Do You Know The Way?

Wandering through Goose Hollow after dark while walking home.

A black cat pranced into the center of the sidewalk that laid before me. The cat then sat down and looked at me as I approached - as if waiting for me.

"Hello" I said, not really expecting a response. But I got one.

The black cat stood and walked towards me. It slipped between my legs, circling my right before trotting off. An then it stopped and looked back at me.


The cat scurried back, ran between my legs and trotted off - again. And then, again, it stopped and looked back at me.

"Are you trying to tell me something? Am I supposed to follow you someplace?"

I've never thought of cats as the most brilliant of creatures. I should know - I own two of them. Or do they own me? Sometimes I wonder. Maybe that's a clue cats are smarter than I think. Clearly, this black cat is a clever fellow since he's smart enough to get me to follow him.

"You probably think I'm scared of you, don't you? I don't buy into that superstitious mumbo-jumbo. It's just a fur color, y'know? Well ok - you probably don't know. You're just a black cat... So how about this buddy - I'll hit you with an easy one: Where are you taking me? Do you know the way?"

The cat scurried back, again running between my legs, circling the right before trotting off in front. And, for some odd reason, I followed.

We walked a half a block or so - then zip, he runs back to circle my leg again and trot off in front, continuing to lead us to who knows where. At this point, I think I'm more amused with myself for following a cat... Ridiculous.

Another block... he stops leading just long enough to run back, circle my right leg & then run ahead leading the way.

The cat reached a corner and waited for me. He was sitting on the sidewalk under the glow of a street light, and I noticed that he wasn't black at all. He was a dark but shiny brown, with bushy fur that appeared to be slightly lighter at the tips.

"Well no wonder you didn't get the whole superstition thing. You're not a black cat." As if color makes any difference in cats - or people for that matter...

He approached again as I reached to run my fingers through his fur. The cat then circled my leg & ran off behind me.

"OK pal, we just came from there. I'm beginning to suspect you don't know where you're going." And yet, I follow him for a block in the direction we'd just come from. His tail shot straight in the air as he returned to run between my legs again before trotting off again in the opposite direction. He had a deep rumbling purr.

"So now we're going back to where we were going before you turned us around? When I asked if you knew the way and you took off in that direction, I took it as a 'YES' which means you lied. If you know where you're taking me why don't you just say it? What'samatter? Cat got your tongue?"

He walked half a block & sat, waiting for me.

"Great. Your sense of humor matches your sense of direction. We were just here a minute ago." He circled my right leg as I approached, and I ran my fingers through the fur along his back. "You're humorless with no sense of direction, but you know what? It's ok." The cat watched as I spoke. "This is where I say goodnight because I live over that way, & I have a feeling you don't." I ran my fingers under his chin before we parted.

I walked along the 405 overpass that leads to the downtown core while thinking about how silly it was to follow a cat. Of course it didn't know where it was going - but, when it comes to my life, I don't always know where I'm going either.

Maybe it's time to be ok with that.

NOTE: I realized I'd forgotten to take off the velcro strip that keeps my jeans from getting snagged in my bike chain when Simon came up to sniff it. I suspect THAT is why the cat kept circling my right leg. Hence the brown fur I plucked off of it. Ahh well...

::::: | Monday, Aug 16 2004 at 11:13 PM
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