Second Fiddle to a Feline

Tara came home from an outing with coworkers Friday night, and that’s when I realized my cat is more popular than I am.

“How’d it go?” I asked when she walked through the door.

“Great!” she replied. “Everybody asked about Sydney!”

“What about me?” I wondered.

“Oh. Your name came up, too. A couple of people asked how you’re doing. A little later, after a few beers.”

Lemme get this straight. Tara shows up, greetings are exchanged, and right away everybody in the group starts asking about the cat. Later, after getting liquored up, a handful of people ask about the husband.

My ego felt a little battered after this exchange. It’s pretty sad when your cat is more popular than you are! But hey, I get it. Sydney’s no ordinary cat. Even people who hate cats fall in love with Sydney. How could they not? She is the chillest cat ever and absolutely loves people.

Case in point: a couple of weeks ago, we hosted a get-together in our backyard for Tara’s boss and new husband. It was your basic hot-dogs-and-hamburgers affair, nothing fancy. There were maybe 15 guests total. Originally, Tara had planned on locking Sydney in the basement so she’d be out of the way, but I told her we should just let her hang out with everybody in the backyard.

Though she’s always been a strictly indoor cat, when we bought the house we began letting her outside to explore. Only when we’re out there. She loves going outside, and will often cry at the door to be let out. And because she’s a senior cat, she never ventures far.

So, Tara capitulated, and Sydney joined us that Saturday evening. Sure enough, she was the life of the party. And these are the same people she met up with the other night.

I’ve got whiskers too, and enjoy a good petting. Hell, I even like tuna out of a can. But I just can’t compete with my cat. In a popularity contest, I’ll always finish second.


Yesterday, we took the kayaks out again. This time we went to Deerfield Lake, a 435-acre reservoir west of Hill City. Deerfield is a no-wake lake, so it’s perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. And it’s pretty massive.

Despite a bit of wind, the day was perfect. Sunshine, puffy clouds, upper 60s. We paddled around for hours, traversing almost the entire length of the lake. Paddled to shore at one point for a picnic lunch amongst a field of wildflowers.

One of the best things about kayaking is the ability to explore areas you otherwise couldn’t. There were some impressive rock formations along one section of shore, and we paddled over to them, so close we were able to touch them by hand. Even a regular boat can’t get quite that close.

We’ll probably hit up another lake next weekend. There’s only so much summer left, so we’ve got to gobble up what we can.


19 thoughts on “Second Fiddle to a Feline

  1. Ha, ha, your cat may be more popular than you, Mark. I don’t know whether your cat is thrilled about this. Although, Sydney sounds like a rare cat who absolutely loves people. It sounds like you have a healthy attitude of acceptance. I greatly enjoy the photos I have seen on Instagram with you out on your kayaks. Good point on how close you can get to shore. I turned the sound on and I loved the sound of the lake.🙂

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    1. My favorite part of kayaking is to stop paddling and let the current whisk me away. I love hearing the water splashing, the wind in the trees, the absolute calmness and serenity all around me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Probably half the lakes in the Black Hills are no-wake. While I do enjoy the thrill of riding the current created by passing boats, there is a LOT to be said for not having to deal with them and just focus on paddling.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rivergirl will confirm, I’m sure, that while I can’t always get to all her posts (twice a day!), I make a habit of seeking out her Lord Dudley Mountcatten posts, so this news that your cat outshines you doesn’t surprise me a bit. It’s just the way of it.

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    1. Haha! I love teaching you about American things. A no-wake lake is one in which motorized boats (which produce wakes that can be hazardous to kayakers and other non-motorized craft) are prohibited. Even the lakes that do allow motorized boats usually have no-wake areas marked by buoys.

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  2. Very funny about Syndey being more popular than you. I have to admit, she IS quite cute and fluffy.

    The kayak outing looks perfect; what a way to spend the day together.

    Liked by 1 person

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