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Diary of a Cat Walker, #25

Yesterday was pretty eventful. On Gloria's walk, she caught a lizard. When we got home, she took a nap, and then she was kind of bouncing off the walls. She needed attention, left, returned for more, over and over again. I kept telling her that she was the best lizard catcher in the whole world. And though she didn't understand the words, something told me she understood their intent.

She seemed so proud of herself.

Two things were on my mind. How would this impact her going forward? Did it impact our bonding?

So today, at lunch, was her first walk since the fateful lizard catch. She was anxious to go and came to me around our regular time and meowed at me. She knows when it's time to go, and though she generally runs from me when I grab her harness and leash, I've found that she really wants to be caught. Each time I miss as she darts behind the couch, is a little less energetic as the last attempt. She slows down for me until she's moving so slow I can easily catch her. Some days, I tell her, "if you don't want to go, I'll take your sister." And I do. And she doesn't like it one bit.

So today, when I told her I'd take her sister, she let me catch her. She was raring to go. I rarely take her to her favorite spot -- home of the large family of lizards -- on weekdays because I don't have the time. So we went to our regular lunch spot, which, she no longer really likes. I took her out of the car and set her on the grass. Usually, she'll walk back towards the car, as if it will encourage me to take her to her favorite park. It never works, and this time she didn't even bother. She began to sniff around and slowly followed me to the swingset, where the ground is covered in sand. She adores rolling in the sand, so I generally start our walk there. After a couple of rotations, she got up and began to walk further into the park. She was mesmerized by the squirrels and the birds, and was pretty cooperative on our walk, letting me lead, begrudgingly, when I wouldn't take her over to a group of squirrels.

The walk was a good one, and on our return trip to the car, we stopped at a table and had a snack. And then, she got up and walked near a tree, sat down, and stared a squirrel that was foraging near the base of the tree. I sat down on a cement wall to give her time to just chill and enjoy the sounds and smells as she watched the squirrel. After a few minutes, I thought she wanted to move on as she got up to leave, but instead of heading toward the car, she turned toward me and hopped up on the wall to sit beside me. We sat for another ten minutes, watching, listening, and enjoying the park and each other's company.

It was sweet, and surprising, and a sure sign that the bond we had had just been turned up another notch.

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