Saturday, November 5, 2011


The cat loved the butterfly chair. She -- by convention, cats seem to be "she" unless known to be otherwise -- would race into the room, leap high in the air, and do a graceful (as a friend of the family put it): curl herself into a doughnut in mid-air and drop into the lap of the butterfly chair, positioned for a nap.

One day she raced into the room as usual, leapt, did a graceful, and dropped; but no nap ensued.

Someone had left a pinecone in the butterfly chair.

The cat, with the agility and quick reflexes of her kind, rebounded as if from a trampoline and fled the field.

The following day she again raced into the room and toward the butterfly chair; remembered in time; and stopped. One pictures a Saturday-morning-cartoon-style screeching halt, cloud of dust behind, and four little furrows in the floor.

She crept up to the chair and sniffed each leg in turn. Then she pulled herself up on her hind legs and peered cautiously into the depths of the chair. Seeing no sign of her enemy of the previous day, she climbed with great deliberation into the chair, rolled herself up, and went to sleep.

It was a long time before she again allowed herself to race to the chair, do a graceful, and drop.