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Pullman Apartments Office (main): 1325 NE Valley Road, #25
Pullman, WA 99163
Fax: 509 332 6886
Moscow Apartments Office: 1122 EAST 3RD, #101A
Moscow, ID 83843
Fax: 208 882 3901
Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm, PST.
Most people will say they love pets. But we are anxious to tell you we respect pets. We respect pets for teaching us that the word "animal" is truly a misnomer. We respect pets for showing us how to be better humans. For, how often can one find in people the love and loyalty of an animal? Perhaps this is the reason that pets are welcome in some of our apartments. (Be sure to read our own story below).
PET AGREEMENTPrint Pet Agreement
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER AS DICTATED BY YOUR PETPrint The Ten Commandments
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
Pets Are People Too
428 Troy Road
Moscow, ID 83843-3141
Barnacle Bill's Aquarium
588 Southeast Bishop Boulevard
Pullman, WA 99163-5534
Veterinary and boarding services
Alpine Animal Hospital
4853 Washington 270
Pullman - (509) 332-6575
WSU Animal Hospital
100 Ott Road, Pullman, WA
Animal Clinic and Hospital
1222 South Logan Street, Moscow, ID
Palouse Animal Wellness/Surgery
1222 South Logan Street, Moscow, ID
Sunshine Stables and Kennels
2652 Old Moscow Road, Pullman
The preceding list is from Net Top20: http://pet-supplies-stores.nettop20.com/.
A MESSAGE FROM AFAR
A short cat story by Demetrius Koubourlis
I quickly skipped down the stairs from my eighth floor beach condo. I was rushing to hook up with Lena, my lady partner, who was waiting for me atop the hilly pine and eucalyptus forest. This is where we go for exercise and peace. This had become our ritual ever since the high season tourists flooded our otherwise very quiet resort. My pace was growing faster while I tried to adjust my earphones – I was listening to Richard Bach’s seagull saga. I had already hit the sidewalk when I heard a high frequency noise that didn't seem to be part of the story I was listening to. I heard the sound again, as it had now become louder. I turned my head back to where the sound was coming from, and I walked back as the squeaking intensified. Something was crawling on the bushy side of the sidewalk. It was a grayish newborn kitten slithering like a snake toward me. Its eyes were still shut. Its umbilical cord, longer than its body, was trailing behind. There were no signs of its mother or any other cat. Its cries for help became louder as we approached each other. It was clear: this living thing, although blind, could not only hear but was eager for life; it was aware of my presence and was making its appeal to me, another living being.
I looked around for a piece of paper to grab it with. I hardly deserve credit for thinking about what I was doing at this point -- it was some kind of an instinctive reaction. Picking up a plastic bag that was lying about, I wrapped it around the kitten; its body was large enough to fill my hand, no more. As my thumb touched its head, I felt its warmth, I sensed its life. Resolutely, I marched back to the “portería”, the doorkeeper’s place.
“?Donde está su madre?” – Where’s its mother, I asked. The man shrugged his shoulders looking at me somewhat puzzled.
Mind you, the people here are not unkind to animals. In fact, stray dogs walk among the people, and sleep anywhere on the sidewalks feeling completely confident and comfortable; a civilized accommodation has resulted. And here, at the gated community where we come to escape our northern hemisphere winters, there’s a homeless cat community that feeds on scraps from the workers’ lunches and from whatever they can garner from around the garbage dumpsters and the fields. These cats have grown to like us, as we have taken the pleasure of regularly feeding them ourselves with better food bought at the farmers’ market or in the town nearby. In fact one of them, the workers call her Salomé, has picked me out as her human and never misses an opportunity to cozy up to me for a few minutes of caressing contact and cat talk. I feel truly graced and uplifted after each visit with her.
So, the attendant’s puzzlement at seeing the newborn kitten in my hand was not what a northerner might have taken it to mean. With his head he pointed to where the cats congregate. This is about as much of a response as I had expected, and I hastened to deliver the kitten to its mother as was my plan. There were only two cats at the cat place at the time. None of them looked like the kitten’s probable progenitor. No matter. I placed the kitten on the ground and resumed my walk -- I had to reach the top of the forest in twenty five minutes and I was already running late. My partner would be annoyed if I didn't show up on time; I knew that for sure.
A while later just before dark, when Lena and I got back from our daily forest outing, I took her directly to where I had placed the kitten. The poor thing was all alone; it had managed to crawl off the plastic bag and into an inside corner formed by the concrete pavement which was now blocking its way. The cold late evening had already started enveloping the place, and a much colder night was to follow. It was a no-brainer that the kitten wouldn't survive the night. Right away, while looking at me as if possessed by something truly urgent, my partner blurted out:
“Мы заберем его домой”, we’re taking him in; she said in her native Russian while stooping down to pick it up.
