“How do you get to take him places?”

Over on a photo blog I post to from time to time, I was asked “How do you get to take Jacoby into all these places?” I thought my followers might like to know the answer to that question, so here is my reponse:

Well…I basically just go out with him. He’s used to being on a leash, and he also has his stroller to ride in. And he’s pretty bulletproof – he’s a therapy cat, so dogs, loud vehicles, and random children don’t faze him at all. Him being so calm (and me being so confident of his reaction in any situation) goes a long way.

But then, too, I don’t act like it’s “weird” to go someplace with him. I generally go by the rule that “as long as it’s not a food store, a restaurant or a hospital” we can just go on in without asking anyone if it’s okay…and generally, that’s been the case. The fact that he’s not a dog seems to help, too – lots of places say “No dogs” and not “No pets” and I use that loophole sometimes.

If there’s any question he might not be welcome (like the bead shop, where a cat going berzerk would be very bad), I do ask. But because he has the personality he does, it’s not really a problem.

Then, too, in Boston it’s okay to bring pets on public transit as long as they’re in carriers or under control, so I don’t have to worry about getting places with him.

In this case, I went and asked the people running the carousel if I could just take a photo of him on the cat between rides, because I was so psyched to see a cat to ride on that carousel. The people running it were cat lovers, so it was no problem!

There’s a line from the movie The Paper that I keep in mind when I’m out with Jake: “A clipboard and a confident manner can get you into any building in the world.” Acting confident, like you have every right to be where you are with your cat (even if you aren’t sure you are) goes a long way.

One other tip: don’t plan on getting anywhere in a hurry when you’re out with your cat. People will want to ask you questions and they will want to pet the kitty. When I take Jake out with me, it’s when I don’t really have an agenda.

Maybe not rocket science…but I’ve been taking cats out on leashes since I was in 7th or 8th grade, so what seems like common knowledge to me probably involves a lot of things other people haven’t ever thought of…so, hopefully this will be useful information.

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