Cat on a Leash

Summer is supposed to be extroverted, easy living, a reward for the toil and frozen realities of the other three months. Every now and then it provides a fairly strange picture. I want to share one such strange picture with you.

Two weekends ago I was camping in Teller County at an event with a bunch of friends. It wasn’t exactly primitive, it was a private ranch with live music and lots of camping chairs. There were seven families on two sites with something like 14 kids all camping together. I had electricity to charge my iPhone and iPad, and there was a 220 hook up if I had a dryer in the back of the Odyssey to give you an idea of how “roughing it” this experience was. There was also a bathhouse with flush toilets and showers. This is where the story starts.

I’m walking out of the bath house after cleaning my teeth with my Sonicare, all minty and fresh, and I notice on the hillside the camp host. If you’ve ever been camping in a Colorado Campground, one that isn’t that rough, you’ll recall the camp host. They are usually retired, have an RV or fifth wheel, a big awning, and they’re basically a mobile civilization unto themselves. And that was the case here: a huge fifth wheel with a big awning and tiki lights hanging from the corners, and some sort of country music gently lilting through the pines. The host was outside. He was wearing a white t-shirt tucked into his khaki shorts and had gray socks in his white sneakers. He was probably mid 70’s and slightly stooped looking down at the ground.

And that’s when I noticed the contraption. There was a thickly woven red line, like a strap, stretching from the back corner of the fifth wheel to a ponderosa about thirty feet away. It was not totally taught, but pretty tight. Suspended from the strap was a carabiner, and from that, another strap dangled to the ground. This was connected to a harness. The harness was connected… to a cat.

The old guy was stooped and speaking some sort of meow-fiss language to the harness cat attached to the strap attached to the line. And the cat was going for a walk in the woods… or the cat was going for a forced march across the site of this gent’s mobile paradise… or I was some sort of meta observer to all of this on the sideline. It forced some questions:

  1. Was I the crazy eccentric guy with the fifth wheel, tiki lights and the cat by a string?
  2. Did I aspire to be the crazy eccentric guy with the fifth wheel, tiki lights and the cat by a string?
  3. Was I the cat? If I was the cat did I know how ridiculous my situation was? Or was I enjoying myself?
  4. Or was I just a casual sleep-deprived bystander with minty teeth in the woods?

What does any of this have to do with real estate? Oh nothing at all. Just a question to ask of the present. These pictures usually happen after I get time alone in the woods or on the water and I got both, actually buying my Colorado fishing license at long last and enjoying the thrill of all my boys hooking and landing fish, and Andrew getting spanked by a frisky 17″ rainbow that jumped three times, a rainbow that Andrew cast to, hooked and played all by himself with a fly rod. There is nothing sad or desperate in this image of a cat on a leash in the woods with an old man speaking kitty nonsense to his beloved pet, and I mean that without any sarcasm. It’s just different, and pretty out of what one sees on a routine basis. Perhaps there are more scenarios than the four I laid out.

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