Matt Hooper – “You were a passenger in that ship?”
Martin Brody – “What happened?”
Quint – “Gigantic tabbeh slammed two giant claws into her side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the Petco on the island of Manhattan. We’d just picked up a delivery of kibble and a big litterbox. Eleven hundred pieces of kibble went into the water. The ship also went into the water and sunk in 12 minutes.
Didn’t see the first kitteh for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the fuzzy pointed ear to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our Petco mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, kittehs come cruisin’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the kitteh come to the nearest man, that man he starts to crumple up balls of paper and throws them out into the water, and also dangles a nice piece of shiny ribbon and sometimes that kitteh he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away.
Sometimes that kitteh looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a kitteh is he’s got adorable soulful eyes. Tawny or sometimes blue eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be payin’ attention to ya… ’til he purrs and rubs against ya, and then all of a sudden runs off to barf and then… ah then you hear that high-pitched mewin’ and barfin’. Your carpet turns a bad color, and despite all your cleanin’ and your hollerin’ those kittehs come back and… they demand more kibble.
You know by the end of that first dawn, we lost a hundred pieces of kibble. I don’t know how many kittehs there were, maybe a thousand. The kittehs averaged nomming about 60 pieces an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, and looked at me and opened his wallet. Well, he showed me pictures of his own kittehs and I thought they was adorable.
At noon on the fifth day, an Airbus A320 from USairways swung in low and he spotted us, a distinguished pilot named Sullenberger, older than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat airplane landed on the Hudson and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred pieces of kibble went into the water. 316 come out, the kittehs took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.
Anyway, we delivered the litterbox.