man and cat leashed
together, both attired in shades
of brown, green eyes
Outside Everybody's grocery store, a man and his cat are sitting on a Sunnybrook Home bench. The cat is attached to the man by a leash and the man is attached to the cat by the same leash. The cat is climbing around on the bench, never very far from the man. His brown narrow-brimmed hat and corduroy jacket match her shades of long brown fur. The cat stares at me for a moment from green eyes flecked with gold. The man's eyes are hidden by dark shades, but I bet they're green, or at least hazel.
"She's a sweetie," I say, as I scratch her ears and chin. "What's her name?"
"Her real name's Sweetie Pie but I just call her Kitty." Then, as an afterthought, he adds, "My name's Gerard, not Gerry, Gerard."
"Does she like going out on a leash?"
"Oh, yes, she's very friendly."
He picks her up and wraps his arms around her. Sweetie Pie wriggles in his grasp, obviously wanting to continue exploring, at least as far as the leash allows.
In all the years I've been in a relationship with one cat or another, I never put one on a leash. They were always free to go outside and come in when they were good and ready. Still, some of them came to an untimely end that way. It is a choice we made, to be linked by an invisible leash.