Hello everyone, long time no see! For those who've been here for years and not seen me in a while, I'm doing a lot better these days. I got out of a bad relationship a year and a half ago, when I was really ill, and also started getting treatment for mast cell problems. I'm doing better with supplements too, I think. Anyway, I've gradually been improving, so that while I still classify myself as severely affected, it's starting to creep towards the moderate/severe category. Eight months ago I met my partner, R. He is absolutely lovely, and unlike my ex, is raring to go where wheelchair trips are concerned, not to mention a keen cook, so I'm getting out far more and also having great meals. He comes with a small black cat called Ninja, who now has me wrapped around her little toenail. She's an indoor cat due to circumstances, so a few weeks ago we decided to get her a harness and lead. We read up carefully on how to walk cats, made sure we got a good quality harness (the custom-made ones are surprisingly cheap), and found that she took to it really fast. She's a bright, inquisitive cat, affectionate and happy to be handled, so it wasn't surprising that she learned so fast. She now has a hi-vis yellow extending lead, the Flexi Neon, which is absolutely perfect. Also she has a big reflective strip on her harness, which I do recommend. R lives near a lovely but little-known public garden, just next door to a kirkyard, and I've got something similar near me. Both are quiet, liberally sprinkled with benches, and have interesting planting that changes through the year. And cats move at an ideal pace for someone with ME! They trot along, pause, sniff around, stare at a wall, attempt to creep through a hedge (we're getting better at cutting that short, although she did get a bit snarled up in some holly today) , cheek-mark a random leaf, and generally amble at a very manageable speed. I have my walking stick on one side (now equipped with a Flexyfoot ferrule, though I'm not sure yet how much it's worth it), and if I need more to hold onto while walking, I can hold R's hand. We all absolutely love it. We're now wondering about the possibility of walking a cat alongside a wheelchair! Probably when she's a bit more confident, though she's really improved noticeably in the ten days that we've been walking her. We just need to figure out a suitable place to take her, as the local park is a bit too full of people and dogs, not to mention wide open spaces, for her taste. I spent years almost never getting out of the flat, looking a bit of wall through my bedroom window. It is absolutely bloody fantastic to be getting out so much. Partly this has been enabled by being on a nice high rate of benefits and being able to afford taxis to friends and such, but a lot of it is due to being in this lovely new relationship.