Stray cats roaming on ASU's Tempe campus is quite normal. There are even organizations that work to feed them and provide them homes. I'm assuming this is why the cat population at ASU only seems to increase, not decrease - they know where the good life is located. So, on a typical Tuesday afternoon while strolling on campus, a black and grey, long-haired cat had a mini stand off with me for control of a campus side walk. This fear-less cat simply stood in a pouncing stance, eyes fixed on my every move, yet reluctant to move from the middle of the side walk despite my getting closer. Odd, I thought. Then one, two, three more cats join in on this Zoolander-like walk off.
By now, I'm thinking....did I do something to the cat population and then they sent their secret cat service after me? Not to worry though...the cats had an owner. Were the cat's leashed you ask? No, nope, no leashes. This mid fifties, short haired, uber enthusiastic (I could tell this by the massive smile on her face) woman cat called, literally, the clan of cats and they immediately returned to the vicinity of their owner - the cat lady. Her wrinkles and grey hair from long, lonely years gave away her age. It took a moment for my brain to process this...this woman is going for a stroll on a busy campus with 4 unleashed cats. Does this seem awkward to you too? I tried to take a snapshot with my phone, but the cats scattered, yet returned to the woman like a yo-yo; so the photo above is a "reenactment" photo taken from google images. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. What would possess someone to train their cats to follow them around town? Is this normal behavior? Or maybe just normal behavior of a cat lady. If the day comes that I start training cats like the ring master of a circus...send me to therapy.