Thursday, October 1, 2009

Walking the . . . cat?!

Several of our older cats have died in the past few years and we have been carefully considering whether or not to adopt another cat, or perhaps even a dog, so I would have someone to walk with me.

Most mornings I take a walk before I go to work. Bentley used to go with me, but his poor health prevents that now. I bought a rolling carrier in hopes that he could accompany me again, but he very carefully and vocally explained his extreme opposition, and I continued to walk alone.

A few months ago a friend asked if I could provide a home for a cat whose owner could no longer keep her. We talked it over and agreed to have her join us.

Since the cat didn't respond to the name she had when she arrived, I tried a variety of new ones. She likes to be called QB - short for Queen Bee - and Queen of the Boxes.

It took a while for Bentley to adjust to her presence (they still hiss at each other on occasion), but Morgan welcomed her.

When I went for my walks, I noticed that QB wanted to go outside with me, so one afternoon I let her try out Bentley's rolling carrier. She loved it! She's much larger than Bentley, so there wasn't a lot of room for her, but she enjoyed being outside and hopped in the carrier whenever I rolled it out for her.

Our neighbor noticed us walking one day and said he had a stroller that his dog refused to use (sound familiar?) and offered it to us. It is the perfect size for QB. She sits up and surveys her Queendom as we stroll around.

Ever since that day, QB waits for me to get home from work so she can go for her afternoon walk. She reminds me it's time to take "her" walk with escalating insistence: meowing, then tapping on the door knob (oh, for opposable thumbs!), and finally, jumping into the window and rattling the vertical blinds until she is certain I know it's time to go . . . Now!

When I roll out the stroller, she hops in and waits for me to zip up the screen so she can safely travel.

Now QB has a forever home and I have a walking companion.

If you'll excuse me, I've got to go -- It's time to walk the cat!

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