Not sure if Fat and Fast might mix too well.
Hehehe, that mental image of a fat cat running away fast is actually quite funny.
Anyway, I've interacted with cats many times before so I'll try and remember something.
From my past experience with cats, they tend to dislike people approaching them suddenly for reasons that I've seen and heard from some documentary but have forgotten what.
Two nights ago when I came home from work, there was a cat lying below my apartment and I thought that it would be fun to play with it.
I crouch near the cat and tried to gain it's attention (Was actually hoping to pet it) but it just looked at me all funny. So I tried to approach it and it ran immediately down to the nearest drain possible.
Not only that, a couple years ago, I actually had made friends with some cats near by neighborhood and would regularly go feed them. I can say that when cats are scared, they might have a tendency to find enclosed space to hide in - which could be why cats like boxes.
That, or I'm just blabbering nonsense.
Also, cats are very unlikely to make mistake when running away. Not that they won't, it's just unlikely for them to do so. At least from those that I've interact with.
Cats, being predatory animals, have good memory of their environment, which is why they tend not to make mistakes. If the cat in question has been strictly an indoor cat for its whole life, it'll think the world works by the rules of the house it's been in, and not necessarily the way the world works, so the environment it's been in before the chase scene weighs very heavily on whether or not it actually makes the mistakes you say cats tend not to make. The cats you've encountered have been outside, and it's pretty likely they get around a lot. They understand the world outside, and thus are very unlikely to make those mistakes, but, I'm equally likely to be blabbering nonsense.
Dude. Cats sleep, like, 16-18 hours a day.
HOW IS IT GOING TO DO DIS.
Also, cats hate getting wet, and are usually really good at acrobatics, even if they're running from something.
Actually, cats only hate the water when it is forced upon them. Most cats love water. Some, if you don't have a swimming pool, they swim in the toilet. Remember to flush! >~<