Charlie cleaning himself. Joanne McNeal
Sometimes my cat, Charlie, follows us as I walk my dogs around 12 blocks every morning. I adopted him from the SPCA several years ago when my garage had a mouse problem. He had been found as a stray. Many people have marvelled at this yellowish cat with the big fluffy tail, following along behind the dogs and me. Sometimes Charlie gets distracted and stops into someone’s yard to look at something that interests him. It always worries me that he will lose his way, and forget how to get back home.
In June, as I delivered the Boyle McCauley News around my elongated block, he followed me as I opened gates and put the paper in various mailboxes. We were walking along 95 Street, when there was suddenly a loud traffic noise, and he got scared and ran into someone’s backyard. I called him and kept delivering papers. I turned around and called him often to make sure he got back home, but there was no sign of him. I went around to the alley to see if he was there. No cat in sight. I called and called, and kept looking back, but there was no cat to be seen.
Finally, as I got back home – a block away – there he was, sitting peacefully in the middle of the alley by my house, waiting for me. It was as if he asked, “What took you so long?” I didn’t give him credit for knowing how to get home, even though I had never walked with him on 95 Street. Smart cat! But I sure do not want to lose him, so I will keep checking on him whenever he follows us. He is a sweetie, and keeps me company, sitting outside in the grass, as I work in the garden.