The Cat with Three Names
Chapter 2 - Name Two, Missy Mousy
Aunty Alice, Sam the Dog, and I have such fun together. We have a great big back yard and there is a lake in it. Mrs. L. calls it a swimming pool and sometimes the family all get in and splash around. Sometimes I like to lean way over and drink water out of the lake. Once I leaned over too far and fell in. Boy, was I wet and cold. I like some kinds water though. It is fun to play in it and splash it with my paw in the kitchen sink. Baths are a different story though. A cat really doesn’t need a bath anyway, you know. We keep ourselves very clean.
Mr. Lawrenson loves baths and takes one almost every morning. Sammy and I usually relax on the floor by the tub for this quiet time of the morning while everyone else is still asleep. Once in a while I will jump up and splash my paw in the water. I like to play in that water too. Yes, you guessed it. I fell in there once too. Mr. Lawrenson sure jumped out of the bath in a hurry. But, not as fast as I did!!
This is where Sammy, Aunty Alice and I sleep. Some nights we all sleep here in our own beds, and other nights we sleep in each other's beds, on the families’ beds, or just somewhere else. Once in a while Aunty Alice and I even sleep outside, but Sam never does. He says it is his job to watch the house. The family never forgets to let him in at night so they must think his job is very important too.
Aunty Alice and I also sharpen our claws on the "Kitty Motel." We are not allowed to sharpen our claws on the furniture. I tried that once and Mrs. L rolled up a newspaper and hit the floor behind me as I was clawing. She didn’t hit me, of course, but the noise sure scared me. At the same time she did it she said, "No, Suzy." in a loud voice. You can bet I never did that again.
Anyway, this is our special place. It is great fun to play in. We ring the bell, jump off the top, hide in the bottom and lots of other stuff. Mrs. L. put some scraps of wool on the shelves and we really like to claw it. We like to sleep on it too. Something about the smell and feel of those wool scraps-mmmmmm! Do you have a blanket or stuffed toy that you like to have around? If you do, then you know what I mean.
About this time, when I was about eight months old, Aunty Alice and I started wanting to sleep outside more and more. The weather was so mild, and we lived in a place that had lots of trees and grass. There was also a really exiting vacant lot next door where it was fun to play "hunter cat" because it had tall weeds and short bushes. We were all fenced in so there were no cars and it was very safe for us to go out. We did not go outside the fence because we could see and hear the cars and we did not like them at all.
Anyway, one night when we were sleeping out, Aunty Alice saw a gopher come up out of its hole. We really did not know why, but she ran after it. The gopher went right back into its hole, but chasing it was great fun. It was like the wool scraps, you know. We liked it but we really did not know why. After that we started to watch the birds in the back yard and we even climbed the big tree to see if we could catch one. We never did though. Birds are funny creatures. Just when you think you’ve got one, they are up in the sky.
I tried to fly out of the tree once but I went down instead of up. Thank heavens I landed on my feet. I didn’t try that again I can tell you. Aunty Alice had a good laugh at me. Those birds sure know something that I don’t know.
Well, one night there we were out in the vacant lot sitting very quietly like cats do, just waiting to see what would happen. All of a sudden, a mouse popped out of the weeds and skittered past us going about ninety miles an hour. Aunty Alice leaped after it and low and behold she caught it. My Gosh! She was so proud of herself that she took it right to the back patio door and left it there for the Lawrensons to find in the morning. When they found it they petted Aunty Alice and said she was a good kitty lots of times.
About a week later the same thing happened out on the vacant lot. I chased the mouse this time. I did not catch it, but it was fun. The mice did not seem to come out really late in the night though so we started sleeping in with Sammy and meowing to go out just before dawn. Mr. L. did not like it too much, but he generally got up early anyway so he would let us out of the bedroom door. At that time of the morning, there were all kinds of things to chase on the vacant lot. Sometimes we would sit for ages just waiting and watching. Cats do that very well, you know.
One early morning Aunty Alice caught a gopher! She was so proud of herself that she took it into the house and left it by Lesley’s bedroom door. She especially liked Lesley and knew that she would be pleased to see the dead gopher by her bedroom door when she woke up. What a hubbub that caused. Out went the gopher with everyone shouting and laughing. No one was mad at Aunty Alice though. She still got lots of ear rubs and "good kitty" pats.
It turned out that Simon, the old cat, had brought in a live stake at their old house once and they all told that story again and said what a great hunter he had been and how they missed him. They also said how much they loved Aunty Alice and me too so we were not jealous. We felt pretty good about the whole thing.
Two nights later it happened. I caught my first mouse and got my second name all at the same time. When I caught the mouse you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was laying down quietly on the vacant lot in the very early morning and had been still for almost twenty minutes when, just in front of me, there was a mouse. I leaped right up after it and I got it! Well, I can tell you I was so pleased with myself. I took the mouse in my mouth and showed Aunty Alice. She was proud of me too.
I want you to know I did not leave it by the outside door or put it in the bedroom. I carried it right up to the kitchen door and waited right next to it until the family got up. When everyone was in the kitchen, I meowed to come in and picked up the mouse and brought it right in with me!
Mrs. L took one look at me sitting in the kitchen with my mouse in my mouth and gave me my second name right then and there. "Oh, Missy Mousy," she said. "You look so proud of yourself. What a good kitty you are." As she spoke to me in that sweet voice she rubbed behind my ears just the way I like it. I tell you, I really felt like I was the best kitty in the world. Everyone made a fuss over me. Even Aunty Alice and Sammy were proud of me. We three are not often jealous of each other because there is plenty of attention to go around in our home.
From then on, the family called me Suzy sometimes and Missy Mousy sometimes. I really liked that. Aunty Alice and I hunt all the time now and often catch things. We bring everything to the back kitchen door now because we know that is the right place. When we bring things other places, Mrs. L. puts them by that door for awhile before they are thrown away. That way we know that is where she wants us to put things. It was the same with the litter box. When I was new here she put me in the litter box right after Aunty Alice had used it and held my paw gently and dug a little hole. I got the idea right away because cats are so smart.
So now I have two of my three names. I am Suzy, the clever cute little blue eyed sweetie. I am also Missy Mousy, the hunter who caught a mouse. I like both of my selves. Just like people, cats have lots of parts to their personalities. All of the parts add up to make the total.