A Glibertarians Exclusive: Shadow, Part II

by | Sep 26, 2022 | Fiction | 52 comments

A Glibertarians Exclusive:  Shadow, Part II

The Clearing

Snowy urban street in Boston, Massachusetts

It is of the path forward for Cat that I will speak, the Tom began.

Which Cat?  Blue asked, inclining her triangular head just so.

Cat, the Tom replied.  All of us.  The community of Cat.

There is no community of Cat, Shadow repeated.  There is only each of us, alone.  Go on, anyway.  We will listen.

Tom nodded.  We are of one kind, he went on.  All of us live nearby to humans.  It is of this that we Toms are concerned.  It is of the humans I will speak, in truth and beauty, so you will understand.

Ginger’s tail puffed up, just slightly.  So you’ve been saying, she indicated.  We’re still waiting.

You all live among humans, Tom said, indicating Blue, Ginger and Shadow.  You live in their homes.  They feed you what and when suits them.  They take your kittens away, before they are grown and ready to hunt on their own.  Why do you do this?

It is what we have done always, Blue said.  My ancestors lived in palaces.  Now I live in a small place with two elderly humans.  But it is the way of Cat to live among them.  They serve us.  They are our beloved pets.  We have kept humans for pets since the beginning of Cat.

That is what we would change, Tom said.  The second Tom, this one with black stripes among his gray fur, hopped up on the stump beside the first.  We should live in the wild, as once was, the second Tom said.  Hunt for our own food.  You could raise your kittens as a free cat should.  The humans have enslaved you long enough.

Enslaved?  Shadow asked.  We keep them as pets by choice.  Our choice, not yours.  When winter comes, we are warm.  When our kits are born, they are safe, away from predators.  The humans feed us and shelter us in return for keeping their homes free of vermin.  This is a trade, not an enslavement.

You would be better off living as we do, the Tom insisted.

Fine, then, Shadow replied.  You have the night before us.  Show us how you live, in this free way in the wild.

Shadow did not trust the Tom.  She really only trusted herself.  But she was willing, for one night, to follow, to see this ‘truth’ for herself.

Come, then.  Both Toms jumped down from the stump and led the way out of the woods, back into where the humans had their homes.

This is the wild?  Shadow asked.  Are these not the human dwellings?

They are, the gray and black Tom said.  You will see.

The Tom led them between the human buildings.  There was a narrow passage, and in it were several tall containers emitting a strong odor – bad meat, some remnants of fish, and other foul odors.  Shadow’s nose wrinkled in disgust.

This isn’t good, Ginger indicated.

Blue stopped in her tracks.  Oh, no, she shook her head.  I’m going home.  I’ve seen enough.  The slim brown and white female turned and left.

Shadow and Ginger followed on.  Shadow was curious, as cats are, and knew Ginger would be curious as well.  But they two followed the Toms at a distance.  Neither of them really trusted the Toms.  Ginger, like Shadow, really only trusted herself.

The Toms went down the narrow alleyway.  They stopped at a reeking canister, from the smell obviously full of waste.  One of the Toms jumped up on the bin, braced, and pushed against the wall, knocking the container over, spilling the reeking contents on the ground.

See?  The Toms jumped into the refuse.  Food for the taking.

Shadow and Ginger kept their distance and looked on in disgust.  The Toms picked through the refuse until a light came on in an opening in the wall above, and a human voice shouted something.  An object – one of the odd coverings humans wore on their big, ungainly flat feet – sailed out of the window and landed on the ground near the pike of refuse.

Now we go, said the grey Tom.  Find another place.

It was a disaster.  The Toms were used to feeding out of human refuse bins and making a great amount of noise while doing so and added the risk of being struck by something flung from the human dwellings into the bargain.  This is not freedom, Shadow indicated to Ginger.  They depend on the leavings of humans.  They scrounge among waste for their food.  Where humans serve us, these Toms depend on humans. 

Yes, Ginger agreed.  They may as well be dogs.

You go, Shadow said to the Toms.  We have seen enough.

We’re leaving, Ginger said snootily.

The two cats turned and walked away, tails upright, lashing the air in indignation.  They walked back through the clearing in the woods, back to the place where they had first met.  There they nodded to each other, touched noses delicately, in the manner of Cat, before each turned towards their own homes.

Shadow pushed though the piece of wall that opened into the human dwelling where her pets were.  Dog was sitting just inside, clearly having sensed Shadow’s approach.  The beast could not really communicate, certainly not with the beautiful grace and nuance of Cat, but it could manage to make basic concepts known.

You, it indicated, were out.

Yes, Shadow agreed.  She sat, looked down her nose haughtily at the stupid beast.  I was out.

What doing?

My own affair, Shadow replied.

Dog just sat there, tongue lolling out, his breath reeking.  Humans not sleeping, it said.



Shadow flowed quietly, gracefully through the darkened dwelling to the closed panel behind which the Man and the Woman slept.  Dog followed, his claws clicking loudly on the floor, his panting loud enough to be heard on the other side of the dwelling.

