My Story - Part 1
My story begins with this cat:
I never knew him. In fact he was gone long before I was born. But if it wasn’t for him, my human family never would have adopted me, and Rascal’s world wouldn’t be what it is today.
Dad used to be a confirmed Cat hater. In fact, he was proud of being a Cat hater and used to brag about it. When Mom, Dad, and their human kids moved to a rural suburban home in North Carolina, Dad wanted to chase all the Cats away from the yard. But Mom said Cats were good because they caught mice and moles and snakes. She said the Cats should be allowed to hunt in the yard. So Dad thought about it and said ok.
Pretty soon the family became familiar with the Cats in the neighbourhood and even had names for some of them.
There was a pretty little lady tuxedo whose name was Susan. She lived two doors down the hill and made dainty trips through the garden.
There was a big white tom Cat with a ginger tabby tail and a large ginger patch over his left shoulder. Mom and Dad called him Whitey Tiger Tail. Whitey Tiger Tail was big and fast and so mean that he chased all the other cats away. He chased squirrels too and sometimes caught them. He lived up the hill across the street.
And then there was an old battle scarred grey tabby tom who stomped across the yard like a bull dozer. Mom and Dad called him Tough Guy. They later found out that he lived at Susan’s house and that his humans called him Clarence. But Mom and Dad liked the name Tough Guy better.
Every night when Dad came home from work, Mom would give him the “Cat Report”. One night she told him she had seen a new Cat. He was a young grey tabby who began to make trips through the yard from time to time. Mom thought he was about 6 months old. He was afraid of people and the other Cats and always ran away. He was skinny, but he looked so much like Tough Guy that Mom and Dad started to call him Junior.
The more Dad watched Junior, the more he thought it wasn’t fair that the other Cats always chased him away. He said that maybe if Junior got bigger and put on some weight, then he could take care of himself better.
So the next time they saw Junior in the garden, Mom took some leftover chicken out to him. Junior was scared and wanted to run away when he saw her, but he smelled the chicken in Mom’s hand. Mom set it down on the ground and stepped back. Junior was very hungry and he eagerly went to eat the chicken. Mom kept her distance and squatted down, talking softly to him.
While Junior was eating, Tough Guy came by on his way up the hill. He could smell the chicken too and came over to see what was going on. He really wanted to take the chicken away from Junior, but Mom wouldn’t let him. So Tough Guy and Mom squatted there side by side, watching Junior eat.
Mom said that Junior must have known that she protected him from Tough Guy, because after he finished eating his chicken he allowed her to present her hand for him to sniff. Tough Guy sauntered away, but Junior stayed there and let Mom watch him take a bath.