Freaked on the leash


Four words, Ace: Cat on a leash. What the hell?—Militant-Cat-Harness-Abolitionist-in-Charlottesville

Okay, Grizabella, but some people like to walk their cats instead of letting them grow fat and sedate in front of the television. The world is hard and cruel, and Ace for one doesn’t want some texting-with-one-hand minivan driver sending Ol’ Moses to the Heaviside Layer before Ol’ Moses is good and ready. Ol’ Moses might not look as sprightly as he did once, but he’s still got a lot of life in him, and Ace will be damned if you or anybody else tries to undermine the precautionary measures one takes to keep his kittycat safe and secure.

That’s why Ace recommends Premier Products’ “Come With Me” cat harness and bungee leash, which is made out of red nylon and features an adjustable sternum strap that you can slide to make it easier for your cat to breathe. The bungee cord stretches from a slack four feet to about six, just enough give to allow your kitty to indulge its innate curiosity, but not to a potentially fatal degree. What’ll often happen is that Ol’ Moses will dart after a pheasant—or alternately, a grouse—only to be whipped in the opposite direction by the elastic kickback of the bungee cord. Ace calls this the Rum Tum Tugger Effect, and there’s no doing anything about it.

And before you get your hackles raised at Ace over the cat leash, consider the practice of child leashing, which is far more questionable. Endemic to this paranoid age of helicopter parenting, the child leash is not only dehumanizing, but it’s unnecessary. You can outrun an escaping toddler—even after decades of bad decisions and declining health—but in Ace’s experience, the same does not hold true for cats and other four-legged animals. Even Ol’ Moses, with his tottery legs and bland physiognomy, is a regular Macavity when it comes to fleeing the scene. And if you know anything about cats, you’ll agree—you don’t just let Macavity run loose.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 20 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to