I walk along the stone paths that line either side of the traveling beasts’ designated running spaces. Amazing how well behaved they are, passing each other going in opposite directions and not once stopping to smell one another or fight. There are a few times where their growls are interrupted by what almost sounds like a shriller version of the honking that some of the water birds make, but nothing seems to come of these outbursts. Maybe that’s just how they talk. Personally, all I can think as I watch them pass is that with their power they could easily overpower these two-leggers if they tried. Though there are a lot of signs that indicate that the two-leggers have some special powers about which I do not know. Or maybe it’s the ‘knowing’ part that is holding me back from doing what they do. When I think about it, I still seem to be on top though – the two-legger could not make me budge from his food-beast, the traveling beasts obey the two-leggers without fail, any normal cats would be below all of the latter in apparent physical power, and the birds and insects are, as always, fair game for anyone that can catch them.
And then I see a wolf accompanying a two-legger. I do a double-take (Author’s note: I myself have personally seen a cat do a triple take, so I can confirm that they can and will do double takes when necessary), as I really would not have expected a wolf to be anywhere outside the forest. Upon second glance, though it has the same nose and body as a wolf, its ears are laying flat on its head, and it’s not nearly as large as the wolves I’ve seen in the past. Also, its fur is shorter and of lighter shades in the patches that cover its body. Either way this is exciting, as I’ve always liked wolves – they smell good, they’re fun to play with (well, I would be playing, at least), and their fur is even thicker than mine, nice and soft – though they were never incredibly friendly with me back in the forest. I think they were jealous, as I could successfully hunt on my own what they as an entire pack had a tough time bringing down. I’m not one to give up though, so I approach this one with a similar attitude, head and tail raised to hopefully appear non-threatening to it. Strangely, there is a length of material that its companion two-legger has attached to its neck. Just more ways of controlling those of use who have four legs I guess, though I’d like to see them attempt to loop anything around my neck. The two-legger tugs at the half-wolf’s neck as I approach, apparently worried about my intentions, which is understandable. The half-wolf itself seems afraid as well, and will not meet my eyes or come near me. Yep, definitely not a wolf. Perhaps I should approach the two-legger first. I rub against one of his legs, the half-wolf moving to the end of its line to get away from me. The two-legger at least seems to realize that I’m not aggressive, and makes coaxing noises at the agitated half-wolf. Like wolves though, this guy is stubborn and will not change his mind. Well, I’m a bit out of practice, but I do speak a little wolf (the story behind this is a tale for another time, but definitely worth telling), perhaps this half-wolf will understand a fourth of what I’m saying.
“Hey you. No hurt, friend. Speak?” The half-wolf cocks its head to the side at this and stops tugging on the cord around its neck.
“Not wolf, dog. Sam-you-el. Cat not hurt Sam-you-el?”
“No, Cat love wolf– er, dog. New to square mountains. Any, uhhh, things to know?”
“Mountains? No, this,” Sam-you-el says a strange word I do not know, something like ‘sit–eee,’ “Things to know: stay out of (another one, row–something), stay by (hue–man). Those most important.”
“What row-duh? What hue-man?”
“Road,” the dog walks over to the path upon which the traveling beasts move and drags his paw along the very edge. He then walks back over to the two-legger and pushes its leg with his nose. “Human. You really new, huh?” The human is watching our discourse, the patches of fur over its eyes raised. It glances at something shiny on its wrist and starts to walk away, pulling at the dog, who follows. Sam-you-el looks back at me. “Goodbye, cat!”
“Goodbye, Sam-you-el. Thank you.”
Definitely not a wolf! But similar enough, and much more friendly. They have to be related somehow, I wonder if the humans had something to do with that as well. I’m glad the language hasn’t changed too much from wolf to dog. After having no such luck with wolves for years, I can definitely settle for the friendship of dogs. And ‘humans’ is much easier to say than ‘two-leggers.’ I wonder who decided on that name, and ‘dog’ as well, for that matter. I mean, ‘cat’ and ‘bird’ and ‘wolf’ are all just really obvious, but ‘dog’ and ‘human?’ How strange. And the big black path is a road! If I had known that’s what it was I would never have laid down to sleep on it before. Well, I probably would have anyway. Especially if I’d known that it would lead to all this! The question there is did the traveling beasts make the road or did the humans make it for the traveling beasts? I need to find another dog to talk to, they seem to be pretty knowledgeable about this place, this city.
( ©2016 Sean Dorsey )