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I don’t think this was what he had in mind.

But when I called the boys back inside before heading to the post office, Tom decided he’d rather stay in the van. So I grabbed his leash & off we went.

I mean. I went over to see if that’s where he was — I’d left the van doors open while I was loading up, as I often do — & he was sitting on the passenger seat, looking expectant. & then he SQUEAKED at me. So off we went.

A large grey tabbycat, Major Tom. He's wearing a green harness & red leash, & he's standing up, looking off to the side of the photo & leaning firmly against the leg of a white person.

He was unimpressed by the gas station parking lot….

Mom.

Major Tom, sitting next to a large vehicle tire & looking under the vehicle. His ears are forward but his head is down, showing that he's curious but wary.

MOM. Y u do this.

Major Tom is now giving the person holding the camera a look that is Very Fraught with Opinions.

MOM WHAT IS THAT.

Major Tom is sitting in the same spot, but is now looking over his shoulder, ears forward, looking VERY interested.

(I’m pretty sure it was a bird.)

Mom. I AM DONE HERE.

Major Tom is standing on the ground next to the van, but he's got his paws up on the running board. His ears are out to the sides.

(This is what I’m talking about, though, when I say I want them to learn that the van is a safe place. When he was done, he didn’t try to find a place under a dumpster or something to hide in — he went back into the van. Because it’s safe.)

Major Tom is back in the van giving the camera another Look.

He had a MUCH better time at the post office. By which I mean there was dirt to roll in.

Major Tom, rolling in a patch of dirt and grass. He's a little blurry with the motion. There's a LOT of pale belly fur showing.
He's still rolling, but on the other side now, front paws sticking up in the air.
He's even more blurry in this picture, but he's starting to stand up now.

EVERYTHING is better when you’re covered in dirt & twigs.

Major Tom sits facing away from the camera. He's COATED in bits of plant & his fur is distinctly browner than usual.

He got plenty of chinpettings on the way home, so he was pretty cheerful about the trip overall. But he still dashed back into the house quick once we were home. Little steps — he’ll get there.

Major Tom, back in the van. The photo is framed by the bottom curve of the steering wheel. He's got his head resting firmly in the hand of a white person who is gently scratching under his chin.
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