Take one Tonkinese cat,
one Shih Tzu and one Griffin pup.
Add a sunny spring morning, a beach destination and one walk.
What do you get? A potential recipe for disaster?
How so? Let me explain.
Mouse, my four month old Griffin does not like to sleep past 6 am. It’s just not her thing. Her yelps and squeaks wake me. Normally I would ignore such behaviour but I don’t want the whole house awake, and I usually get up early anyway so I’ve been grabbing the opportunity to head on down to the beach ad great the morn with a touch of sun, sea and sand. Just like a real kiwi.
Peri, my ten month old Tonkinese, is not very impressed by this new routine. He much prefers the old one where he lay snuggled into my shoulder until the alarm went off and then lay snuggled on my lap while I drank a cup of tea and read. The first morning we went to the beach he was so put out he went and woke everyone else up so he could complain to them how remiss I was being in attending to his needs. Part of me totally agrees. What was wrong with the previous arrangement? Nothing!
So Sunday morning, Peri had decided that enough was enough. If we weren’t going to be sensible and stay at home he was jolly well going to have to investigate exactly what was going on. He has already taken on the role of guardian of the home and carries out regular patrols only the perimeter of our garden to check for any possible dangers. If the dogs and I were going to disappear each morning then it was up to him to see if we were going to be safe.
I didn’t plan on letting him make such a journey being totally aware of the dangers for me and the dogs (nil). It was also meant to be a girl’s only event.
So we’re heading to the beach, the sun warm on our backs when I became aware of a tinkling sound. At first I thought it was the discs on the dog collars clanking against the lead. Naturally I carried on regardless. So did the tinkling sound. It was early and my brain had clearly not yet fully fired up. It usually takes a couple of ups of earl grey to do that. Perhaps that’s why it took so long to register that the noise was in fact Peri’s bell. I walked to the end of the first street, vaguely aware that I knew that sound, crossed the road, and turned a corner before coming to a grinding halt. Peri wasn’t supposed to be behind me. I turned around. Nothing. The street was empty. A sigh of relief. Just noises. Perhaps it had been the collars after all. The two dogs were looking at me with slightly bemused expressions but they are well used to my moments. I walked on across another road and then looked again. Still nothing. Ok, Must be another cat, after all we can’t be the only ones who put a bell on our cat. But by now my Peri radar was on full alert and sirens blaring. I called his name, and as if from nowhere out he sprang from a nearby hedge, looking very cool and pleased with himself. Champion Cat stalker extraordinaire. I swear he watches too many war movies. I was nowhere near as pleased. Dangers for cats (zillions).
I explained all these dangers patiently to Peri and tried patiently and not so patiently to persuade him of the merits of returning home. His opinion was if he’d come this far he might as well go the rest of the way. If you think I looked strange talking to a cat, with an audience of two dogs then imagine how much stranger I looked several minutes later walking with two dogs at heel and a cat three paces behind.
We made it to the beach and we made it back again. By some miracle we did not cause a traffic accident although one cyclist went round a corner very precariously and with more than a slight wobble to his wheels after catching sight of the entourage.
Next time I go to the beach I’m going to double check that Peri’s still sleeping before I head out the door.