The world I live in, relatively speaking, is a small one.
"Every thing's relative," an uncle of mine used to say. Put another way: yin chases yang.
Probably my whole world encompasses 50 miles.
Quite unexpectedly, my world intersected with the cats' world. They sidled up close to me, curious; while I busied myself with other activities. Soon, I began to bring them food and water.
When I first saw them, there were two cats. Now there are fifteen, maybe twenty. They roam freely across several wooded acres, while staying mindful of predators and threats such as raccoons, alligators, cars.
They climb trees, play in the leaves, chase each other through the forest, explore humans' backyards, drink from the lakes, dumpster dive, wriggle under fences, stalk birds, lizards, and squirrels. They can become invisible when they want to be.
They watch each others' backs, and several humans watch their backs, too. Me included.
I think nobody watches mine.
The cats can hunt for their food. The adults teach the kittens how to survive.
If they don't hunt, or if they do, the humans bring them food and fresh water. They are not, however, limited to the food brought by humans. This makes me glad. Humans are all too inconsistent, even unreliable sometimes.
I, the human, am limited.
I have no garden. I grow no crops. I have a finite income. This has always been true--whether I was working at a job (or two), or retired. When my weekly or bi-weekly or monthly check is all spent, there's no more.
I can't hunt as cats do. I can do other things.
When I reach out to other humans, offering my skills in exchange for money, there is no response.
Maybe I should learn how to hunt.