There is smoke in the kitchen. It overpowers the smell of Indra’s food and makes me feel like vomiting. I move to the couch to get away from it, but the stench quickly fills the entire apartment. Indra moves here and there in those sandals that flop around making every step sound like two. I watch—curled into myself in a vain attempt to mask the smell of smoke with my fur—as he opens the window closest to the stove. When he moves to open the sliding screen door separating the living room from the patio, curiosity overpowers the smoke. I rise from the couch, stretch out my legs and back. I keep my eyes on Indra.
I wonder whether he knows I’m here. Indra is back to his cooking and doesn’t seem to notice me as I saunter toward the open patio door. How I love the fresh air! I lift my nose to smell the remains of afternoon rain and wet dirt and plants and the birds that nest on our roof. I close my eyes and open my mouth slightly to really bathe in the olfactory experience.
Most always, I’m stuck staring out at the world through windows and doors. When my dad or Indra or Brent come home I make sure to wait for them at the entrance so I can get a small taste of the outside. When they pick me up and hold me, I love catching the smells of the outside that cling to them.
Indra had accidentally let me out of the house once before, but that had been months and months ago and I’d long abandoned the notion that it would be a regular occurrence. And here was an open door.
I crossed the threshold and entered the vibrant night.