I swore to Jacquie that I would sooner wax my privates on a regular basis than be observed walking a cat in public.
That was a long time ago. Circumstances change attitudes. I am now a cat-walker.
My objection to walking Vince is simple. People who go out in public to take their cats for a stroll generally look like pretentious assholes.
Practicality has obviated my former bias. Over the months—as I’ve exploited Vince to plug a hole in my self-worth, and with luck, the even bigger hole in my net-worth—I learned something. Vince needed mobility and a modicum of independence, and we needed to make sure our expensive cat didn’t get run over by a truck. Vince and Jacquie and I reached a compromise in which Vince would be allowed to roam under supervision in the day time, but at night, he could only go out on a harness and lead.
It’s going to take a long time before we get this right, but I think we’re making progress.
Yet, despite the practical benefits of walking Vince, I can’t get over the public attention I’ve received.
Every night, someone says something, and I think my neighbors are starting to avoid contact with me.
So, it’s not all bad.
What bothers me are the strangers passing on the street. I don’t know if they’re going to punch me in the teeth or just laugh in derision until I start crying. Perhaps more the former, because it is the quickest way to make me cry. And there is no rule that says they can’t laugh derisively in addition to punching my teeth.
So far, my encounters have been less dramatic.
One night, this guy was heading toward the youth hostel down the road.
“Holy fuck, is that a cat?”
He was obviously dunk, or from Wales, based on his pattern of speech.
“No bro, that’s absolutely genius.”
“Oh, yeah, I like it a lot.”
Unfortunately, he fell down in the middle of the road before he could finish his sentence. But he turned out to be ok, I think, because I found him in the exact same place the next afternoon, with no visible signs of having been run over.
I’ve met other interesting people. A guy on a moped one night pulled into the driveway of the business next door. He got off his bike, unzipped his pants, and proceeded to urinate. He didn’t see me with Vince until after he was finished. He was startled and annoyed when he did see us, but I smoothed things over. I suggested that having his privates waxed on a regular basis would do him a world of good. He left without a word. Didn’t even thank me. But there was the unspoken agreement that if I didn’t say anything about his public urination, he wouldn’t tell the world about me walking a cat.