The cats—calicos, tabbies, dirty white, gray, jet black, and tawny—sat among the hay bales scratching and yawning like indolent apes inhabiting the remains of a ruined temple. August had never actually killed a cat before, but, like most farm boys, he had engaged in plenty of casual acts of torture. Cats, as a species, retained a feral edge, and as a result were not subject to the rules of husbandry that governed man’s relation with horses or cows or dogs. August figured that somewhere along the line cats had struck a bargain—they knew they could expect to feel a man’s boot if they came too close; in return, they kept their freedom and nothing much was expected of them.

Callan Wink, “Breatharians”