Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™: Vladmir the Cat is New Inductee

Each year, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and the Oregon Animal Health Foundation honor animals who, through unselfish and courageous accomplishments, exemplify the affection, loyalty, security, public service, and value of the human-animal bond.

The Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™ is the second longest running awards program among veterinary organizations in the country. Since the program was started in 1988, the OVMA and the OAHF have recognized dogs, cats, an animal welfare group, a horse therapy group, horses, and one llama! Animals are inducted into the Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™ during the Oregon Veterinary Conference in Corvallis. See below for a list of past inductees.

Companion

 
 

This award recognizes animals who have saved or preserved a life.

Vladimir

Vladimir

 

Nominated by Dr. Sabra Thomas, All Creatures Great & Small Veterinary Clinic, Corvallis

The Companion award recognizes animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community.

“The fog came in on little cat feet.”

This is the opening line of Carl Sandburg’s poem, entitled “Fog.”

Vladimir, a 13-year-old brown male Tabby gently and quietly meanders his way around All Creatures Great & Small Veterinary Clinic in Corvallis – mostly greeting clients who have entered the practice but sometimes seeming to offer his solace to clients when that tough time has come to say goodbye to their pet family member.

Vladimir was a stray when Dr. Sabra Thomas brought him home with her, figuring she would give the three-year-old a nice residence in the tack room of the horse boarding barn she was building on her property. His one responsibility for the generous offer of room and board was to ward off mice from the barn.

Vladimir never did catch a mouse. But as soon as Dr. Thomas started to erect her practice next to the barn, this cagey feline meandered over to the new construction and found a partially finished reception desk that he liked and claimed as his own. It has been his “perch” for the past eight years.

You might say that Vladimir is the practice’s version of a Wal-Mart greeter. Whenever a client enters the front door, this funny cat gets up from his kitty blanket and strolls to the end of the counter to greet them. According to Dr. Thomas, they have had three bibs made for Vladimir: one labeled “The Greeter,” another “Chief of Surgery,” and a third named “Complaint Department.” Countless thousands of hands have literally touched Vladimir.

Dr. Thomas says that Vladimir is serious about his role with the practice, only clocking out and getting down from the counter to go eat or perhaps use the bathroom. He has only called in sick once or twice during his time with the clinic.

“He is among the best employees I have ever had,” Dr. Thomas says.

As you can imagine, clients come to the practice just to see Vladimir – one giving this cat a well-deserved massage. Vladimir has never turned anyone away, and he even puts up with clients who set their small dogs on the counter next to him. Once a bunny was placed on the counter, and Vladimir obliged by giving the rabbit a bath.

Vladimir is sensitive to the cries of another cat or dog. He has been known to get off his perch and run to the treatment area of the clinic if he hears a cat or dog in distress. And, as I mentioned earlier, Vladimir has sat close by on the floor with pets and their owners as their beloved friend is euthanized.

In his older age, Vladimir is not so quick to jump up when someone walks through the door. Diabetes has taken its toll. However, he patiently remains at his post, waiting for the next client to walk in and run their hands over his aging body.

Vladimir epitomizes the beauty and wonder of the human-animal connection. Ever so friendly. Ever so patient. Ever so loving and comforting.

Past Inductees

Hero

Recognizes animals who have saved or preserved a life.

  • 1988 Big Red (dog), Sam (cat)
  • 1989 Hadji (dog), Morgan (dog)
  • 1991 Max (dog)
  • 1992 Missy (dog)
  • 1993 Gunner (dog)
  • 1997 Helga & Tad (dogs)
  • 2000 Sheba (dog)
  • 2002 Ceasar (dog)
  • 2003 Pillsbury (dog)
  • 2004 Sunny (dog)
  • 2005 Chassa (dog)
  • 2009 Zar (dog)
  • 2011 Brodie (dog)
  • 2012 Jakob (dog)
  • 2013 Hunter (dog)
  • 2015 Leah (dog)

Companion

Recognizes animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community.

  • 1994 Solo (cat)
  • 1999 Project Pooch
  • 2002 Howard (dog)
  • 2003 Jesse (dog)
  • 2005 “Ginger” (dog)
  • 2006 Cassidy (cat)
  • 2007 Daniel (dog)
  • 2008 Gracie (dog)
  • 2009 Ace (dog)
  • 2010 Rusty (dog)
  • 2011 Bosa (dog)
  • 2012 Dottie (dog)
  • 2013 Lily (dog)
  • 2016 Vladimir (cat)

Professional/Service

Recognizes animals specifically trained for service or assistance.

  • 1990 Sparkle (dog)
  • 1994 Ranger (dog)
  • 1998 Horses for the Physically Challenged
  • 2001 Cajun (dog)
  • 2002 Kate (dog)
  • 2003 Camas (llama)
  • 2004 Rikki (horse)
  • 2005 Gleason (dog)
  • 2006 Snert & Jake (dogs)
  • 2007 Annie (dog)
  • 2008 Butterscotch (horse)
  • 2011 Doc (dog)
  • 2012 Nelson (dog)
  • 2013 Ryerson (dog)
  • 2014 Raido (dog)
  • 2015 Rawhide (dog)