"I never had pets," Stuart Everett says, "and I grew up thinking I'd be an engineer like my dad." Instead, he became a veterinarian. After a tour of duty in the Navy, Stu got a college degree-and a cat. "That gave me my first glimpse of a vet office," he says. "And I thought, here is something I should look into."
Today, he owns the Clarke-Everett Dog and Cat Hospital in Traverse City and loves the variety-of people and pets. "I try to pick up on the relationship between them," he says.
Do people sometimes pick the wrong pet? "Happens all the time," he says. "It's also a challenge when people with different pet backgrounds marry each other."
He has a house full of pets himself-and tells me about rescuing Rennie. "He was the most empathetic cat I've ever known-and our office cat for 15 years until he died in March." Stu can't talk about it and is quiet for a long minute.
Then he tells me about Putt-Putt, a cat who was found in the woods and brought in near death. When she survived, Stu kept her. "Her back legs are deformed," he says, "but she gets where she's going."