Diary of a Cat Walker #10
On Monday I worked from the office. I had a lot to do, so I was working on both my work issued computer (slow, annoying HP corporate machine), and my personal machine (a fast and wonderful Surface Book 2). When I left, I picked up my stuff and somehow left my work laptop in its docking station. That evening, I worked on my laptop until about 8 o'clock and then, you guessed it, I needed my work machine. I looked all over the house, sure I'd brought it home with me, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. The only thing to do was go to the office.
As I found my shoes and noted the time, there was Gloria Vanderbilt, looking at me through those inscrutable dark eyes. I hadn't had time to take her on a walk…something she expected, but didn't yet know how much she enjoyed them. So I scooped her up and took her with me.
Gloria is anxious in the car. I had been tethering her to a short leash so she can move around, but not get underfoot. It works to a point (reduces the indignant cries). The only problem is that as she moves about, up on the seat, against the window, and then to the passenger's seat floor, she get's tangled in her leash over and over again. So now, despite my better judgment, I let her off leash. She now has added the back seat to her cycles. And though she climbs on me, too, it's way more safe than the leash. That said, I'm looking for the right carrier so she can still look around while we drive.
It was dark, lightly raining, and it took about thirty minutes to get to the office. This being her first trip, I expected her to be pretty skittish, but instead, her almond shaped eyes were wide and round as she walked from one cubicle to the next, looked inside each and then moved on to the next. She was a bit cautious at first, and then he tell tale tail popped up, and I knew she was having a good time. After making a couple rounds, I ushered her back to my cube and sat down. She was game, came in, jumped up on the desk and began to explore. I took out her treat and she was ravenous, eating like a woman on death row, trying to scarf down a plate of food before they realized she'd already had her last meal and this one was provided by mistake.
In this brings me to the point of all this. Take your cat out with you whenever you can. The more experiences, the better. One of the most interesting and frustrating things about training a cat to walk on leash is that while change is ongoing, you don't see any signs of it for weeks, and then boom, all at once, there's a significant change. Like a switch just got thrown. It's a wonderful and perplexing thing. If you remember one thing on your own journey, remember this fact. So those days of fear and stress are not as they seem. Your cat is building up experiential stuff…and once that experiential data reaches a certain level, it's expressed, and your doubts will fizzle.