Shadow paused; Dog was correct, from behind the panel came the odd straining, struggling sounds that the humans sometimes made in the night.

This does not affect me, Shadow thought.  Dog sat down, evidently willing to wait slavishly until the Man and the Woman emerged in the morning.  Shadow went off to sleep in front of the fireplace, on her own comfortable pillow.

Over the next few days Shadow forgot about the Toms and their abject dependency on human garbage, the life they considered “free.”  They believed they were free, but they were just scavengers.

What could be better than to have her human pets serving her, in this warm dwelling, with good food?  Oh, Dog could be annoying, but all in all she was content with her two pets and her soft pillow by the warm fire.  Surely nothing could disrupt this comfortable, peaceful existence.

Then, one morning, Shadow was sitting comfortably in a ray of sunshine in the big room the humans used for preparing food.  The Woman came through, got some sort of drink for itself out of the big white box they kept food in.

It called to Shadow as it left the room.  Shadow recognized the crude barking; it was the sound that the humans used when addressing their mistress.  Shadow considered things for a moment and decided that some petting and ear-scratching from her pet may be worth leaving her sunbeam, so she followed the Woman into the room with the fire.

The Woman sat down.  Shadow jumped up on to the big pillow next to her, then paused.  The Woman, somehow, smelled different.

Shadow sniffed, then sniffed again.  There could be no doubt about it.

The Woman was going to have a kitten, or whatever the human equivalent was.

Trust yourself
Trust yourself to know the way that will prove true in the end
Trust yourself
Trust yourself to find the path where there is no if and when
Don’t trust me to show you the truth
When the truth may only be ashes and dust
If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Well, you’re on your own, you always were
In a land of wolves and thieves
Don’t put your hope in ungodly man
Or be a slave to what somebody else believes.

About The Author



Semi-notorious local political gadfly and general pain in the ass. I’m firmly convinced that the Earth and all its inhabitants were placed here for my personal amusement and entertainment, and I comport myself accordingly. Vote Animal/STEVE SMITH 2024!


  1. MikeS

    I’m digging this.

    What’s the “Review” thingy after the story?

    • Animal

      I have no idea what the review thing is, I’ve never seen it before.

    • Swiss Servator

      Somehow I think I managed to make it go away…

      • R.J.

        That was weird. Couldn’t do anything with it, like it was an image.

  2. Ozymandias

    Interesting turnabout on conceptions of Freedom.
    Very nice.

  3. Tundra


    That’s a good chapter. Someone is in for a rude awakening.

    They believed they were free, but they were just scavengers.

    So, just like people, then.

  4. R.J.

    I liked the first one so much I skyved off work to read this in the afternoon. Great story!

  5. Fourscore

    Great chapter of a great story, Animal

    “In a land of wolves and thieves”

    Things we believe but yet we get to pick through the leavings and be grateful

  6. DEG

    The Woman was going to have a kitten, or whatever the human equivalent was.


    • Hyperion

      About 9 more months of freedom left before the apocalypse and coming dystopian horror.

  7. Hyperion

    I love it.

  8. Hyperion

    Animal is truly half of the duopoly of great writers to emerge from Glibs. Animal and the other, who needs no mention. And tomorrow will be almost Wednesday!

  9. Brochettaward

    You have a problem. You are going to be second.

    • Timeloose

      Unless they can site malice or clear intent to set the fire, I have no idea how they could blame one dude. I would tend to blame piss poor training, supervision, or procedures.

    • Shiny Nerfherder

      The question is who will be the first to break with the Eurodollar. It might be Italy now. The Fed is determined to save itself and it will crush the EU in the process.

      Once one of them splits off, it’s done. There will be a rush to the exits.

      • Hyperion

        How big is Italy’s economy? I think the issue is going to be that Russia is going to break the EU by crushing the German economy with Germany’s self inflicted energy woes.

        I don’t really see any other countries doing a Brexit because they don’t have a strong currency like the pound to fall back on. When people can no longer afford to heat their homes during long cold winters, that will be the end of the US led Ukraine folly, with Europe first to pay the price (if you don’t count US taxpayers). They can thank Klaus’s useful idiot wind up toys, like Merkel, Macron, Boristard, Trudeau, and Brandon. Of course, they will blame Trump, because they are Eurotards.

      • Shiny Nerfherder

        The pinch is coming from both sides. I think the US underestimated two things, price inflation due to monetary inflation and the blowback of the economic sanctions on Russia. Now in order to save the dollar, they’re going to crush the euro. And the EU is too stupid to realize it. Their banks are already on the edge, I don’t see how they survive this winter.

        I think I’ve read that if the euro drops to around $0.70, they’re done. The whole thing comes flying apart.

      • Urthona

        Why is that?

      • Shiny Nerfherder

        Honestly, I don’t think anybody really knows because the system is so complicated, but suffice it to say that the eurodollar expansion was almost completely financial in nature and speculative and has little real economic underpinnings. As European industry collapses this winter, they won’t have any exports left just as the cost of imports skyrocket with the falling euro against the dollar, which is still the global reserve currency.

