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TITLE: Part 2---T J's Tale
By Loretta Leonard

This is the story which follows Jessica's Discovery. There are 5 parts to the story and each one builds on the other.

I am still trying to find a title for all of the stories together.

Comments? Any recommendations for changes.
T J woke from his late afternoon nap under the maple tree in the back yard where it was cool and shady. He slowly stretched and then arched his back and stood up. He gave a big yawn and then began grooming his front paws. He turned his head from side to side and looked around. Strange. It didn’t look familiar. Where was he?

T J was an orange tabby who liked to roam the neighborhood and search out new places . Although he was not home he always managed to find his way back. On his jaunts sometimes people even came up to him and petted him. If he was really lucky he would get a small dish of food. He liked the extra special attention. Home was okay but he always liked being adventurous. His keen nose could always smell the aroma of ocean fish, salmon, or chicken. The tidbits were usually near the back door and T J could usually find a way to sneak near the dish and have a snack.

He didn't always get service like a king so when that happened he searched through the lush grass for any insects or interesting items that might be lurking just on top of the soil. The bugs were always fun to chase through the green grass until he captured one of them. The butterflies managed to perch on flowers nearby but just when T J tried to catch one they managed to fly away high in the air where he couldn't get them An occasional bird that flew a little too close to the ground became a delectable meal as T J catapulted through the air. Small brown or gray mice were like little pin balls moving around a maze with only one place to stop, at T J's feet. One foot on the tail and the mice had no where to go and T J could bat and tease him until he tired of the game or decided to have Mice Krispies for breakfast. Sometimes he would carry the bird or mouse back to his home and place it on the doorstep so that his family could see what a great hunter he was.

T J could be a free spirit at times and whenever he was challenged he had to work hard to avoid any confrontation. He wanted to do what was right and more than once he walked away from a dog who seemed “nervous”. On closer encounters,T J carefully studied the “boxing arena” to learn the weakest point. If the menacing jaws of a dog happened to clamp around his neck he would unleash his claws giving some battle scars behind.

One time he found himself face to face with two dogs at one time. One was a spotted brown and white terrier and the other dog just happened to be a German shepherd. They glared at him and growled and headed directly towards him. The fur flew and T J suffered several bites but the dogs had some wounds of their own. The terrier had some scratches along the back of its body and the German shepherd had some deep wounds in its ears and a nice zigzag tear long his front let. Both dogs scattered into the neighborhood. T J groomed his battle scars and wondered why sometimes it was so hard to overcome battles in life. Temptation was always just around the corner. One time he had a reputation in the neighborhood for being somewhat of a bully. He was getting older and he wanted to settle down and not take things into his own hands. It was so much better to have guidance from God.

Moving away from the shade of the maple tree T J began exploring his territory. There was a wood deck in the back yard that looked promising as a possible food source. He was hungry and felt like a nice meal would be a good way to end his adventure. Once he had eaten he would saunter back to Jessica's house and meow at the back door where he would be allowed inside. He would be able to get a cool drink and eventually he would curl up on Jessica's bed. He always like sleeping there since Jessica had an electric blanket that was always on and he could relax there.

Tuna. I smell tuna fish. Wouldn’t that be something great to have? He followed the scent and began carefully tasting the gourmet dinner. There were small metal bars around the dish but the cage didn't seem to be a problem. After all it was the tuna fish that was the most important thing now. Moving further inside the cage T J smacked his lips and began to eat heartily. With his body completely inside the cage the door snapped shut giving T J no way to get out. He had wandered too far away from home and now it was too late. The temptation was just too great. He felt like he could handle his own problems and it never worked. Why couldn't he seem to learn his lesson? Someone just had to come by and let him out so he could return home and be with Jessica. He just had to wait.

It seemed like it was hours later before anyone greeted T J. He was excited since he was certain that he was going to be let out. He waited with anticipation but nothing happened.

“Ah Ha, I got you. I knew if I waited long enough I would be able to catch you. You always seem to be nosing around my home and I don't like cats. You, my fine friend, are going for a ride with me” said Mrs. Chinson. Her plan to catch invaders that wandered onto her property had worked..

Mrs. Chinson looked at the orange tabby cat inside the mesh cage. She felt relief over finding another cat lurking around her back yard. All the signs in the neighborhood were always planted firmly at the entrance to the subdivision. Each time it was only a day or two after she had discovered a cat in her yard. She had every right to take things into her own hand.

T J felt the cage being lifted and waited for the door to be opened. But the cage was placed inside a car and T J instead had a sense of foreboding. This had never happened before. Maybe this person knew where he lived and would take him home. Yes, that was what happening. He was sure of it. Oh, please let it be my ride home! But the voice that he'd heard sounded angry. He was really sorry that he failed to listen to the small voice inside that whispered a warning. A warning to stop and not go ahead

T J tried to settle down in the cage but it was next to impossible. His freedom was gone and he was at the mercy of someone else. He was really sorry that he had tried to do things his own way. He would have to be patient and trust in God to help him find his way back home. He would need shelter and protection if he was ever going to get back home to Jessica.
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