Sometimes around 10:00 my parents ask me to walk our dog Fudgie. And for some strange reason Pussywillow often tags along. It's the cutest thing, but I don't get it. Fudgie's there walking around the street because she needs to. I'm walking around the street with her because I was told to. (I don't use a leash- she's such an obedient dog that I don't need one.) But Willy- why is he there?
It's not like they particularly like each other. I mean, they never bother each other, but they never do anything else with each other either. Just these walks. So they're not exactly friends. They each know the other's there •, in the same way they know the refrigerator is there. But they rarely have any sort of interaction with each other at all.
When do they interact? Well, Fudgie's pretty bossy, or at least she'd like to be. We used to have lots of cats going through our backyard, but now it's pretty much just the three stray cats Fudgie knows best. Anyone else, she scares off. She might have scared off those two early on if we hadn't made it clear that we like them. She doesn't try to do things which would make us unhappy- yeah, she's a really obedient dog. She loves Sukkot, when we're in the backyard all the time, because she knows we don't want any cats bothering us in the Sukkah. So she tries to scare away any cat who comes near, stranger or not.
By the same token, she never attacks Willy unless she catches him commiting a crime- most often sharpening his claws on the couch. Within a second she'll be there and threatening a vicious attack, and he'll be hiding under a table. She makes a good cop. She also sees the backyard as off-limits for Willy, so if he ever tries walking outside through the back she chases him back in. These are really the only interactions they ever have except for the walks.
Why does he come on our walks? He doesn't seem to need the company. If another cat comes near him to say hello, he runs away. Seriously, there was a while when this little black cat ran after him whenever she saw him outside, just to be friendly, so he stayed inside all the time. He's like me. Fudgie loves crowds, but Willy can't stand them. He spends his day exploring for resting spots (and resting in them), not playing with other cats or with people or with Fudgie.
He does what he feels like doing when he feels like doing it. If he wants to eat, he eats. If he wants to go out, we let him out. If he wants to sleep, he's probably already asleep. If someone calls him, he pretends he doesn't notice. (He comes only at such a moment that he decides for himself that he would like to be petted.) It's not that he's impatient- if he wants something he can't get yet, he's more likely to wait around and lick himself for hours 'til someone happens to be nearby than he is to bother us with his meowing. (This contrasts sharply with Fudgie.) But he doesn't let other people tell him what to do. Not exactly the type of personality I'd expect to go following someone around just because she happens to be on her walk at the time.
At first, I thought he was just following us because he wanted to get in the house and knew the door would open when we were done. But then a few times he actually went out of the house with us to join our walk, then went back in with us when we were done. Even now, I half expect him to stop following us at any moment, noticing that he's not getting anything out of it. I mean, he isn't, is he? I'm the only one who gets anything out of it, because I get to watch the cute little family scene in amusement. Fudgie eagerly walks in the lead, with me trailing behind her and Willy behind, with his little bell ringing at every step, trying to catch up. Or if Fudgie stops for a minute, Willy will walk on ahead and wait there for her.
I don't know- maybe he just doesn't want to feel left out.