The cat lay erect, able to give over a good portion of its living existence to sleep without ever having to slip into a languid defenseless slumber. His eyes filmed over, his translucent third eyelid drew across his eyes for protection, and to moisten them while still maintaining his excellent visibility. It was not required that he blink his outer lids and possibly reveal his position. Vaguely, his mind wandered past the damage to his ear and how his position might always be less secure than it once was, but he spent little time thinking about it. The small human was too interesting, and his movements drew all of the cat’s remaining attention, or at least that part of his mind that hadn’t slipped into its slowed and drowsy waiting period.

“It all started,” the boy began, “when my father decided that he would make a better chief than the chief.” The boy went silent for a while, stoking his small fire and getting the stripped cut pieces of fish flesh adjusted over the fire.