Since Fritter came back from his surgery, I have been keeping him mostly inside. He’s tired and sleeps a lot so doesn’t seem to mind. But since he isn’t litter trained and is ultimately an outdoor cat, we go for leashed walks on his request.
And I have been learning a lot about cat behaviour and Fritter’s secret hiding places by letting him lead the way.
Cats don’t go for direct Point A to Point B walks. They meander a little and pause a lot to look, listen and sniff. Fritter heads towards spaces that are intriguing, like the elevation of a basket, the discarded doors on the slope behind the garage or the pile of junk in the falling-down shed. He stops to rest in the weeds, or hidden under broad leaves in the garden.
His first walk wasn’t very far; just to a favorite toilet spot and then back inside. Each saunter has become progressively longer as Fritter visits his favorite haunts and hangouts. He is wearing a harness and the lead is short so I am nearby, just a step or two away at all times.
Fritter’s gait is odd as he hops around on his one front leg, which he shifts towards the center for balance. But the new locomotion didn’t stop him from walking all the way down the road, across a culvert, and up the hill to the next door neighbor’s house last night. He was very determined and after every pause for rest or sniffing, he renewed his walk with vigor in that direction. Maura came with us, too. They clearly know the way.
When we reached the car parked in the driveway, I put a kibosh on the journey. There was no light on in the house and I didn’t want to disturb the neighbors with the presence of a weirdo with a flashlight and her two cats. It seems this is a normal place for my guys to go. I will have to ask the neighbors about that next time I see them in the daylight.