Of course I had no objection, but I did hear myself proclaim: "There will be some complications but some good feelings as well." My partner is used to my predictions, as this is a penchant of mine. She ascribes it to my intuitive nature.
Once in the condo, insuring the kitten’s survival took precedence over our strict daily routine. My partner wasted no time in creating a cozy home for the kitten. A shoe box with a bottle of warm water padded with a towel must have felt like nirvana after the cold outside. She started talking to it in such tender tones and language that made me jealous. This was a side of my partner I had not known -- the mother instinct had seemingly taken over, was my first thought. The newborn became quiet; and I became quiet too. I suspected that my partner was secretly delighted. Indeed, the kitten’s presence had brought some cherished warmth to our recent monotony, and a ray of joy began springing in my heart. I have to confess: I like pets. And then again, it may be that I revere life.
Are we somehow wired for this sort of thing? I wondered.
“What shall we feed him?” I asked after a while, decisively taking a second seat in the rearing process, but simultaneously compensating myself for my show of humanity: you see, there’s one word for both “it” and “him” in Russian; and, being a product of yet another language and culture, I was clearly thinking of “him” in my subconscious way of personifying the kitten. This must be a complex process that occurs with multi-linguals whose gender hybridization may be a mystery to the uninitiated.
“We can’t feed it anything now; it won’t open its mouth”, she said. “What it needs is warmth and rest. Tomorrow, we’ll go to town and get a pacifier for him”, she added turning the lights in the kitten’s bedroom off while gently pushing me out of the room.
We sat down to breakfast expectantly waiting for our little guest to call us. I had already peeked at its box more than once. Betraying the first signs of attachment, Lena declared that I should take it with me upon my return to America; she was forgetting that we had agreed only to help it survive, and then return it to its “community” at the end of our stay. I said nothing as the process of bonding had also started taking root in me. The thought of appropriating the kitten and of a life together had already occurred to me.
If we wanted to show we are indifferent to gender, this could be a good cover for inattentiveness or ignorance:
“How can you tell if it’s a he or a she?” Lena asked.
I was momentarily taken aback by this rather nonsensical question.
“If you see two holes, it’s a she; otherwise it’s a he”, I blurted out in laconic precision while instantly regretting my coarse manner. Fact is, I had not noticed either; what was important was to save the kitten, not to determine its gender membership, I thought.
No sooner had the kitten let out the first squeak than my partner rushed to its side. I followed closely behind. She picked it up tenderly and then went to the kitchen where she had previously prepared an eye dropping bottle with store-bought cow’s milk at room temperature. Every time the kitten would open its mouth to squeak, she’d try to drop some milk into it. But the kitten was too quick and unwilling to let any milk pass. We were both rather distraught, she more than I.
“We’re going to lose him, I’m afraid”, she lamented with a nascent tear in her eye. After trying a few more times, she gave up for the time being. She asked me to hold it while she went about refreshing the warm water bottle and refashioning its comfy box with a towel on top.
What neither of us expected was the effect or rather -- permit me to put it less modestly -- the magic of my hands. No sooner had it landed in my palm that it stopped whining; my fingers gently caressed it behind the ears. Indeed, I was now entering my expert cat mode. It was clear it liked my treatment: its feet relaxed and its breath evened out. To up the ante, I began humming and enunciating my silly, home-spun feline sounds. It was as if we were now in harmony, it and I.
Lena glanced over at the twosome with relieved satisfaction determining this was a good time to try again getting some food through. She put her thumb and index finger around its miniscule mouth and gently forced the mouth open. Its white row of reddish gums came to view. She was able to release a drop or two. But the kitten ever so stubbornly turned its head away. Nevertheless, we both felt we were making good progress. A minute went by and another drop got through. As the kitten went about this ever so reluctantly, we decided it was good enough for the time being. She picked it off my hand and gingerly placed it in its box. She covered it with a towel leaving just a crack for air.
“It’s a she”, she suddenly whispered after we got back to our dinner. “It has two holes”, she added. The empirical evidence was now in. We knew we had a female.
“Let’s call her Gritis”, she said after a considerable pause. She’s grey like your Gris, she continued. Gris was my last cat which fell victim to my globetrotting; but that’s another story in itself.
It was thus that our kitten had a gender and a name and was well on her way to forming a personality in our minds and hearts.
Unbeknownst to me, my partner had been getting up during the night to refresh the hot water bottle and to try to feed Gritis. She was becoming frustrated, and the loss of sleep made her more discouraged and distressed as her efforts were neither yielding great results, nor encouraging greater hope. In the morning she asked me to hold Gritis in my usual “magical” manner, as I now was the official house shaman; if my hands couldn’t do the trick nothing could, was probably the operative understanding. A couple of more drops of milk were allowed to pass Gritis’ strict oral control before she went back to sleep. The warm water was refreshed and an extra warm water bottle was placed on the outside adjacent to her shoe box.
