One New Thing: allowing the cat to stalk me

My One New Thing today: I allowed the cat to go on a walk with us — my dog and me.

121

No, this is not my cat. It is my dog, Valentino.

Normally, I contain the cat to the house when I take the dog for a walk on the trails behind my house.  The thing about this cat is she was raised with a pack of dogs.  In the time she has been living with me, she has had 6 different canine roommates.  She has been observing dog-clan behavior her entire kitten life.  As a result she loves going on walks with whichever dog companion is living with me at the time.

Being on the trails while she is hunting us from behind is disturbing.  I never know when an unleashed dog is going to come bounding up the trail and she will go skittering into the woods.  How would she find her way home?  Is she smart enough to turn back around and march home?  Has she channeled enough of my old rough collie’s Zen in order to pull a Lassie-Come-Home moment?

But today Jane really wanted to join us (Valentino and me) — as evidenced by her running to the door when I picked up the leash.  I thought, What the heck?  We can stay in the neighborhood and she can play tiger-in-the-tall-cool-grass this morning as Val sniffs at every post, tree, blade of grass.

116

This is my cat, Jane Eyre.

Well, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood today, and many neighbors were out tending to their yard work.  As Val and I walked and Jane stalked,  every neighbor commented on how we had a cat lurking behind us.  They all asked, “Is that cat yours?” I guess I never thought of this as being an odd cat behavior, but apparently it isn’t entirely common either.  The things you learn when you take time to reflect on your daily bubble.

As a result of this One New Thing (taking the risk to allow Jane some stalking freedom), I talked to three of my neighbors to whom I rarely ever speak.  It was a nice bonding moment over Jane’s Peculiar Cat Trick.  By being open to changing my routine with my pooch, Jane got to do her wild cat thing and I re-connected with some neighbors.

So, all’s good in the hood!  We all came home and — it being a weekend — we all  had a leisurely breakfast.  As I continue to add One New Thing to the mix, I continue to be surprised at the simple yet sweet consequences.  Who would have thought?

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