The Hunger

Daisy’s stomach woke her like a flea biting where she couldn’t scratch. As she stretched, imagining herself as a great tiger readying to hunt, she glanced first to the window where the morning light warmed the sill for a post-breakfast snooze and then to the bed where her human slept. Panic flooded her as she realized her human–who could always be reliably found twisted in sheets–was not there. Was this some sort of trick. Had she even come home last night? 

She had no memory of this, but last night occurred so long ago and her human’s location held no importance then. Daisy jumped down from the dresser and sprinted to the door, yowling in outrage when she discovered it shut, trapping her in this beige-walled cage. She howled for several minutes until she concluded that crying wasn’t going to open the door and she needed to take matters into her paws. Standing on her hind legs, Daisy pretended to be like her human and swatted at the handle. It took two tries before it opened just enough to get a paw through the crack, push it out more, and free herself.

The apartment where Daisy lived with her human was filthy, not of her fault but because her human collected things like a crow collects shiny baubles, enamored until it lost its shine and she found something new. Her reflection barely appeared beyond the grime of her metal bowl, which Daisy checked hoping her human was kind enough to feed her before disappearing. She was not so fortunate, and Daisy wanted to howl again. ‘You’re a huntress! You don’t need humans,’ a voice rang in the back of her mind.

Daisy, who had never stepped a single foot outside, agreed. She sprung atop the trash bin then quickly leaped to the counter as the bin swayed then toppled. A stewing swamp of carrot shavings and moldy salad exploded across the linoleum. Alas, there was no food to be found up here either. Daisy yowled again for her human.

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