Middle cat, Iskander, has been having to stay inside for the last three weeks due to an injury. He managed to get a deep puncture wound in the middle toe of his right back paw, and as a result has been indoors, on antibiotics and in a buster collar through all the recent weather, hot and otherwise. He was heavy bandaged for the first two weeks of this, too, and it's safe to say that he is not a happy cat. Not one bit. There have been protests, both vocal and physical. There have been sulks. There have been guerilla raids on both doors and most of the windows. The other cats are also less than happy. Mooncat is used to being the centre of attention during most of the day, as she tends to be the most indoor-staying of the three. Now there is a loud and stompy Ish in her way and she is Not Best Pleased. She's taken to glowering at him and bringing in as much of the hedge as she can. (She has long fluff. Most summers, she embarks on a serious attempt to help the local grasses spread their seeds. Yes, I have eco-cat.) Horus is baffled, because his best friend is grumpy and seems to be wearing a lampshade. It's been a rather stressful three weeks.
So today, in the interests of reducing just how fed-up and frustrated Ish is -- and with the rather more selfish motive of hoping it would reduce the amount of spraying he's been doing -- I put him on the cat lead and took him for a walk. I've been taking him out for a short stroll in the garden on most dry days, which he likes. But today we went beyond, down to the end of our (very short) cul-de-sac and then round the garage block, which is one of his particular hang-outs. Many fascinating scents have been located and investigated. Places have been marked very firmly. Bushes have been put in their place, grass has been chewed and Moon has been sneered at through a hedge. On coming in, he had his foot washed (bad) and was given his pill (very bad), his supper (good) and a treat (very good). Now he's dozing.
Going for a walk with a cat is something I am known to do from time to time, though not usually with a cat on a lead in a lampshade. Ish will often trot round the nature reserve with me and Phil and others, and has to be discouraged firmly from following us on other occasions. Moon will follow for short distances, too. And Horus will walk with me, but not with anyone else. This means that some nights, on fetching them in, I come off the nature reserve with a train of cats. My neighbours find this amusing, and I can't really blame them. I'm the neighbourhood mad cat woman. There's no escaping it.