I catch up to the mad dog just as it breaches the line from shadowy corridor to sunlit sidewalk. The dog jumps at a young human and I kick off from the ground and hurtle toward it, hopefully fast enough for an interception. Time seems to slow and I can see the foaming jaws closing upon the human’s upraised wrist and then, impact. All four of my feet slam into the dog and we go flying out above the road, narrowly avoiding getting hit by one of the cars, the eyes of the human inside wide as we pass in front of him. I have a moment to consider the humor of seeing a dog and cat flying through the air before we slam into the building on the other side of the road and fall to the sidewalk. The dog appears to be stunned from the impact, so I take this opportunity to wrap my front legs around its neck and pull them tight. There is the snap of breaking bone and the pitiable thing goes limp. I put a paw to its ribs to verify its death and am relieved to feel nothing beating within. A sad way to go, but necessary, and given time it probably would have been worse, not to mention any other beings that might have been taken by the madness. I don’t think those afflicted are very happy, anyways, if they can even think at all. I wonder if I’m susceptible to the madness? Probably not, but again, not something I’d ever want to try on purpose. I’d much rather jump from one of the mountain-buildings than lose my mind.
Once again, humans have taken note of my actions, though this time there are quite a few more than when I jumped up on the building. They do not seem to want to get too close to me, which I do not mind. The young human across the road waves its arm at us and an older human that may be its parent shouts something and the humans standing around me seem to relax a bit. That said, I’d rather not build too big of a reputation around here, so I dash between their legs and down another back passage. Hopefully my next adventure need not be so violent.
The humans try to grab me as I escape but are of course unsuccessful. Once I am out of sight, I look up to locate another ledge upon which to walk and maintain my concealment from curious eyes. I pass by more vacant living spaces, so I instead turn my attention at the activity below. Most of the buildings do not seem to have entrances until, after waiting a bit, you can see that the humans freely open small sections of the walls to enter and exit their lairs. Most of the buildings look pretty similar, straight lines and a shiny smooth stone interspersed with the translucent glass that they seem to like so much. But then I come across a more interesting building, one that has what appear to be three entrances – two that open when the humans approach them and a third in the middle with a wall that rotates in a circle. Seems pretty dangerous to me, but they rush into it and push. I can’t really see the advantage to them, but perhaps it is a matter of enjoyment; a sort of fun door that breaks the monotony. The doors that open without being touched are amazing, though, and worth closer inspection. I have no idea how such things could possibly work, unless other humans are pulling them back as they approach? But that seems a bit inefficient.
I stalk around to the side of the building so I can descend with impunity and then make my way across the road, dashing out after some cars have passed, though one swerves to avoid me (as if it could hit me even if it tried). The building with the mysterious entryways looms ahead, all shiny surfaces and constant flow of humans. I wait ’til the flow ebbs and walk up to what appears to be a wall of glass but can obviously open up when certain conditions are met. Seeing as it does not open when I approach, I have obviously not met those conditions. Maybe it only opens for humans? But how does it determine that? And there’s no smell of life surrounding the panels, either. Guess I have to wait.
Before long a few humans approach and I trail after them as they approach the automatic entryway. It is quite easy to slip into the building with them, though it is not long before I’m noticed. The humans who see me make their strange hiccuping noises – I’ll have to ask Sophia about that as well – and then move to eject me from the building. However, they are interrupted when the three dark-covered humans I followed into the building start yelling and waving small black tools around. They kind of look like the roaring device that Chuck used on her hair this morning, but less round and much quieter. At least, so far. All the other humans crowd to the far wall and crouch down. One of the dark-covered humans stands near the entrance, peering about as though expecting something to appear. The second one stands by the crouching humans and points its black tool at them, and the third starts taking thin green stuff that is being handed to him by one of the humans standing behind short square wall that separates them from the rest of the area. The smell of fear and tension permeates the space, and I find myself tightening up as though I were getting ready to jump. This strange event probably doesn’t happen every day, and really probably shouldn’t be happening right now. I decide to test the waters in the only way I can at this point, and meow. All three dark-covered humans turn to look at me, and the one who is standing over the crouching humans says something, his companions shaking their heads at him and respond. Then he hiccups and points the black object at me, which is even more alarming. How could one find levity in such a tense situation? And what are his intentions with the object? Chuck’s just seemed to make noise and hot air, perhaps this one does the same thing. But that wouldn’t really match up with the way the rest of the humans are reacting. Whatever, I’m ready for anything. And then the black tool roars.
( ©2017 Sean Dorsey )