s FB page to see the prints available. Prints are $20/each or 3 for $50.

Laurie Manzano pictured here with Romero, an ‘older cat with an attitude,’ who is up for adoption at the High Desert Humane Society.

 

Note: Laurie shared one of the many stories she documented over the years of cats that found themselves in her care.

Valentino Falls in Love 

I received a call from the County Animal Shelter one day. Would I come and collect a large male cat? 

The shelter had reached out to me on several occasions to take several difficult un-neutered pisser cats – all bad news and lotsa work. So I was hesitant and reluctant to take a chance on this one. But guilt prevailed, and I rescued the unfortunate prisoner from death row. 

Who knows his story or how he came to be dumped there? He was well past middle age, a large handsome tabby, mellow and movie star quality. So I named him Valentino. 

Shortly after that, a small elderly woman hobbled into the gallery, hoping to adopt a cat. She looked like one of my paintings – someone from another time. I seated her by the fire and asked if she would like to meet Valentino. 

And it was love at first sight. He gently kissed up to her while she cuddled and caressed him. They remained locked in an embrace while I gave them some time and busied myself elsewhere. 

Since all appeared to be progressing positively, I confidently approached with my clipboard and adoption application. She began to weep as she hugged Valentino, then blurted, “I thought you wouldn’t let me adopt because I’m old.” 

My heart wept with her tears as I consoled her. The adoption was like a cosmic connection, and I knew their remaining years would be rich in shared affection.

Attractive new signage created by Manzano offers details about cats up for adoption at HDHS, including when they arrived at the facility, the status of their shots and a snapshot of their personalities.

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