Sometimes cats walk on the sidewalk. It’s almost like they think they’re people. City cats in particular are pretty much fearless. They walk on past as if the sidewalks were as much made for four-legged mammals as for two. I noticed something else as well. When I’m walking on the right side of the sidewalk, where I should be, cats coming my way always yield and go to my left, to their right, as they should do.
On the other hand, people often cling to the left side of the sidewalk as if walking on a dangerous mountain precipice. (It seems like my previous post on pedestrian etiquette didn’t sink in.) As you get closer they simply squeeze themselves more and more into the margin. Occasionally I stop at that point, pull out my mobile as if I’ve received a message, and get so far to my right that this stubborn idiot will have to go around me on my left as they should. They may not get the message right away, but hopefully the people behind me will push past on the right and force the reckless pedestrian into the proper lane.
Another strategy that I sometimes use while navigating the sidewalks is to simply stop. If a group of people is walking and taking up the whole sidewalk then I’m happy to yield most of my lane but I do expect them to grant me at least a shoulders-width between me and a wall, puddle, or the street. Usually they don’t bother. Rather than bashing shoulders with these sidewalk hogs, I prefer to stand completely still. They notice me and either walk around or bash into me. Then, after bashing into a guy standing totally still in the sidewalk, they always apologize.
But what does it all mean? Are cats smarter than humans? No, they just aren’t stubborn. But I’m more stubborn than anyone. So the moral of the story is: it’s okay to be stubborn if you’re right. Yes, this feels right.