Earlier today it occurred to me that since I’m posting pics of Pan @ the market, there may be some people who don’t “get” why I take Pan out in public. Having been around Pan her entire life and now having taken her out in public over the past 3 years, it seems the most natural thing to do in the world. Here’s how it came to be and what it looks like from my perspective.
As I mentioned in a (much) earlier post, I was never a “cat guy” – always dogs (and fish, but their leashes kept slipping when we went out so I dropped the fish-thing.). Pan and Dee are house cats who never go outside, except when I’m working in the backyard in nice weather… then I put their body harnesses / leashes on them and put them each in “their chairs.” Dee’s often fidgety (although somewhat less so now that she’s 10 and a bit more mature), but Pan’s always been perfectly at home just hangin’ in the yard, very laid back just watching whatever’s happening around her.
It’s always been much the same when we have company at the house – Dee’s usually skittish and Pan’s the greeter… always right in the middle of the happening’s… just loving being in the moment and soaking up & dishing out affection to whomever visits with her.
One day several years ago while I was working in the back yard, I finally connected the dots (loves being outdoors / loves being with people / people love her) and thought, “Gee, I wonder how she’d do @ the Farmer’s Market?”. Doh! Not a bad question, and I decided the only way to answer it was to give it a try.
So one bright Sunday morning I got up, conned her into her necklace and drove to the market. She was shaking like a leaf when we got there, but as we approached the market, I spotted a tree in full blossom. Knowing how much she loves flowers of all types, I lifted her slightly into the tree and within seconds, she settled right down into my arms giving me the best purr ever, as if to say, “I’m ready to go, let’s see how this Farmer’s Market thing plays out.“
As we walked through the market, some folks appeared a bit surprised to see her but most seemed to accept her. I remember one guy in particular who (with something of a smirk) said, “why would you bring your cat to the market?”, and I responded, “you know, I was wondering the same thing about you and your dog.”
A little taken aback (isn’t it “normal” to take your dog to the market?) he immediately said, “would you mind if I pet your cat?”… “not at all, I’m sure she would like it – but please say her name – it’s Pandora – as you’re leaning in to pet her and she’ll be more relaxed.”
And so they became instant friends, Pan and the dog-guy. His face lit up and he commented on how big and soft she was, how big her eyes were and began asking questions about her.
What breed? Maine Coon.
How big is she? 19.5 lbs, 3.5′ feet long.
Does she eat a lot? Several cans of wet food, half cup of dry and half can of Starkist Tuna (in water – she’s watching her weight 🙂 every day. (Plus occasional treats of honey-ham, smoked gouda, bleu or farmer’s cheese, bits of fresh carrot and lettuce + whatever else she can pimp from me.)
Does she always purr this loudly? Only when she likes the person petting her.
When we parted company, he was a changed man on the “why bring this cat” issue. (We ran into him a few weeks later and he made a bee-line for Pan, hardly noticing I was holding her 🙂
From there I remember several children wanting to see her up close and pet her – Pan’s fur is amazingly soft, a lot like cashmere or alpaca – and not a single child had anything but pure pleasure in their eyes… lots of little-kid happy-squeals going on… and I was right in the thick of it.
Why do I bring Pan to the market? You’re kidding, right?
Happy kids & Pan – for me, it just doesn’t get any better. Ever.
As our initial walk turned into a Pan-fest with her and so many people enjoying their moments, I knew I’d made the right decision for Pan, for me, and for the people she interacted with.
So there you have it.
I probably won’t post much for several days, I’m behind on some other things, so thanks for visiting and until next time, be well.