Every night I hear the coyotes ranging around the swamp. They make a dreadful sound. There’s nothing of the quaint forlorn Hollywood howl to it. They sound like landgoing sharks ripping things to pieces and exulting in the spray of foam on their muzzle. And every night Momo the cat looks at me, and begs to be let out.
Momo was feral. he came out of those same woods, years ago, and it took my wife a year of patient coaxing to get him to set foot in the house. He is as gentle as any kitten despite his wildness, and has allowed two children to tug on his tail without protest now. He has that rarest of attributes for a cat- gratitude.
But he goes out. The other cat sleeps on the cushions all night, and Momo goes into the night. Every night I figure he won’t come back. Every morning he’s at the door.
We smoke. We ride motorcycles without helmets. We skydive. We drive and eat sandwiches simutaneously. We swim in oceans filled with sharks. We climb mountains. We minister to the dreadfully ill and infectious. We climb trees. We ingest things we bought on a streetcorner. We drink from a still. We join armies, sometimes out of patriotism, sometimes on a lark, and kill and risk being killed in turn. We put on helmets and collide for amusement. We reach under the mower. We pump gasoline into our car with the bald tires with a cigarette dangling lit from the corner of our mouths. We pick fights with strangers in bars. We fight with strangers when they pick fights with us. The gutters need cleaning. We travel to the moon.
Momo goes out.