What is normally a sedate stroll from my house to Council Point Park, instead was filled with ferocity today causing me to beat a somewhat hasty path along the subdivision sidewalks.
I had MY early a.m. cup of java so I knew it was not ME who woke up with a burr in my paw.
Well, the walk started out quietly enough. I passed the house with the two dog beds in the front room window, and as usual, the pair of Yorkies were ensconced in their respective comfy pillowed baskets fast asleep. It always looks like two pies or large tarts sitting on the wide window ledge. In the next block I passed a house where a nearly all-black kitten sat staring out the parted living room sheers. As I sauntered by, one white-stockinged front leg raised up and pawed the window as if to say “hey”; I stifled the urge not to wave back, lest I lose my credibility. Silly girl.
A little further down, a cacophony of barks was about to ensue. It doesn’t matter whether it is a weekday or weekend, but after passing a particular corner house, the large hound dog spies me and telegraphs to his counterparts up and down the block that an evil human is about to tread near their turf and thus they should prepare to defend their property. Then, you see and hear each dog, in succession, whether they eyeball me or not, race to the front window or door or the gate and based on their brethrens’ recommendation, they bark continuously until I pass. I hate the corner lots where dogs run the fence or try to lunge at you as you walk by just minding your own business. Usually their irate master bellows for them to shut up or sometimes they are allowed to bark until the decibel level in the neighborhood becomes excruciating. Well enough of that noise! Suffice it to say I was grateful to be on the last leg of my sprint to the Park.
But wait, there’s more …
I can’t forget to mention the feral kitty across the street from the Park. No, … “kitty” is too polite of a word for this creature. I am sure it is a feral cat – long, skinny and unkempt with dingy-looking apricot fur. It sits in a driveway next to the side door stoop every morning. The first time I saw it I figured it escaped out the door or had gotten locked out of the house. Why? This cat had some major “CATitude” going on. I walked by and it immediately hissed and spat at me. It arched its back and flicked its tail into an “S” – this cat resembles one of those yard ornaments or pictures you see at Halloween of a black cat with the arched back and erratically swishing tail. It doesn’t like me and every morning I’m in for the same surly greeting when our eyes meet. My friend in rural New York has adopted a feral female cat and her three kittens, but they are banished to a shelter box on her deck as she has three indoor felines of her own. The feral charges receive food and water and she plays with the kittens but the momma cat is wary and watchful of Carol and her brood.
At any rate, this morning I was glad to get to the peaceful Park and happy to see the only creature at the scene as I entered the pathway was a single mourning dove; its low, plaintive cooing was soothing after the verbal assaults from the dogs and cats at the tail end of my journey to the Park.
As I walked the path, I mused that I, too, was a creature – a creature of habit. In my everyday jaunts to the Park I embark on the pathway at the exact same starting point every time; never once have I deviated. One can still take the 1.9 mile walk by going any of the other ways or crossing in the middle or starting in the opposite direction. Perhaps I am conditioned, just like Pavlov’s dog, to see the first paved path I come across and mindlessly follow it without any brain action on my part? Or am I just a creature of habit?