My Story - Part 3
Gradually Junior became a regular part of the household. At first he would only stay for short visits and wouldn’t venture out of the kitchen. But as he got used to the hoots, chirps, and tweets of the bird clock, and got used to being in the house, he would stay longer and longer.
One thing that puzzled Junior was why the humans kept rolling little balls at him and dangling yarn in front of his face. The humans were puzzled too, because he wouldn’t batt or chase the toys they offered him. They thought that maybe Junior didn’t know how to play. They thought that because he had been on his own all his life, he had been too busy trying to survive to have learned how to play. So Dad began to spend time enticing Junior with yarn and catnip mice. Once Junior caught on, they had great fun playing ambush, pounce, and chase.
Mom had some jingle bells hanging on the inside door knob of the back door. Whenever Junior wanted out, he would reach up and batt the bells. When the humans heard the bells, they knew to come and let Junior out.
The more comfortable Junior became in the house the less he wanted to go out. But Mom and Dad didn’t want to leave Junior inside when no one was at home. He wasn’t used to being in for long periods of time and they were afraid he would panic if he couldn't get out when he wanted. So when the humans were ready to leave, they would jingle the bells on the door knob and call "kitty, kitty."
At first, Junior would come to be let out when he heard them call and jingle the bells. Gradually though, he became less and less interested in going out when they wanted him to. He began to ignore them, especially when he was busy taking a nap.
So Mom had to bribe him with chicken.
Junior loved chicken. He knew where the chicken was kept too, in the big white box where it is always winter inside and full of food. Every time someone opened the door to the big white box he would come running and ask for chicken. If he didn’t get any, Junior would try to jump inside to look for chicken himself.
One day there was a terrible storm. There was no thunder or lightning, but the sky was murky, the wind was howling, and the rain was pouring down. Junior didn’t know that it was storming, so he batted the jingle bells to go out. Mom came to the door and looked outside. She told Junior that he might want to wait until later. He just rubbed against her legs, looked up at her with his sweetest kitty face, and cranked up his purr to high volume. So Mom opened the door.
Ordinarily, Junior didn’t mind the rain. He had spent most of his life outdoors and could even sleep in the rain. This day however, Junior took one look out the door at the blowing wall of rain and stopped short. His purring stopped abruptly. He stood in the doorway and stared outside. Then he casually turned around, walked back through the kitchen, jumped up onto the desk, and settled down to take a nap.
Mom and Dad decided that Junior was officially a House Cat after that.