Hours before sunrise, I release 20 pounds of housecat outside. I watched the cat slowly walking away, fading against the deep black sculpts of juniper and pine and the cobalt blue of sky. Ever since the snow melt, Splash has been spending his mornings outside, hunting.
An hour after I let him out, Splash returned to the door. Darkness still bounded him. When I opened the door, he bounced back into the house, leaving, at the threshold, a dead mouse there for me.
A macabre gift, for sure.
I have been so gifted on many occasions before. These gifts serve to remind me that we yet carve our wine-stem-glass, soft-bed lives from a brutal world. Our little Fluffy is still, at heart, a killing machine.
Bear eat fox. Fox eat cat. Cat eat mouse.
I pinched the tail of the mouse between my finger and thumb, carried the mouse to the edge of my deck, and flung its lifeless form against the dark sky.
Back inside the house, I found Splash sprawled across the newspaper I had left open on my sofa. He lay there, softing himself against the print.
At the bottom of my kitchen sink—wrapped in plastic and festive graphics—a package of barbequed ribs lay there, thawing for dinner. The ribs came from a refrigerated case at the grocery. But long before that, the ribs came from somewhere else. The path from that “somewhere else” to the refrigerated case is not near as festive at you might suspect.
Man eat ribs.