Hunger and Decisions
As we walked by the broken buildings and crumbled debris, rats scurried here and there, fighting over food, hoping to get a good meal. I was hungry too, but we had no money and the chances of finding any food were slimmer than my starving body.
“Nat, come ‘ere an’ take a look at this.”
Gar waved me over to a bunch of bricks laid out in a circle with old boards and metal covering it, making it look much like a well. Inside the debris there were six small kittens with a rangy mother feeding them. She looked nearly dead as the kittens suckled and gained what nourishment they could.
“One, two, free, four, five shicks, sheven–” Gar counted the cats. “Ya know, we could eat deeze cats–“
I cringed at the thought of eating these kittens and the mother. First off, the mother looked diseased and dying and whatever she had was being passed on to her offspring. Second, the thought of eating one of my dead pets is very unsettling. Having to decide whether or not to put him down was a daunting enough decision to face. I wasn’t going to kill those cats. Gar would though.
Gar was a brute. His only intention was to survive. Sure, he sounded like he was dumb as rocks in his voice, but he could use any piece of matter to survive. He would have eaten the bricks if we hadn’t run across these animals.
I was green. I intended on surviving as well, but not by eating my pet. My choice of survival would have been to feed off the flora and fauna, eating nuts and berries and trapping rabbits and whatnot. Living like a true frontiersman in a log cabin. Living off the land. No such luck though, I was still in the city and I had no idea at the time whether or not the forests were destroyed as well. That’s where me and Gar were heading, but we had been walking for days through the crumbled city for what seemed like thousands of miles. There was seemingly no end to this place.
I stood next the the pile of debris while Gar licked his lips, surely visualizing the meal in advance. I turned my head and my stomach growled.
“I’d rather eat those bricks than those cats,” I thought to myself, knowing that Gar would eventually reach in and grab the cats, start a fire, and devour them all. I peeked into the debris again to get a better look at the cats. They still appeared to be very rangy and dirty. Their heads and bodies looked slightly deformed. I also thought I saw a lump of some sort moving underneath the mother cat’s skin.
“I don’t think you should eat those cats, Gar. I think they could be deformed or mutated,” I informed him, concerned.
“Naaah, they’s fine, good eatin’,” he replied, “Skinny and scraggly, but they’s fine. You sure you don’ wan one?”
“No thanks, man. I’ll hold on for something better,” I said, contemplating in my mind whether or not I was hungry enough to eat those cats.
Gar reached into the debris to pick out one of the kittens.