The Riddle of the Sphinx, solved

If you think your cat loves you, get a wood stove. Fire it up, and just see how long it takes Fluffy to stop curling up in your lap and sleeping in your bed, and start lying as close as she dares to her new cast-iron best friend. It took our cat about seven seconds, and she’s no felinestein.

Now she spends her days lying on the rug in front of the stove, watching the fire through the glass door. Sometimes she lolls on her side so her belly gets nice and warm, and sometimes she lies on her haunches and stretches her front paws forward, supplicating herself in prayer to the cat deity Phiar, god of warmth. When we don’t have a fire going she stomps back and forth in front of the thing, whining in protest. She curls up in my lap only as a last resort.

All these centuries it’s been said that the Sphinx guarded the ancient Greek city of Thebes, but I don’t believe it. Someday, an obscure Egyptologist will unearth the remains of a giant wood stove, sitting right there in Giza, in front of the Sphinx. You heard it here first.