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.
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?