As per our plan, we went to town to do our Saturday grocery shopping and get a pacifier for Gritis’ bottle. When we got to the pharmacy, however, I realized I didn’t know or couldn’t remember the Spanish word for pacifier. On the spur of the moment I decided I would use an old tactic: I’d mine my linguistic reservoir and resort to circumlocution. The closest I could come up with was the French word “biberon” for pacifier.
“No sé como se dice en español, pero busco un biberón” – I don’t know the word in Spanish, but I’m looking for a pacifier, I said in my usual above-the-fray demeanor. To my linguist’s surprise and joy, the pharmacist knew right away what I meant and took me over to the proper counter where a full array of all sorts of exquisite and expensive pacifiers – chupetes -- was displayed. It had been a long time since I had gotten any value out of my French degree, and I surmised the pharmacist must have known French until I found out that the same word exists in Spanish.
Words can be lots of trouble, and languages constitute an incurable headache; but they can be a lot of fun too and even quite useful at times.
We couldn’t wait to get back home to try the new Japanese pacifier. In her internet search, my caring partner had learned that the sucking function was important for the kitten’s feeding; we were now going to find out if it worked. She had also read that if the kitten does not exercise this function during the first six hours of its life, it never will. Evidently, this first sucking imparts a lot of needed microbial cultures necessary to kick-start the kitten’s immunity. Moreover, it’s important that strict hygienic conditions be observed.
We rushed home with expectant excitement. Gritis was already calling us. I didn’t want to admit it but it seemed to me that her cries sounded a tad weaker. Although I said nothing, the impression hung ominously in my mind. Gritis was placed on my palm, her little head resting between my thumb and index finger while my lady went about preparing a special concoction culled from her internet search. This was billed to be adequate replacement for cat’s milk. Ever so gently, she picked Gritis off my hand and tried repeatedly to place a few drops into her mouth.
“She’s taking it”, Lena exclaimed in cheerful gratification. One drop got in and then another and after that yet another. We looked at each other in delightful disbelief. This thing worked. We felt certain this was the turning point. We went as far as to congratulate ourselves and felt confident the battle was already won. Now, Lena was thinking out loud; she would never part with Gritis. Evidently, the bonding was getting sealed.
The first thing upon getting up was to look after Gritis. I can’t explain why but I wanted to take part, and did so every time she was taken out of her box for feeding or cleaning. There was an attraction, a strong interest in her well-being and a joyful anticipation of good times to come. The kitten had now become our ward, she was in our care; we were going to help her manage her very difficult first steps into our world. From her internet searches Lena learned that, after feeding, gently massaging the lower part of the kitten’s tummy causes urination. She thought that would be a perfect way to start getting Gritis potty-trained, and help keep her sleeping area clean.
“What’s this?” asked Lena pointing to the dried up umbilical cord still hanging from the kitten’s navel.
Where can one find this premium quality of friendship?
***A while later, I made this entry in my journal: “The kitten died about an hour ago after I was able to hold it for about 30 minutes during which time I saw it relax and breathe out for the last time. Gritis’ Seven Days of Passion came to an end today. Lena cried a lot and is still mourning. She wanted for us to bury Gritis where she spends her mornings, at the oratorio and playground; I suggested finding a different spot so as to forestall a daily, sad reminder for her. She agreed to let me bury it on the beach, which I did. It was an emotional experience for me but I did it with great reverence in a way befitting a once living being. I couldn’t hold back my tears. There’s no doubt I’m sentimental; I’ve always been that. Above all, I was emotional for personal reasons: do you suppose we shower our pets with love because it hasn’t been so with ourselves? Lena proved to be a soft soul as well. I was able to see another good side of hers. Gritis’ coming to our lives was loaded with meaning and significance. Her brief presence helped us discover things about ourselves that we either ignored, or had forgotten. There was every reason to be truly grateful to her, to a message-ridden, short-lived kitten named Gritis.”
I set out to go to the forest where Lena was waiting for me. I decided to go by way of the beach. While passing by where I had buried Gritis only four days ago, I looked for the stick marking her grave. As there was none to be seen, I approached. The sand burial mound I had formed had been demolished, and a hole had taken its place; chewed-up pieces of the blue bag I had placed the kitten in could be seen scattered about. Evidently, her decaying flesh had exuded enough of a smell through the bag and through the pile of sand to attract some carnivorous animal, probably one of those errant dogs. And so nothing was left of Gritis and nothing was wasted: meaningful in life, and beneficial in death.
***Send us your comments on the pet story.