AT THE OLD CABIN, Koda-the-Forest-Kitten, industrious and smart, has learned a new trick. Koda has long known how to get attention and tell us he wants OUT! Tearing up the laundry, scattering Mom’s desk papers onto the floor, knocking her latch-hook paraphernalia onto the floor, leaping onto and over every piece of furniture in the cabin. Just little hints that we should wake up and Open The Door!
Eventually Mom grew weary of the routine and devised a new plan. She hung a small bell by the door with Koda’s favorite wad of paper attached. Next time Koda wanted out she touched his paw to the bell. “Outside? Ring your bell!” She said it cheerfully several times, then opened the door. At each exit into the great outdoors this was repeated. And then Koda had it! “I want to go out? I ring the bell!” Sometimes now we hear it from the next room, jingling and jangling. And sometimes when he knows we are watching, he dawdles or refuses, “Bell? What bell? You know I want out—I don’t have to ring the ding-dong bell.”
But Kathy is patient, too, and protective of her laundry, papers, and latch-hook. And so the lesson sticks. And the bell is rung. And we drop whatever we are doing to attend to the door. He is still a cat, after all, and we are still ’the staff.’