All those big sniffs made me a bit lightheaded so I sat and tried to figure out where I would find the food. Of course I had seen mothercat hunt and catch but I’d never had to do it alone. I had a vaguer sense of what I was supposed to do -- too vague to really know what to do.
It was about then that I started to feel scared. I didn’t know where I was. I was alone. I didn’t know where the food was. I wouyldn’t know how to catch it if I did. And I was getting really hungry. Too hungry to think.
I didn’t know what to do but I knew that doing nothing was going to keep me where I was and where I was did not have the food. So I ventured outside the bucket and lifted my nose once again. That’s when I got the new smell.
It didn’t smell like anything I had ever smelled -- not food, not cat, not shed. I suppose some might think it brave to strike out into the unknown but sitting in one place with hungry was not making me feel better. I knew sitting in an empty bucket was not going to fill my belly.
I started walking toward the smell and with every step that smell got more. I came around the big shed thing I later learned was called house and I saw something that was not cat but was on all fours like cat. It didn’t have fur like cat or a tail. And it was making bird sounds but it didn’t have any feathers.
But it also looked like it was fed and better yet might be big enough to find food. I suppose I should have been afraid but it’s hard to be afraid and hungry. You might have said I was brave but let’s just chalk it up to hunger.
The large thing that was not a cat was pulling green things out of the ground while he made the bird noise. He was pulling out sonofabitch plants -- at least that was what he called the bigger ones. He had a big pile of them and nothing but dark damp earth in front of him.
He looked like he’d been doing this thing with the sonofabitch plants in the rain but there wasn’t anything coming from above. He smelled spicy and earthy at the same time. He looked like he was really giving those sonsofbitches what for but it seemed to make him happy.
While all of this was interesting I wasn’t getting any less hungry. I walked up behind him and tried meowing to get his attention but I had not gotten my loud yet and he didn’t hear me. I tried again and he just keep grabbing green things. Finally I thought this big thing might be deaf or stupid so I strolled between his legs and stood right under his nose. I let loose with the biggest noise I could make.
He saw me. And suddenly I wondered how far away that bucket was.