Salon notes that there are nearly 2,000 videos on YouTube of people walking their cats on a leash. I say HAH!
I have tried this. I have always wanted to walk my cats so they can get some exercise, but mostly so I can show off my superior felines. However, I fear that they will run off and get into fights, root in the garbage, eat maggoty rat carcasses, get kidnapped and forced to live in a household where the humans don’t know the difference between ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ and misplace their apostrophes.
Then I had what seemed to be a brilliant idea: Leashes! Conventional wisdom dictates that cats cannot be leashed, they are too independent and stubborn, but one should question conventional wisdom when the need arises. So I went to Animal House and bought some harnesses—in the dogs’ section, since cat harnesses are unheard of.
When I showed the harnesses to the cats they sniffed at them curiously, the concept of walking on a leash being entirely alien to them. But when I put the harness on Mat, my best-behaved cat, he immediately sat on his haunches and refused to move. No amount of coaxing, bribing, dragging, could make him walk on a leash. Meanwhile the look on his face said, ‘I am going to report you to the SPCA, PETA, and the International Court of Justice in The Hague.’
I didn’t give up. I put Mat in his carrier, then my sister and I brought him to Greenbelt for a walk. Immediately he tried to run into the bushes. When he realized this was futile, he sat down and did his impression of a very large paperweight. I had to carry him home.
When I tried to put Koosi and Saffy on a leash they attacked me. To be specific, Koosi bit me, then Saffy scratched me and tried to shred the book I was reading. So the leashes were put away along with the expensive scratching post (They preferred the box it came in), filed under “Stupid Idea”.
After reading the Salon articles I thought I’d bring out the harnesses and see if the years had made my cats more tractable. The cats trotted over—they love string, cords, rope—but when they realized what the things were they evacuated instantly. Koosi jumped onto the top of the shelf, Mat crawled under a table. Saffy sat on my notebook with her claws out: ‘Try it and your notes are confetti.’
So thanks a lot, Cat On A Leash videos. Now my cats won’t speak to me.