Small Problems: Prelude to the Paradox

Tammy was Timmy, before the Vet said he was a she. She’s long, sleek and very black, with white on all her tips. She likes to stretch in sunbeams and curl into perfect black balls, with all the tips tucked away, on chairs, sofas, and beds.

One evening, she was a perfect black ball on Jacob’s favorite chair in the sitting room. He had a book with tiny print and a cup of steaming hot chocolate, but no favorite place to sit.

“If I disturb Tammy, she will be worse off, but, if I don’t disturb her, I will be worse off,” he said to himself. “I could sit in another chair, but so could she. Does it matter that she arrived before me today, when I sat in the chair yesterday?”

Fortunately, for Jacob, he discovers Zeno’s paradox on another evening.