Walking with cats

It’s a great pity cats won’t go for a walk.  They might accompany you down the drive but they don’t seem to favour a proper walk, up the path, across the road, around the woods down to the pub and back.

It’s not as though I haven’t tried to persuade them. Lily just looked at me and rolled over on to her back in the compost-scattered unfilled plant trough that she has made her outdoor home.

Leo seemed much more enthusiastic. There was a miaow and a walking along, through the gate, a pause by the car on the drive and then a walk over the lawn and along the road.

He stopped but started again when I said  (with vain hope, I must admit)  “Heel”!

The walk was about 1 mph which is distracted toddler speed – a bit slow for me – but I stopped and waited for him where the path converges. He caught me up looking puzzled but when continued onwards he just remained there, standing covered in pathos.

“Coming?”

Nah. He wasn’t. He gave a high pitched miaow “But don’t go!”

He was about 200 yards from home but that seemed to be the edge of his territory.

I carried on walked, glanced over my shoulder to see if he was following but no, he’d set off down a different path. He’d find his way back home, no doubt.

Returning home from the opposite direction I saw the silhouette of a cat standing at the path ‘crossroads’ in the distance.  I couldn’t quite believe it – this was about an hour later.

“Leo? Is that you?” I shouted.

There was a distant mew in reply – and another one and then another one.

“Have you waited all this time?” I asked him. He kept on miaowing so I took it that he might well have done.

“Come on then, let’s go home,” I said.

I thought we’d have a companionable stroll back over the grass to the path and home, but no, he leapt ahead. When I say leapt, I mean flew in an arc through the air as though I’d just attempted a drop kick making contact with his ample purry posterior. He landed, sprinted ten paces with his ears back then stopped.

When I caught him up he leapt forward again, strolled for a few paces, sniffed a nearby bush then rolled over and wriggled around on the warm tarmac covering himself in dust.

He looked happy. It was a “You carry on. This is nice. I’m staying here” expression.

Some people, I hear, take their cats out on leads.  I’d just like  to know… how?

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About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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4 Responses to Walking with cats

  1. Isobel says:

    The thing with cats is, or at least it seems to me, that although they may wish for your companionship on a walk, they choose the route.
    Cat used to explore at mother’s bungalow, and clearly took courage from a human companion trailing in his wake. If he headed towards somewhere I considered dangerous, eg the weir on the river, the best tactic was to turn around and head the other way. He soon followed. This tactic was less successful at the marina where he was mustard keen to invite himself on other boats, and seeing the gleam of his eyes in the dark was often the only way I knew where he was in the field. Hence MasterB’s harness, or his badge of shame as he undoubtedly calls it. Made by Mynwood cats especially for him, it is about the only way he has shore leave when at das Boot. His desire to climb the tall trees and chase the goslings being seriously detrimental to my health and wellbeing. I I can give you the website.
    My grandparents cat would accompany me on walks, but she was part Siamese. Siamese are known for that type of thing.
    My Aunt Nessa’s cat would walk to the shop and back with her in Belfast.
    But be grateful for your cats reluctance. It means they are safer. And if Lily loves the planter and rolls ecstatically in it, rejoice (though not in a Margaret Thatcher way). As for Leo, how wonderful to be met on the path home by a leaping happy sprite of a cat.
    My reply is almost as long as your post. This is a compliment. 🙂

  2. janh1 says:

    Fascinating reply, Isobel. Thank you. You had considerable trust in Cat, allowing him to explore a dark meadow in a strange place and return to you. “The gleam of his eyes in the dark” is very evocative.

    Yes I’ve heard from others that Siamese cats are knowing and rather dog-like in some of their behaviours 🙂 I’m interested to hear that your Aunt Nessa’s cat walked with her. Perhaps Leo will grow into it, maybe not. I won’t force it. It would be awful if he went looking for me one day and ended up under a car.

    Compliment accepted with gratitude 😉

  3. sabinaA says:

    Loved it. Yes some people do, my next door neighbour have a Persian,wh s not allowed out,as they both are at work all day( they are charted accountants ,need I say more;but really lovely people).
    I have seen the cat who has a very cross expression on his face,on a leather lead and being walked in the back garden.
    I think as he is never allowed out anyway, he doesn’t mind being led on a leash!
    Great blog by the way, I could see as well hear you !

  4. janh1 says:

    Hi Sabina and thanks! I suppose your neighbours’ cat has learned to walk at a steady rate rather than Leo’s random, jerky progress! It’s hugely preferable for a cat to experience the outdoors in some way rather than locking them away from the things that really stimulate all their natural senses.

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