Growing up on Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan, in the small city of Marquette, our family always had pets. And, at one point, we owned a black-and-gray striped cat named Bootsy.
He was an indoor-outdoor cat, and, when inside, enjoyed sitting by the large picture window in the living room, at the front of the house.
There were lots of kids in the neighborhood at that time, so it was common for friends to come over and visit. We also had a doorbell with a glowing light.
Once, the doorbell rang and I went to see who it was, opening only the main door but not the screen door. I looked but nobody was there.
At that time, a common prank which children enjoyed was called ditching doorbells – ringing someone’s doorbell & running away.
Assuming this was the case, I closed the door and began to walk back into the house. Just then, it rang again. I turned around quickly and opened both doors, stepping out on to the front porch to see who it was – but, there was no person in sight.
However, an explanation quickly became apparent. It was our cat!
As the front porch was visible from the living room window, he could see people come to our house, press the glowing doorbell, hear the sound of the doorbell, and then watch us react by opening the door.
On his own, Bootsy learned he could get on the milk box, and then jump up on top of the mailbox, from which he could lean against the doorbell, letting us know when he wanted to come inside. That education was a game-changer for a cat.
The question: did we own the cat, or did he own us? I think the latter.