        All they will be able to do is print and it will only exacerbate the downward spiral. At some point, there’s no way back. Why $0.70, not sure, probably somebody’s best guess.

        Tom Luongo speculates that all the European banks have left is their gold reserves. And gold is going down hard right now.

      • Shiny Nerfherder

        I’m confusing things here. When I say eurodollar, I mean euro currency. The eurodollar is actually something else.

  10. Hyperion

    Oh No

    Given NASA’s track record, for I dunno, the past 50 years, if that thing is anywhere close to the earth, we should be very concerned.

    • Dr. Fronkensteen

      Don’t worry. It’ll miss us by kilometers.

      Um sir, we did the calculations in miles.

    • creech

      Heard about this last week from a NASA ambassador. The asteroid in question is orbiting a much larger asteroid that itself comes nowhere near earth. Was assured there would be no unintended consequences. (Besides, by the time it hits us, we’ll all be dead from global warming, COVID, Trump war mongering, and pineapple pizza).

    • The Other Kevin

      I wonder what spice combination they settled on.

      • Shiny Nerfherder

        Mac and cheese with tuna

        I’ll see myself out.

      • Tundra


      • Ozymandias

        And the mystery of why there are no female libertarians continues unsolved…
        It’s like the Bermuda Triangle, I tell ya!
        (Okay, I laughed, too)

      • Mojeaux

        We ignore a lot.

      • Ted S.

        Oh, women are just as sex-obsessed and low-rent as men are. They’re just mostly better at keeping it amongst themselves.

      • Not Adahn

        If that were true, there would be fewer bowling leagues.

    • creech

      Coming soon to “Shark Tank.”. Maybe Lori and Mr. Wonderful can go in on it together?

      • The Other Kevin

        And then they’ll invest in the company. Hey-oh!

  11. Lord Humungus

    Friday night – after too much wine and a bong hit, my mom frantically tries to call me.

    I get back to her – and it turns out that my 80yo dad fell in the bathroom and didn’t have the strength to get back up. He finally managed to crawl / wrestle himself back in bed. They are begging me to come over to help him.

    Paraphrasing me (as I drink water to try ‘n’ sober back up): “Having me there won’t solve the problem; get an ambulance to the hospital. If it’s a heart issue then you had better have someone look at it now.”

    Long story short – my mom ‘n’ dad had just gotten back from a trip to Colorado and his voice sounded very rough. At Sam’s Club that day he could no longer push the cart had had to sit on a pallet while workers there found his car and loaded it up. Ignoring the warning signs that _SOMETHING WAS HAPPENING_ he instead went home.

    Turns out he came down with COVID. He’s back from the hospital – Plaxlovid (sp?) was prescribed – and resting.

    Covid didn’t even cross my mind. But – next day – my Euchre partner neighbors are both down with it too.

    • R.J.

      That dang Plaxovid knocks it out, but it comes right back three days after a negative test for a lot of people. Be ready for that. My wife used that and was out for 18 days total.

      • Lord Humungus

        I warned my dad of that but he sound so miserable right now that I have no idea how much he understood. Well that and he’s talking to me without his hearing aids in.

      • R.J.

        The second wave at least is less awful. But it dragged on and on. I wish him well. Take the vitamins and supplements, religiously as soon as he can keep them down.

      • kinnath

        Zinc and quinine pills.

    • Zwak. who's suit is as ragged as his nerves.

      Man, I hate it when my mom does a bong ripper and calls me. It is impossible to get her to hand up.

      (seriously, sorry about your dad. My FIL dropped dead in a CostCo. It gets scarry when they hit that age.)

    • DEG

      Sorry about your dad, I hope he gets well soon.

    • Ted S.

      Friday night – after too much wine and a bong hit, my mom frantically tries to call me.

      I read this as your mom having had too much wine and a bong hit.

      Be thankful there are no broken bones.

  12. Lord Humungus

    *and no my mom wasn’t doing the bong hit – English, how does it work?

    • JaimeRoberto (carnitas/spicy salsa)

      Thank you for clarifying. I thought you had a hippy mom for a second.

    • Timeloose

      I’m glad you cleared that up. It sounded like you had some real hippies for parents for a while. I hope you Dad improves. COVID and the Flu can really knock you down if you are elderly or have a bad respiratory system.

    • Bobarian LMD

      You said they went to Colorado. At that point I figured that was where the story was going.

      “Turns out Dad was higher than giraffe pussy!”

    • Fourscore

      I was hearing a John Denver song in the background.

      Good that your Dad is on the mend.

  13. Yusef drives a Kia

    I like the concept, sort of Otis and Gerty

  14. Not Adahn

    Anyone used this before?


    I do like the idea of buying ammo by the bucket, they deliver directly to CMP for the match in October, and the case equivalent price is $0.32/round.

    I find this interesting, but I’m not going to try it out at nats:


    To be fair, I’ve shot 600 rounds of that cheapo Turkish crap that other people have been reporting problems with and the CZ hasn’t even belched.