BOTHELL – Sunlight slips through the half-opened door, shining on a beach ball of grayish-brown fur.
Every cat enjoys sunbathing in the morning.
This one jiggles – and jiggles – his body, swishes his tail and starts walking around the feed store.
His big belly waddles, in an elegant way.
“Is she pregnant?” asks a customer by the counter.
“Actually, it’s a he,” one of the staff replies, smiling. She’s heard the same question over and over.
His ample body is often spread out across the cashier’s counter at Bothell Feed Center, leaving only the tiniest corner for customers to use.
They never complain. Prince makes everyone smile.
He rolls around on his medium-size doggy bed like a human toddler, and he’s almost the same size.
He’s fed a special diet chow, but it hasn’t helped him slim down. Instead, he has gained weight.
When he’s not power napping, Prince surveys his domain. He walks around the store, nose twitching, taking in the delicious smells of pet food wafting in the air.
For a between-meals snack, he sticks his head inside a bag of regular cat food he’s clawed open and gobbles away.
Prince was abandoned 13 years ago in a barn, along with five other littermates. He was only a few weeks old.
When the storeowner, Karen Barney, first met the cat, Prince looked at her and gave her a meow.
She fell in love with him, his blue eyes and his creamy fur.
They’ve since been inseparable .
Prince walks to the back door of the store, his favorite spot.
He is safe there.
Prince stretches out in a patch of sunlight to nap. Here he is king.
Prince, the 20-plus-pound resident cat at Bothell Feed Center, shares a countertop with 3-month-old Lucy, who plays around him.