Someone had let the big cats out of their cages.
I mean, a good idea and all, what with the apocalypse and how few people there were who weren't brain-dead. I just wish I had known about it before I found myself face to face with with a tiger.
I think she was sort of glad to meet me, in a way, after no doubt getting tired of putting down annoying zombies. Not even good eating, and they stank, even to my human nose.
But, whomever had let the cats out had also released their prey, who were much more lost in a city filled with zombies than the cats were. They were pretty terrorized, but zombies are slow, so they didn't catch more than a few who just gave up, unable to deal with no free food from the zookeeper's assistants. The survivors survived, as they are so wont to do.
As soon as the tiger smelled that I wasn't like the stinky annoying ones, and admired my cool moves as my katana flickered in a three move pattern, left hand right hand head lop- (I had figured out that if the brain-dead couldn't grab you, they were at a huge disadvantage, being so slow and clumsy and stupid.)
Anyway Ms. Tiger seemed to accept me in a category of fellow hunter, and since I wasn't killing her prey animals and she hadn't settled into a territory (hardly possible with all the zombie mobs roaming about) she just gave me a respectful space, and continued her self appointed task of reducing the annoyances.
Ms. Tiger had her own technique, which I admired greatly, which was a leap just to the side of the zombie, a slight twist and slash as she went by, crushing the skull. She preferred to do it from the rear, especially when she was playing a form of zombie bowling, knocking down as many as she could if they were bunched up (as they often were) and rebounding out of the mess by striking with her hind paws.
Then they were safely laying on their faces, and she could run among them bashing their dead brains in. I watched her for awhile in admiration, as she lured a mob around a corner into a dead end alley, leaping over a fence and circling around to knock them all over like dominoes, then bashing them all out of her misery in under two minutes flat.
She was a much more efficient killing machine than I was, doing that mob one at a time would have taken me at least fifteen minutes. I gave up using guns and explosives days ago, it wasn't worth the way all the zombies within hearing distance started ingathering. Eventually you would run out of bullets anyway, and be trapped behind a heaping wall mound of corpses. I preferred to deal with them in smaller units, and be able to slip away as needed.
So, I quietly said to myself; (I don't deny that I might be crazy, and anyway there isn't anyone else to talk to, aside from whomever let the cats out, and Ms Tiger.) Note to self: watch out for wild, er, yeah, feral Zoo Animals. Hunger can motivate even the laziest layabout.
I left while my acquaintance the fabulous Ms. Tiger was still busy, and continued to wander around, mumbling to myself as always. No goal, I wasn't trying to find survivors or build a redoubt, there was always food everywhere, as long as I didn't lose my can openers. Yeah, I had three, what of it? Its important, mumble mumble. At least none of them were electric.
After a few blocks I was doing my habitual situational awareness check, every five to ten seconds, and found that since the last time I had checked my tail, I had acquired one, who also had a tail- a striped one. I was sort of reassured, as it was flagging high in the air, and not low and lashing like a stalker's might be.
Although, a playful pounce with a high held tail could still result in a mauling, at least I didn't feel like I had a target pinned to my back.
I faced front, after verifying it was my pal, the Fabulous Ms. Tiger, and not some grumpy and dull witted male with more balls than brains. She was sauntering, if she had been a teenager she would have been skipping along humming an unrecognizable tune. Her posture suggested it was perhaps a coincidence that she was thirty yards behind me. Maybe I reminded her of her favorite Zookeeper's assistant, I told myself in a soft voice.
It was a typical end of the world, not even worth capital letters like Asteroids, Super Volcanism, Super Novas, Alien Invasion, or Atom Bombs. Just politics as usual, posturing, out of control agencies, incompetence and rogue bio labs.
Yep, a measly man made virus, didn't even kill all the way, just the reasoning centers. Part of the reason zombies stank so bad is they didn't have the brains to take down their pants before taking a dump. Too dumb to squat. Disgusting, right?
I was lucky, I guess, and had a natural immunity, at least I hadn't forgot how to use a can-opener or toilet paper. I don't know that I might have gotten a bit stupid as a result of the end of the world, but I may have gotten smarter what with no TV commercials and commuter traffic.
I had seen no evidence that there was anyone left who hadn't become zombie fodder or a zombie, but it stood to reason, right? I mean, here I am, sort of living proof and all. If it could happen once, you would think I wouldn't be that special, out of about 9 billion.
God, if it was just down to me, myself, and I, I would probably get so pissed at myself one day I just might kill myself. Serve the bastard right.
At least, now I had the Fabulous Ms. Tiger tagging along keeping me and myself company. I had the feeling she had decided to keep me.
It somehow didn't worry me that much, I would much rather the clean death of tiger chomp than the messy, painful, undignified, embarrassing and stinky death of zombie mob.