T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o


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Ham’s First City Walk

2003-02-26    3:09 p.m.
Well, apparently today wasn’t the day to talk Hambone for his first walk in our new neighborhood. I thought with the nearing-30 degree weather and the shining sun, he’d for sure want to pick up one of our favorite pastimes.

I was wrong.

Let me begin by saying that Hambone is leash trained. We went for walks in the field next to the apartment in Austin, him rolling in the grass and against rocks while I smiled at the fact that I had a cat on a leash.

I had a cat willingly allowing me to put a leash on him for a few minutes a day of freedom. Opposable thumbs, baby. Humans rule.

I put on my favorite sweater and threw on a scarf while telling him in my sweetest “talking to Hambone” voice that we were finally going to go for a walk. I took out his leash, and he ran to me, sticking his neck up to receive the fun he thought he was in for.

Going into the hallway is apparently close to kitty heaven. The feel of carpet against one’s fur is fabulous enough to purr loudly and insist on rolling for a while. Still in kitty voice: “If you’re happy with this, wait until we go outside!”

He followed me to the elevator where he happily waited with me. He sniffed the neighbor’s door. He sniffed the other neighbor’s doormat. He sniffed the elevator door until the unexpected happened:

The apparent doors to hell opened.

I forget that said doors are new to the kitty. When has he ever been around such a device? Taking pity on my fifteen-pound baby, I scoop his heavy ass up and hold him on the elevator.

We run through the lobby, hoping that the crazy bitches who run my joint don’t see us and demand a pet deposit while I’m still jobless and draining the checking account. We make it safely outside, and there are cars driving by.

Hambone, too, has not experienced cars in a quantity of more than one. And since that brown Camry took him to the vet to get a thermometer stuck up his ass or around the block where he promptly emptied his stomach’s contents onto my leather seats, these must be cars from hell.

I continue carrying my sweet kitty-kitty down the road, across two streets, and towards the park. There we meet squirrels from hell, pigeons from hell (I will agree with Hammus on this one), and two Russian ladies from hell, squawking about how beautiful he is.

Somehow, though, snow is not snow from hell. Ham puts his kitty paws in there without hesitation, leaving mini prints in all directions.

Being the superior being in this relationship (remember, opposable thumbs), I realize what paws in snow will mean:

Un-hell-like cold.

With only a small coat to protect him and now-wet paws, he starts to shiver. I damn myself for being a bad mama for letting my only baby play in the snow, hoist his cold, wet kitty self onto my chest, and make a run for home.

His tail is finally back to normal size, and he’s napping happily on his blanket-covered ottoman. I don’t think we’re going to try this again until summertime.

By then, the lakeshore will be his heavenly litterbox! 

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