Former WCGHS cat is adopted by bookstore owner

Emerson joins Dickens at Vintage Books

Humane society kicks off MVP animal adoption campaign

The West Columbia Gorge Humane Society is joining Best Friends Animal Society in this month’s “MVP” animal adoption campaign.

“Every day some 9,000 dogs and cats are killed in our nation’s shelters simply because they don’t have a home,” said Ami Prevec, cat shelter manager at WCGHS. “When you choose to adopt your next pet from WCGHS or another rescue group or shelter, you are saving that animal’s life.”

WCGHS has selected 20 shelter cats to be its MVP’s. During September, the adoption fee for these special cats is $25. The cats that have been selected are ones that are in need of the right home. Some may have special needs, while others may require medication or they need to be the only cat in the home.

All cats are spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and receive parasite control, prior to adoption.

To find out which cats are the WCGHS MVP’s for September, contact the cat shelter at 835-3464 or visit The MVP cats will also be featured throughout the month on the WCGHS Facebook page,

A 3-year-old cat has brought joy to an area bookstore’s owner, employees and customers.

Emerson, previously named Topper, was recently adopted by Becky Milner, owner of Vintage Books, in Vancouver.

In May, a hospice worker contacted the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society cat shelter in Washougal, for help. Her patient was dying of cancer, and he was worried about the future of his cat.

The WCGHS told the hospice worker they would help, and she brought Topper to the shelter.

Emerson lived at the shelter during the summer until Milner adopted him Aug. 27.

One of her cats, Henry, 19, died six weeks ago. Customers brought flowers and cards.

Another cat at the store, Dickens, approximately 8 years old, is described as shy, by Milner.

The cats are named after authors.

“Emerson has an independent spirit,” Milner said, Sept. 3. “He has figured out all the good spots to nap and where the food is.”

She said it is hard to get stressed when there are cats around.

“They rub their tail across your face and sit on your keyboard,” Milner said. “They are a pleasure to be around.”

Sometimes the cats have been known to eat Milner’s lunch, particularly if it involves tuna.

“This is their territory,” Milner said. “We visit.”

Pepper Parker has worked at Vintage Books for 12 years.

She said Emerson is mellow, good natured and easygoing with people.

“Dickens and Emerson are getting to know each other,” Parker said. “During the first week, Dickens was not sure he wanted a friend. They are just starting to play together.”

There are catnip toys and balls with bells inside, under one of the tables in the bookstore.

Milner founded Vintage Books in her home 41 years ago. Book categories include children’s, young adult, mystery, military history, nautical, regional, sports, humor and animals.

In addition to Milner and her husband, Alec, there are eight employees.

The Milners’ son, Jeff, has worked at Vintage Books for nine years.

“Emerson has been more outgoing than I expected,” he said.

Ami Prevec, WCGHS cat shelter manager, visited Emerson Sept. 4.

“He recognized her right away,” Becky Milner said.

Prevec and WCGHS Program Operations Manager Cathi Wright said cats can be great for businesses, especially those that want customers to come in and stay awhile. In addition to bookstores, cats can often be found in coffee shops and wineries.

In addition to new and used books, Vintage Books has chess sets, bookmarks, greeting cards, tea towels, tote bags and treasure boxes. The independent bookstore hosts book club meetings, visits from authors and other special events.

Vintage Books, 6613 E. Mill Plain Blvd., is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 694-9519, email or visit

The West Columbia Gorge Humane Society cat and dog shelters are located at 2675 and 2695 S. Index St., in the Port of Camas-Washougal Industrial Park, in Washougal. For more information, visit or call 835-3464 (cat shelter) or 335-0941(dog shelter).