Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Student Life

The Rewarding Responsibility of Pet Possession

Scott Brent, K’16, with Lady Antionette (Andrew Parsons / The Index)

As I entered into the room, I noticed an opened rabbit cage, an enclosure strewn with bedding and small pet toys. Scattered around the floor were various types of plastic huts and play tunnels, surely the sign of a long-time pet owner.

But Scott Brent, K’16, has just taken the plunge into pet possession.

“I’ve been really busy lately and I’ve hardly had the time to hang out with people. I realized that I was getting lonely and I decided to shake things up a bit.”

Lady Antionette, a fluffy white Netherland Dwarf Rabbit, joined Brent on January 19. Selected from Pet Supplies Plus, Brent says Lady Antionette’s “special feature” was an all-too-cute “nose twitch which made my decision to get her.”

Despite seeing all of the pet materials, I had yet to actually see Brent’s new bunny. “She’s still getting used to people, and still a little skittish” Brent told of her adjustment. As he coaxed her out of the corner, the “skittish” description became clear.

“I sometimes feel bad picking her up, and I haven’t quite figured out how to get her to be affectionate,” continued Brent. I understood immediately after trying to hold the squirming white fluff-ball, my palm promptly receiving the jab of claw. She soon calmed down, and gently began to nibble at my finger.

Brent explained that Lady Antoinette was incredibly receptive to his mood.

“She has this intuitive sense. When I’m stressed, she is, and when I’m happy or calm, then so is she.”

Further up Academy Street lives another pet owner of K. Walking into Harmon Hall suite brought the unique pets to my attention. On each windowsill of the room were small pots, sandwiched between clamp-mounted incandescent lamps. Springing out of each tiny pot were a dozen tiny mouths, with long white teeth protruding into the air.

“I own three Venus Fly Traps and a Nepenthes,” described Qynce Chumley, K’19.

Nepenthes? I asked. “Another kind of carnivorous plant, also called a pitcher plant,” Chumley explained.

But are plants really pets?

“They’re living beings and I take care of them,” defended Chumley, “and so they fit my definition of a pet.” Chumley noted that “low maintenance” plants fit nicely into her life.

For both Brent and Chumley, pet ownership has become a rewarding responsibility.

“I think it’s healthy to take care of something,” explained Chumley.

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The Rewarding Responsibility of Pet Possession