Kubota exhales deeply, from the very bottom of his lungs. Smoke soars up into the sky and for a moment he wonders if it would be nice. If it would be okay to let go, to forget about the blood, the threatening gloved hand that always promises to take away what he feels he needs to protect; about emptiness and hurt. All heartbreaking things would just vanish, leaving him with hopeful tomorrows and healthy cats.

Kubota feels his feet grow cold against the balcony floor. He knows that no matter how many times he exhales, he is grounded and tied to the earth, lies and wistful glances.

He is somewhat relieved. If all cats were cared for, they would never stumble into his hands, so he can't completely resent things that are going to make him unhappy.