By nature cats are not followers. Even when they are following, they tend to do it from the front! Am I the only one to have noticed this? Many's the time I've indicated to Austin that he should "come with me please" (for instance, to the kitchen) to find that he's taken his natural position right in front of my feet so that when I take a step forward I have to decide in a jiff whether to tread on him or swerve sharply to the side, thus causing myself an injury.
Being an animal lover, of course, I would much rather do myself serious damage than harm a hair of his little feline personality. So we proceed on our journey, all the while his ears are like antennas checking constantly for any change in movement or direction. And I shuffle along behind in a kind of one-legged hop as I try to predict which way he's going to veer. I stop to regain balance; he stops as he's "following" me. I place my left leg to his left and right leg to his right. So now I'm straddling him! He looks at me:
"Make up your mind!"
I hop over him and gain the advantage of being at the front. He nips round the side of me and stands on my left foot. We reach an impasse. Confusion reigns. We pause to consider our positions and then the whole thing starts over again; but by this time I have forgotten what it was I was supposed to be doing anyway, so I swivel round on my one free foot and hobble back to base camp in the living room for a regroup and a bit of a think. Austin goes back to rolling on his catnip stash behind the piano.
impasse - when it is not possible for 'im to pass