Beau takes his first post-prandial summer walk with us–out into a brave new world.
Tentative and doubtful at first, he adopts a deep crouch position in the short grass, watching us set off, reluctant to respond to our calls of encouragement.
“Come on, Beau!”
Then when we turn our backs he begins to walk gingerly down the road behind us, his tail trailing behind him, not in its customary erect position, sniffing at the verges, not sure he wants to be this brave.
Pippa–head cat and veteran hiker–is, as always, reluctant–not from fear but from a deep sense of “why bother?“.
She makes a show of “here I am and here I’m staying” before moving sideways a few steps in a downhill direction; more from a desire to keep our interest than a decision to follow us down the road.
Seeing Pippa go through her you go on without me, I’m not coming with you this time routine, reminds us of the evenings when we’d have five cats in tow (a full house)–Pippa, Lucien, Marmalade, Butterscotch and Beauty–the newcomer.
By and large they were friendly walks, though with touches of attitude creeping in–Beauty was never really accepted by Pippa.
Beau has the same experience as we come back up the hill.
He stalks her for a few paces then tries a playful leap–he’s got his confidence back and we’re heading towards more familiar ground.
Pippa surprised by his cheek wheels round and hisses her disapproval.
Too old for that my boy–watch it!
In the distance we hear the whine of a motor scooter and Beau looks round anxiously.
The noise gets louder as the rider heads in our direction.
Beau takes off up the hill, stretching his young legs, followed by Pippa–managing a scamper.
Safely back home Beau looks out at the big new world he’s just experienced for the first time.