I padded behind my new master, watching his back with curiosity, wondering what living with him would be like, and what kind of master he was.
So far I had nothing but positive things to say about him. He respected my space and he'd stopped that annoying lady from touching me. Plus the fear I'd smelt from him was fleeting at best, and his scent was quite nice, his voice was what stuck with me the most, its smooth and soft quality was like a balm to my ears, the low and quiet way he spoke was calming and I found myself more at ease than I should with a human I'd just met.
I followed him through the hallways, slowing when he did, glancing at the signs on the walls to find the way out, or to open a door, allowing me to walk through first, which was completely new to me. I was a little uncomfortable having him at my back but he quickly took the lead once more and I padded after him.
After about the fourth door, we came to a one that looked different and my master had to put more effort into pushing it open. I stood there utterly stunned at what lay on the other side.
It was outside!
I closed my eyes and inhaled the fresh air that blew my way, a low purr starting up in my chest, my tail swishing with joy. I quickly opened up my eyes again, bounding through the door that my master was patiently holding open.
The sun warmed my dark fur and it felt wonderful, blue skies stretched above me with a few fluffy white clouds. Leaves rustled in the gentle wind, birds tweeted, trees stretching up to the sky on either side of the building, sweet and luscious-looking grass swaying gently in the breeze just a few feet away.
An elated trill escaped my throat and I threw myself onto the cool patch of grass, rolling around and groaning at the wonderful feeling, pressing my nose against the ticklish stalks and breathing deeply, letting out loud snorts as I sucked in lung after lung full, unable to get enough of the sweet scent of outdoors.
This was the first time I'd been outside since being a cub, I'd forgotten what it's like.
It was so open and vast that it left me breathless. I jumped up and loped around the patch of grass, throwing myself onto the floor and wriggling around in the grass before getting up to do it all over again.
Laughter reached my ears and I glanced back, seeing my master smiling my way. "Wait until you see the garden at home Luci." he mused with a chuckle and I perked my ears up at his words.
I vaguely understood the word, human homes had patches of grass and sometimes trees, I'd heard some keepers talking about it before, but I'd never seen one.
It made me excited thinking about having a garden. He'd said see it so I gather I'd be allowed on it, which meant I'd have grass to play on!
I wondered how big it was though.
The patch of grass I was on was reasonably small, but it felt massive to me, never seeing a stalk of it for so long.
I actually took the time to look around, seeing a metal fence, the patch of grass, some trees and concrete to my left that held a few vehicles.
My master slowly headed towards that and I followed a few steps behind, watching with interest as he got something out of his pocket, making parts of the vehicle flash, it's dark and sleek paint allowed me to see a distorted reflection of myself and I walked around the front of it with curiosity, pausing when I saw a picture of what looked like a jaguar on the front of the vehicle.
I looked up at my master wondering why he had a picture of a jaguar's face on his car, as the keepers called it.
Maybe he liked jaguars?
Was that why he bought me?
He came around the car to see what I was looking at and I was surprised to see that he looked a little embarrassed and he scratched his cheek with a small smile. "What can I say, I like jaguars." he shrugged, his pale complexion taking on a little colour.
Well, I have to say I approve, naturally.
"When I saw you on that stage I knew you were the pet for me, I don't think I've ever seen such a gorgeous jaguar."
I found myself purring at his compliment, but also finding comfort that he liked me, knowing that meant he'd treat me well.
I followed him back around the car and he opened one of the doors for me and I peeked in, seeing fabric stretched over the back seats. I was intrigued as to its purpose but it looked much more comfortable than the crate I'd been in for so long and I was eager to see my new home.
I jumped inside and spun around so I was facing my master again, sitting down on the covered seats, purring softly to myself at the cushioned feel of the seats and the fabric that made me feel secure but not boxed in. Master's scent was stronger in here and the smell allowed my slight fears and apprehension of travelling again to wane, which was further quelled when he rolled down one of the windows once he'd gone in the front of the car.
The car purred to life, a much nicer sound than the truck had been and pulled away smoothly, hmm… this jaguar car was nice.
The trip was thankfully short, but I found I didn't mind travelling in such comfort. I'd leaned into the cool air blowing in through the window, my eyes almost always closed in bliss, my low purrs blending in with the nice rumble of the engine. It was just so smooth compared to the truck, I still felt the pulls of the break and accelerator, and when my master made a turn but they were gentle and extended. Along with the soft fabric under paw and the cushioned seats, and the sound of my master talking quietly to someone, although I didn't see a phone and there was no one else in the car, I was almost lulled to sleep by the time we stopped.
The low rumble of the car cut off and I watched under droopy eyelids as my master climbed out of the car and walked around it to open the door for me.
I reluctantly stood and hopped down onto the concrete below the car, having a good stretch and a yawn before casting my tired eyes up and looking around.
My master must be incredibly rich.
I'd never seen a house in person, but I never imagined it to be so… large.
The front of the house was a sparkling white that shone in the sun with little bits of light brown scattered around, my knowledge wasn't good enough to understand what they were called or their purpose, but it did look pleasing to the eye.
I was more interested in the fields of grass on either side of the driveway we'd pulled into, my master had stopped the car under a shadowed arch that was connected to the house, so we were in the cool shade and in front of the wooden door to the house.
I was in awe as I looked around, past the house the green seemed to stretch on forever, only broken by the occasional tree or row of hedges.
It was so quiet out here, the air so fresh and sweet. All I could hear was the sounds of nature, it was wonderful, I closed my eyes and just basked in it, never feeling so at peace than right now.
