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The New Adventures of Colony Animal Clinic

Finally!  Quiet…. the new renovations, construction are over.  The door has just closed as Dr. Bill Morrison heads to his son William’s ball game, to watch, to coach.  Finally, I can make my rounds; see what was added, changed today.  The clinic is looking outstanding even if I say so myself; I, the cat Zena, who better to judge.  After all, it is an ANIMAL clinic.

Hopping off of my chair in the waiting room in front of the clinic, I pause to eye my new chair, bedding covering the seat.  Never thought I’d get use to the chair after that really comfortable sofa but, heh, it’s not so bad.  Stephanie Morrison knew what she was doing with the décor.  Bet their daughters, Harper and Mary Patton have that same eye.

Now, where is it?  They’ve been adding decorations for the last few weeks.  Let’s see if I can find it tonight.  Strolling across the reception area, down through Dr. Babette Dixon’s old exam room, remnants of Dr. Dixon’s photos are still there. She, being the clinic historian if you will, captures photos at all the clinic functions.  I hear she’s really into scrapbooking too.  Wonder if she ever thought of using those photos and writing a children’s book.  She’s great with kids.

Oh, today is Monday so Dr. Heather Gill will be here.  She is our part time veterinarian and works Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.   I love hearing the stories of her little girl, Reagan.  Dr. Gill loves animals but one of her favorites is the German shorthaired pointer.

Turning to look back, how cool is it that the new salt water tank can be seen here, as well as in the reception area.  I continue on in my search, glancing at the walls as I move, stealthily, quiet as a whisper.  Poking my head into the cat room, eyeing the new condos, and the other new fish tank, I greet my audience.  Meows explode as the cats recognize me making my nightly rounds.  I look at them, “Have you seen it?”  Negative responses meowed all around. 

I turn and flick my tail in farewell, heading down the hall, again in search.

The next morning, I cock my head,  stretching as I hear Leslie Childress, who is the go-to person for questions.  Born and raised in Baldwin County, just about everyone knows Leslie and Leslie knows everyone.  Always willing to answer questions, talk about horses (she has some of her own), she likes to come across as a little gruff, but she doesn’t have me or anyone else fooled. I can vouch for her soft heart, as she feeds me the wet, yummy stuff, each and every morning before anyone gets here. 

Kim Jones shortly follows.  In charge of the new kennel area, I see Kim outside a lot during the day, laughing at the dogs as she watches them play in the new grassy area outside of the new runs.  Kim likes kayaking.  She and Cheryl McKenzie kayaked a lot together.  We sure miss our Cheryl. 

Karen Bull, receptionist, comes in next only to find that Lisa Uzelac (Monbouquette), head receptionist is already here.  Being the first of the month, she has begun running statements.  Lisa, whose Dad coached college football while growing up moved around a lot, living in the north and east mostly, but meeting her husband in Colorado, lived in New Orleans and ended up in Fairhope fourteen years ago.  With two sons, daughter of a coach and married to a chef, football season is party time at the Monbouquette’s.  Lisa loves to read so Karen Bonvillain Bull likes to spring ideas on her for story lines.  Karen and her husband Roger are writers and have a small publishing business. Karen is always seeking ideas for plots.  Born and raised in New Orleans, she writes New Orleans murder mysteries.  Her books can be found at the local Page and Palette or Amazon.  If you should overhear her discussing where to put the body, remember its only fiction.

I jump down and skitter quickly to the kitchen, not just to look for “it” but to also see if Eva, one of the vet nurses, would feed me, assuming Leslie forgot (no chance of that, but if I look pitiful enough, I get more food).  Eva used to be a hairdresser and has twin sons and pets.  She too loves horses.  With all of that going on, she can multi-task, slipping me a treat while she wanders over to the fish tank looking for the starfish. 

Kim Ramey, vet nurse, rushes in, excited because last night the Spanish Fort Basketball team won their championship.  Her daughter Sarah Ramey, who also works after school in the kennel, was a key player in that win.  Kim loves watching the basketball games.  Kim also is an ex-hairdresser and she gets to do Sarah’s hair for her high school activities.  Sarah is planning on attending USA and majoring in education and coaching.

I stroll down the hall to Alison Moore’s new office.  Alison is the practice manager, and the person to ask for advice on essential oils and healthy eating.  Alison has a three legged dog, named Ryder, who loves eating satsumas.  Alison loves yoga and just came back from a yoga and wine tasting retreat.  She is very relaxed.

Bethany Harness, vet nurse and mom of two little girls, coaches cheerleaders.  Bethany, along with everyone else at the clinic, loves animals and pet sits in her spare time. She is currently enrolled at Coastal Alabama Community College to become a licensed technician.

I get up as the door opens and Philippa Feaster, another vet nurse comes in.  Trying to be casual, I amble over to rub against Philippa’s leg.  Philippa really loves cats and I am usually  rewarded with a lot of petting.  I love to hang around her, hearing stories of her little boy, Reed.

