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Diary of a Cat Walker #15

Updated: Apr 21, 2019

A reminder that cat walkers are still pretty rare.

I'm used to hearing people say "Is that a cat?", followed by "I've never seen a cat on leash before." I hear it at least once a week. But yesterday, even I got surprised. I took Gloria to her favorite spot, Dry Creek Regional Park/Garin Park in Union City. It was a beautiful, but windy, day. After a few minutes of sniffing the air, Gloria was ready to go and followed my lead pretty closely. When we reached her favorite bench, she jumped up on it and meowed, telling me it was time to sit. She loves sitting there and looking around. After a few minutes, a family -- young girl, mom, and dad -- stopped to talk. They asked a few questions and then the mom said, "We've got our cat with us, too." The father moved around his wife to show me that he was carrying a cat carrier. Inside was a wide-eyed Calico. The cat seemed calm, but not exactly engaged in the park. I asked if they walked her, and the mom said, "No, aren't you afraid of her getting fleas and ticks?" I pointed out her Seresto collar and told her that I combed her every once in a while, too. Yeah, it's a risk, but well worth it in my estimation.

While I think the carrier walk is a bit strange, it's better than not letting their cat outside ever. I just wish they'd reconsider and teach her to walk on a leash.

Okay, something else interesting happened. When I first entered the garden in the park, I saw a ranger walk by. He looked in my direction and I could tell the wheels were turning. You see, the garden has a very large "No Dogs Allowed" sign at the entrance. Dogs are free to walk the surrounding trails, but not the 20 acre garden. So as we walked through the gardens, we crossed the ranger's path a couple more time and he looked in my direction, but most of the time, Gloria was out of his eyeshot.

The park closes at 4 pm, so around 3:45 we headed for the exit. As I exited a raised bed, Gloria stopped behind some shrubbery and there, near the exit, was the ranger. He could see me, but Gloria was checking something out and hadn't exited the path yet. He looked at me and said, "Dogs aren't allowed in the garden." He still couldn't see Gloria -- just her leash -- and I replied, "I don't have a dog." He looked at me, and said, "Then what is it?" I coerced Gloria to come out into the open. "A cat," I said. "There's nothing prohibiting cats, right? The signs say No Dogs Allowed, but no mention of cats". He looked dumbfounded. I could tell this was a case he'd never dealt with. "I guess so," he said, then added "As long as she doesn't kill any birds." I told him of course not -- stressing with my tone the unlikelihood of a cat on leash catching a bird. Anyway, he seemed amused by her, so we'll be visiting on a regular basis.

Gloria sitting pretty

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