Almost every day a cat walker parks outside our gate and, very gently, lifts a pretty dark feline from the back of his car, on a lead, in order for her to enjoy the countryside.
From my office window I can see what happens, and while I try not to stare or be inquisitive, I have noticed their routine over time, how the shy little cat is encouraged to sniff the fallen logs, scuffle in the dead leaves and explore. Though she is young, I think, she does not run around very much possibly because it is not her home environment and she seems timid. Her owner, a youngish man, shows great patience and love as he tempts her here and there, waiting as she lingers until she is ready to move on, watchful and protective of her always.
Eventually they go through a nearby farm gate leading to a right of way into fields and woods and I see them, from my vantage point, slowly moving through undergrowth, the owner eventually picking up his charge, cuddling her and stroking her as he carries her into the woods and out of my sight. What they do there I do not know, but they are away for sometimes a couple of hours before returning unhurriedly, at the cat’s pace, to their car.
From time to time I have met the pair as they arrive or depart and have come to know them a little. He is a cheerful, agreeable man and would be unremarkable if you saw him shopping or in a cafe: what makes him remarkable, as I have discovered, is his heart of gold, his kindness and his great, great patience with a creature that he loves. When I see them together I smile, and wish them well on their shared journey together of trust and love. It is so good to see kindness perfectly expressed.