I quietly watch as Nicole DeAngelis, the newest member of the CAC team, comes in.  Nicole just moved from Stamford Conneticut with her boyfriend, prairie dogs and two horses.  That’s okay; I’ll make her a cat person too.  Nicole smiles as she feels something wrapping around her leg; I look at her innocently with my large green eyes, “Meow”.

Leaving Nicole’s legs after having received some excellent petting, I continue to the new part of the building, checking out the walls, looking and not seeing my quest.   A little disgruntled, I back track, heading to the front reception area.

The lights turned out, alarms on, everything is quiet once again.  I head down the hall, disappointed, as I am tiring of this quest, convinced now that I won’t find it. I can’t believe they forgot.  Stopping, I sit down, raise a paw to my mouth, lick and then wipe the paw by my ear.  As my head swings around, something catches my eye.  I get up, walk a little and stop. Can it be?  My heart almost stops. Pride swells. I sit up straighter, regal, and stare.  There it is, the portrait of Zena, warrior cat.  

Colony Animal Clinic’s Cast of Characters listed below.

Dr. William Morrison is the owner of Colony Animal Clinic which opened January 1, 2013.  He previously was a partner at Bay Animal Clinic from 1994-2012.  Dr.  Bill graduated from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994.  Dr. Morrison is married to Stephanie and they have three children, Harper, Mary Patton and William.  He is active in their sports and his church.

Dr. Babette Dixon grew up in Selma, Alabama.  She graduated from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991 and worked at Bay Animal Clinic from then until 2012. Dr. Dixon loves taking photos of her family, husband Murray and two children, Drew and Lauren.

Dr. Heather Gill works part time and is here most Thursdays and Fridays.  She also graduated from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.  Dr. Gill does relief veterinary work throughout Mobile and Baldwin counties.  Married to Cameron, they have a young daughter, Reagan.

Alison Moore is the Practice Manager.  She graduated from the University of Alabama with a BS in Medical Technology, working in Montgomery, Birmingham, Saudi Arabia and Mobile.  Alison has worked in the veterinary field for 30 years in various positions.  Alison has a grown son, Ross, and is currently studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to enable her to coach others to live a healthier life.

Lisa Uzelac is our head receptionist.  Lisa has lived all over the country, but now calls Fairhope home, having moved here 14 years ago.  She enjoys local sports with her two sons, Elliot and Isaac and trying new restaurants with her chef husband, Danny Monbouquette. Lisa has several pets and also shares “custody” of Charlie Brown, a paralyzed Chihuahua with Leslie Childress.

Karen Bonvillain Bull, receptionist, was born in New Orleans and moved to Loxley 24 years ago.  She loves to write of New Orleans culture, using murder, mystery and mayhem to share her love of the city.  She and Roger have two grown children, Mathew (Michelle) and Paul (Camille).

Leslie Childress is the head veterinary nurse and boss to all.  She was born and raised in Fairhope and knows just about everyone. Leslie is the go-to person for questions having been in the veterinary field for 35 years.  Besides co-parenting Charlie Brown with Lisa, she is married to Wesley and has a son, Fuller, who keeps her busy with his sports and snake hunting. 

Eva Perkins, veterinary nurse, ran away from hairdressing to become a veterinary nurse in 1990.  Eva was born in Fairhope and she and her husband Terry have twin boys, John and Jordan.  They enjoy fishing and hunting.  Eva also enjoys the new fish tanks at CAC.

Kim Ramey, veterinary nurse, began her career as a veterinary nurse in 2007.  Also a former hairdresser, she worked at various animal clinics including Bay Animal and Bay Animal Clinic North, now known as Parvin Animal Clinic.  Born in Cullman Alabama, she is married to Blake and has two children, Seth and Sarah.  Kim always is willing to help out in the reception and kennel areas.

Bethany Harness, veterinary nurse, was born in Atlanta and comes to Fairhope via Ohio.  Married to Sam and the mother of Bailey and Teagan, she coaches cheerleading as well as studying at Coastal Alabama to become a licensed veterinary technician.

Philippa Feaster, veterinary nurse, worked previously with Dr. Morrison at Bay Animal Clinic North.  Born in Mobile, she comes to us via Monroeville, seven years ago.  She is married to Tony and they have a young son, Reed.  They reside in Daphne.

Nicole DeAngelis, our newest veterinary nurse, comes to us from Stamford, CT.  She and her boyfriend Pat have found a new home for themselves, their dogs and their horses in Silverhill. 

Kim Jones is the manager of our new, enlarged kennel.  Kim’s experience in the veterinary field includes ten years at Bay Animal Clinic.  She is originally from Cleveland Ohio and is married to Richard (Moon) Jones.  She also has a twin sister.

Zena, the Warrior Cat, came with the clinic when it was purchased in 2013.  We estimate her age to be 13-14 years old.  Zena is quite popular with our clients, sitting in her chair, calmly surveying her kingdom (aka, the front reception area).  She enjoys any and all attention given to her from the human variety and controls the four legged variety with green piercing eyes, quickly putting them in their place.  Zena has her picture in the BARC book, Premier Pets of Baldwin County.  She also occasionally serves as a clinic blood donor.