Several times over the past year I’ve tried to get a photo of our cat sitting in the chair. But every time I’ve put her on it, she’s jumped off before I could take a photo. Time was running short — I was afraid she would soon be too heavy and the chair would no longer bear her weight. (My wife says she’s just big-boned, but I’m not sure that’s the proper word for “belly drags on the ground when she walks.”)
A violent storm hit our area yesterday, and our power was out. By late afternoon, I had run out of things to do and decided to make another try. This time I resorted to bribery. It was very hot and humid, and with the air conditioning off, the house was sauna-like. I filled the cat’s water bowl with cold water and placed it on the chair.
She stared at the dish for a while and circled the chair a few times, but refused to jump up. I waited. After about half an hour, I gave up waiting. I picked her up and placed her on the chair. She thought about jumping down immediately, but then turned and took a few sips of water, allowing me to get this shot of her in all her “fattitude.”
We just call her “the cat,” but her real name is Destiny, referring to the way we got her. It was 12 years ago. I was birding at a forest preserve about five miles from home. I had just pulled into the parking lot and opened my car door. Before I got out, a half-grown kitten ran out of the woods, jumped up on my lap and started purring. I put it down on the ground and started walking the trails. It followed, if “followed” is the right word for “walked between my feet the entire time.” It even walked out onto a floating dock that had water squirting up through the holes.
When I was about 50 yards from my car, I suddenly sprinted and left the cat behind. When I last saw it, it was sitting in the middle of the path looking forlornly at me. I drove home and told my wife what had happened. She immediately insisted that we return and find it.
The cat was nowhere to be seen when we got to the preserve. We walked up the trail to the spot where I’d seen it last and called. We heard an immediate “meow” and the cat came bounding out of the tall grass. And that’s how we got “the cat.”