Hobo's blog

Hobo Hudson, business dog, author and farmer, shares his latest news and stories about his life and gives prudent advice to his fellow dogs, cats and other animals—humans included.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Walking the cats

By Hobo Hudson

I read a newspaper story the other day about taking cats on a walk and thought it was a great way to give the constantly snoozing cats some exercise by walking them around the backyard. My kitty sisters surely needed it, and the only things needed were harnesses and leashes, according to the newspaper story.

To save money, I decided to use my own harness and leash and teach each one of my kitty sisters separately to walk on the leash. I would walk Rocky, Pogo and Blondie but not Mama kitty. She has to stay inside because she is blind. The newspaper story mentioned not taking blind or declawed cats or cats with any disabilities outside on a leash in case they get lost and then can’t defend themselves. Thomas, my cat brother, would not participate in the backyard walking exercise. Since he is a rescue from a feral colony, he wouldn’t ever want to go outside again.

With Thomas’ help, I lined up all three cats on the porch and chose Rocky as my first candidate. I grabbed my harness, pulled it over Rocky’s head and tried to fasten the clips on each of the two straps around her belly, but they were too far apart. “Draw in your breath, Rocky,” I barked. She deeply inhaled, following my order, and I pulled as hard as I could on both ends of the straps—click, the clips connected.

I hooked the leash to the harness, and we both stepped outside onto the sun deck. Rocky looked around and started to waddle toward the bird feeder. OK, I thought, let her go where she wants to as long as she walks. Suddenly, she stopped, sat down and stretched out both her front legs, ready to give someone a big hug. “What the heck are you doing?” I asked. “I just saw a lizard sitting at the side, and I want him to come to me so that I can baby him.” “Eh?” I said. “You want to take care of a lizard?” “Sure, he looks lost,” she said.  “No, Rocky, he isn’t lost. He is a wild animal.” “But he could be an orphan, and I could become his substitute mother,” she said, wailing. “Well, I already take care of everyone out here with my cafeteria as you know,” I barked. “But that’s not why we’re outside here now. We have to practice walking on the leash. Come on and let’s go.”

After I helped Rocky leap down from the sun deck into the grass and helped her up on all four paws again, we took a few steps along the path where Dad had scattered bird feed. Not far from us, a bird, who had not seen us approaching, was munching on the seed. Rocky stopped and let out a soft screech. Then, she repeated her former ritual. I couldn’t believe it. She was determined to find a creature she could baby. To prevent her from getting the idea of cradling a bunch of squirrels in her arms, I quickly tightened the leash and dragged her up the stairs to the sun deck as fast as she was able to jump one step at a time, gasping for air in between. 

Back on the porch, I heard Blondie giving a speech to no one in particular about my teaching everyone to walk on a leash and how I was doing everything wrong. I quickly pulled the harness off Rocky and tightened it as snug as I could around Blondie’s waist to shut her up. Unfortunately, it didn’t hamper her talking and talking. The moment we were outside the door, she told me where to go, how to go, this and that and yak, yak, yak.

I even didn’t make it down the sun deck with Blondie. I just turned around and deposited her in the porch, yanking away the harness in one fell swoop. Then I chased her into the living room and tightly closed the door, making sure she was out of earshot.

Now, it was Pogo’s turn to walk on the leash. I was sure she would save the day. I had a little trouble dressing her in the harness, and her claws dug deep into my fur a few times while her spit landed on my nose. She calmed down when I told her we would go outside to see the birdies and squirrelies. In fact, she started to spur me on and pushed me outside the door once I succeeded in fastening the harness around her body and hooked the leash.

The next thing I remembered, I was jumping over the rail of the sun deck, desperately clinging to the leash as I saw the harness with Pogo in it in front of me flying toward the palm tree where three or four squirrels were dangling from the palm leafs. The thump I felt when hitting the ground brought me back to earth, and to my horror, I watched as Pogo started to climb up the tree. I braced my front paws against the tree trunk and held on to the leash for dear life. I knew if Pogo got loose and climbed up to the top of the palm tree to reach the squirrels, she would never be able to come down.

Giving repeated tugs at the leash, I tried to drag Pogo down from the tree trunk, but all I accomplished was tearing the harness as it scraped against the bark. I took a deep breath and screamed, “Dad, Dad, help, help, help…” The screen door of the porch banged against the door frame and seconds later, Dad was standing next to me. He just threw me a questioning look and then reached up high and retrieved my sister Pogo. 

The following morning, I even didn’t want to go in the backyard because I had to go through the porch and face my kitty sisters, but Mom and Dad didn’t take any pity on me and sent me outside that way. I thought I already had enough punishment having to put up with Blondie’s teasing, and worst of all, since my harness was in tatters, I had to buy a new one.

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My name is Hobo Hudson. I’ve always considered myself a terrier mix, and I’m going to leave it at that. I used to share my mom’s website writing about my life, but Mom’s stories somehow got in my way. So, I deemed it more appropriate to open my own blog, which also allows me to engage my siblings in writing posts if I’m running short on time. After all, I’m a busy dog. My mom helps me with my blog now and then, but I think it’s only to safeguard my good reputation. Her website, newsandtales.com, contains some great stories.
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Bruny Hudson
Bruny Hudson, manager and editor of Newsandtales.com, assists as a consultant with Hobo’s blog.
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