My friend Lynne and I went to Macado’s in Marion last Sunday. It was great, filled with fabulous food, many memories, and two friends sharing a special time together. And a Scentsy delivery, to boot.

When we finally left, about three hours after we arrived, it was starting to rain. A few feet up the sidewalk from us, a brown tabby stretched out, just taking in the scenery. Well, we all know that I’m a sucker for strays, so I called the cat to me, and he approached at his own pace, not in a hurry, despite the raindrops. He was not a tiny cat, I discovered, but looked to be well-fed. The reason for that became apparent when the next group of customers exited the building.

“Hey, Mr. Pickles!” one of the ladies called, and the cat ditched me and went immediately to her side. She opened her leftovers and took out a wing to place on the sidewalk for him. Lynne and I watched in amazement. The next two groups of customers repeated the call-by-name and offerings of leftovers from their Styrofoam trays.

“He’s got the place staked out,” Lynne remarked. I agreed. Then she pointed out a small metal dish close to where we’d first seen him stretched out on the sidewalk that was no doubt a water dish. Food. Water. All he lacked was sufficient shelter, and with nearby alleys, I felt certain that he managed that just fine, too.

We watched as he finished eating what everyone else had given him. He came back to us to pet. The rain started coming down harder. And Mr. Pickles made a beeline for a water drainage grate near the corner of the sidewalk. Amazing! Lynne commented that he probably had a luxury apartment down there and just came up for food and star-studded appearances. It was true. He certainly did seem to have it altogether for a “stray” cat.

I shook my head. No point taking this guy home with me. He has obviously made Macado’s his home. And based on the leftovers the cat was getting while we watched, he’s got a pretty good life there. I admired that cat-itude, for sure. And I knew that anything I could offer him at our house would pale in comparison to the high life he’s leading at the Marion Macado’s. Long live Mr. Pickles!