I have mentioned in a number of Posts that Ray has a strong dislike for cats*. I have known quite a few cats very well and, as affectionate as they can be, they can turn into furry felines full of fiery fury ….. in a fraction of a second.
Whether Ray senses potential aggression, or whether he is simply intuitively reacting to the cat based on his prey drive, we don’t know. All we do know is that we should never let our canine get within reach of any feline.
We were out the other evening taking Ray on his routine walk and decided to take him on one of his routes that we had not used for quite a few days. It is virtually all on residential streets and so there are none of the usual distractions from the aroma of pizza places, gelato parlors, or from a whole assortment of restaurants and cafes that we would pass on other routes.
One particular road has no sidewalks at all so the properties’ front grass finishes at the edge of the asphalt and anybody out walking has to do so on the road. Ray would usually alternate between walking with us on the road, and exploring the nearby grass, with his nose directing his wanderings!
We were walking down this particular road, and it was getting quite dark, when I noticed a cat coming down our side of the road and directly towards us. It was probably 50-60ft away at the time and so of no concern and anyway, Ray was pre-occupied with the grass and a hydro pole. The cat had dark tones and so blended quite well into the late dusk lighting!
As the gap between us closed, I could see it more clearly. It had head its head down and would appear to be on some important mission but, whether it realized it or not, that important mission was taking him on a collision course with Ray! Had it not seen Ray? Was Ray the important mission? Ray was totally engrossed in checking out scents in the grass.
The gap would have reduced to around 30ft when Carol asked if I had seen the oncoming cat, and she noted that Ray was now aware of it and had tensed up. I was beginning to wonder what we would do if it walked straight into us. It seemed such an unlikely event, but then it was currently looking like a strong possibility and, while these thoughts were spinning around in my head, Carol was starting to feed treats to Ray!
I happened to look to my left and about half way up a nearby driveway was another cat! This one had most certainly seen Ray and was watching very intently. While the gap continued to close, I was coming to terms with the facts that we had one cat closely watching us from a driveway, and another one who was on a head-on collision course with us! This was going to be interesting.
At a distance of about 20ft, the oncoming cat suddenly changed direction and headed diagonally across a garden to meet the driveway cat. Ray immediately pulled his leash tight as he tried to run towards them. I don’t suppose that his forward planning ability was any better than the cats, but to tangle with two of them? Come on Ray ….. think about it!
We continued on our walk being really thankful that we never had the anticipated conflict. Cats! Hmmmph!
*See Post “Cats” – August 3, 2015