I took the scenic route home the other evening when I spotted them coming towards me. An elderly gentleman carrying a cat strapped in a walking harness with a leash! A cat walker!
When they were close to me I presented them with what I thought was a winning smile. Only then did I notice the man’s thunderous expression and angry scowl. Didn’t fare much better with the cat. It had the kind of deadly look on its furry face that only a seriously annoyed cat can have. The look said ‘Don’t even THINK of commenting’. So I figured neither of them would be inclined to a friendly chat.
Our happy couple reminded me of an episode that happened when I was still only a small child. Our cat, a magnificent black tom with a white bib, had gone walk-about for two weeks. By the time he came back home, he was exhausted and filthy and we were pretty sure he had sired at least half of the new litters that season.
My parents lost no time in having him ‘fixed’ (I’m pretty sure cat thought nothing needed fixing, thank-you-very-much), but they were still worried to let him out of the house again. And then a colleague of dad’s suggested he’d try walking the cat on a leash. That turned out to be not the very best of ideas.
Picture a man standing on one end of a hedge or rather, half into a hedge and a very pissed off cat on the other side. Picture man and cat swearing at each other with man tugging leash and trying to disentangle himself from hedge. Picture exasperated man going home after acrobatic and determined cat managed to worm himself out of his straps. Now picture triumphant yet slightly scruffy looking cat returning home 15 minutes later.
The atmosphere was frosty at first, with man and cat glaring at each other. Then puss felt the need for some loving and extended the olive branch by performing his award-winning number Look At The Adorable Cat Playing With His Catnip Sock. A truce was called and the evening ended with cat purring contentedly on man’s chest. Obviously.
I do wonder though what the story was behind the disgruntled couple I spotted the other day. Was this a first and possibly last attempt of the man to teach his cat to walk on a leash? Or did the thusfar well-behaved cat suddenly show his true colours and lunge at the ducks by the pond? Perhaps Tiddles’ usual leisurely evening stroll was rudely interrupted by an ill-mannered dog trying to sniff his furry bum? To which of course no self-respecting cat would take kindly?
I may have to lie in wait by the pond to try and catch sight of them again. A cat walking on a leash – this I’ve got to see! I’ll have my iPhone cam at the ready. I’m sure I’ll get another deadly look once puss realises it’s been caught on camera. Oh the shame of it.
Photos are stock photos from 123rf.com, but the cat does look like our Dear Departed Doppie (1970-1991).