Since I'm not on a regular schedule these days, the morning dog walk occurs whenever the dog decides she needs to go out. This is generally anywhere from 6 to 7:30 am.
When I used to walk the dog before leaving for work, we would sometimes encounter an elderly neighbor, returning from somewhere (perhaps an early-morning visit to the grocery store?), who would slow down alongside us in her car and call out, "He's taking you for a walk!" She did this every single time she saw us, as though (a) it was the cleverest thing anyone had ever said, and (b) I hadn't already heard it countless times. I've pointed out many times that the dog is a "she" and not a "he," but given
the circumstances it's not surprising that information didn't
stick. (Also, my father regularly made the same comment about our next-door neighbor and his German shepherd 40-odd years ago. The dog was huge, and it was much more appropriate in that context.)
This morning I went out with the dog around 6:30 and we saw the woman again, though this time she was standing on the sidewalk in front of her house, as though she was waiting for us. Of course she said "he's taking you for a walk" again, and I nodded in response. Then she abruptly said, "I have a cat."
I replied, "Yes, I've seen it." It's a big orange thing that sits on the front porch and eyes the dog warily as we walk past. The dog is afraid of cats in general, which is pathetic, and I find it quite amusing to see her get nervous as the cat gives her the evil eye.
She said, "The orange one?"
She: "That's not my cat."
Me, confused: "Well, it's on your porch all the time."
She: "That's because I feed it."
And that, apparently, was the end of the conversation, because she did not offer anything more. The dog and I went on our way. For a moment I wondered if maybe I was dreaming, and hadn't yet gotten up to walk the dog. A couple of hours later, after I'd gotten up for real, I realized that I haven't seen the orange cat in some time. Usually once winter ends the cat is outside frequently, glaring at us as we pass. So maybe it isn't her cat after all, and has found another porch on which to perch.