The silence was interrupted by my gurgling stomach, hunger pangs painfully gripping me.
My master laughed softly in that smooth voice of his. "Let's go inside and I'll get you some food, hmm?" he suggested and took the few steps to the door, unlocking it and holding it open for me to go inside first.
At the mention of food my stomach rumbled loudly and my mouth salivated, my legs getting a mind of their own and I bounded into my master's home.
The air was cool and fresh like outside, a small stretch of red-tiled floor was on the other side of the door, coats hung up on the walls, shoes were placed neatly in wracks on the floor and a few small draws were tucked in the corners. I padded past the tiles that were cold on my pads and onto soft and squishy carpet, my paws sinking into the cream floor covering. I felt the urge to dig my claws in and knead but refrained, I got the feeling my master wouldn't be too happy if I ruined his expensive carpet.
I looked back and waited for my master to close the door, watching as he toed off his shoes and placed them on the rack. He shrugged off his long grey coat and hung it up before walking past me and down the long hallway we were in.
The hallway opened out into a vast space, the carpet gave way to polished dark wood and my master led me past the stairs and down another corridor, opening a door two doors down and beckoning me inside.
I slowly crept in a little apprehensively, my eyes going wide at the lush cat heaven that greeted me.
The room itself was I think four times the size of my old cage, soft green carpet covered most of the floor, a small strip of polished wood ran along one side wall, a metal strip separating them. On the wood was a metal stand that held two large bowls, one with fresh-looking water and the other just waiting to be filled with food. There was one more thing tucked in the other corner, the enclosed wooden box had a draw at the bottom and I padded over to inspect it, poking my head through the hole at the front, wooden pellets lining the space.
My bladder reminded me I needed to use the toilet, and I gathered the box was for that, so I hopped in and dug at the loose layer, peeing before digging to cover it back up, liking this arrangement much better than my designated corner in my old cage. This box gave me privacy and allowed me to dig and cover up my pee or poo, I much preferred it over pawing at concrete, and it satisfied my natural urges.
I hopped out of the box and shook myself off, looking at the other side of the room, more than pleased to see a large window spanning at least half of the opposite wall, it had been left ajar, letting cool, fresh air in which I greatly approved of.
A plush and large bed had been placed in the full sun by the window and I padded over to it, my paws sinking into the silky yet firm material and I kneaded it with a low purr, looking forward to napping in it later and feeling the sun's rays warming my skin as I fell asleep.
What I'd guess to be toys for me scattered the floor and I batted one, the ball rolling and making a slight jingling sound, the rough rope-like exterior perfect for me to grasp with my paws, hmm… maybe I'd play with that later.
On the part of the wall that wasn't a window a… I didn't know what it was but I liked it. Levels of roped-wrapped wood stretched up to the high ceiling, ramps connecting them or only short distances between them that would be easy for me to jump. I looked further up, realising those shelves ran along the entirety of the room, a few of the shelves covered in carpet, perfect for napping on, and an enclosed box in one high up corner, perfect for a den, and from the sweet smell I knew my master had stuffed it full of straw.
My expectations had been completely exceeded, I didn't know I could wish for such a wonderful space, I would have been content enough for this room to have a pile of straw and a bowl of water, It's all I'd ever had all my life, I never knew I could have so much more.
I felt close to tears, realising this was my new home. My master had done this all for me, and I still had so much more of the house and outside to explore.
I heard approaching footsteps, looking up and seeing my master re-entering the room, making me wonder when he'd left in the first place, I'd been too entranced with my room to notice his departure.
He carried my food bowl in his hand, and from the heavenly scent wafting to my nose my mouth flooded with saliva and I excitedly followed him as he walked to the bowl stand, dancing from his left to his right side, excited snuffs and purrs coming from my throat.
I sat impatiently in front of the stand, my ears perked up to attention, my tail swishing and curling against my back. Meowing demandingly at my master because he was taking too long to put the bowl in the stand.
He was watching me closely, standing by the stand, bowl in hand. "I don't know what you were fed before, your handbook didn't mention it," he said with his usual frown, glancing at the contents of the bowl in his hand.
The auction mostly fed us frozen-thawed chicken bones, I could probably count on my paws the number of times I'd had red meat or fish, and on my tail when I'd had something fresh.
Whatever was in that bowl smelled good to me, amazing actually. Scents I'd never experienced were filling my nose and I breathed them in heavily and licked my lips, the food smelled delicious.
He set the bowl down and I briefly took in its contents, the colourfulness of the food shocked me, reds, whites, yellows, something even orange/pink was in the bowl. Chunks of meat, bones, a minced thing, and… is that a whole rabbit?
I dug in with gusto, my tail quivering in happiness, full-throated purrs getting distorted by my chewing.
It all tasted so good!
I savoured all the different textures, some meats soft and silky, others firm and chewy, the bones getting crunched by my jaws, the fur of the rabbit satisfying something deep and primal inside of me.
The food was gone sooner than I would have liked, I licked the bowl until not even a morsel was left, then cleaned my lips of any possible residue of my delicious meal.
I looked up at my master who was smiling softly, pleased that I'd eaten the food and at my obvious enjoyment.
I liked it when he smiled.
I purred up at him and rubbed against his legs as I padded past, flopping down onto the plush bed by the window and starting to groom myself with lidded eyes.
If this was what I had to look forward to living with my master then I definitely will give him a chance, plus I like the thin and softly spoken man.
Being a pet didn't seem so bad after all.