Catnip Gray Cat Detective
Tabitha broke down sobbing. “You’re a cruel fool, Mr. Rex Gray. I should not have come here.” She made for the door. I caught up with her just as her nose was about to push it open.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I said over and over. It had started to rain. She changed her mind about leaving, turned and sat down.
“That’s exactly what she wants to do to me--cut me out of my marriage. I think she’s trying to have me killed.” She dabbed her eyes with a silk hanky.
“You should go to the cops.”
“You can’t take suspicions to the police. I already tried anyway. All they did was pat my head and offer me a can of cheap tuna as if I was some kind of homeless stray. I’ve come to you Mr. Rex because I have no one else to turn to. I need hard evidence of them together--something that will stand up in Divorce Court.”
She didn’t wince when I told her my fee. Ten sardines a day plus expenses--five today as a deposit. She paid the deposit and promised the rest when I had the photo.
This job is too easy, I said as I peered through the Venetian blinds at her swaying hips shimmying from side to side. I knew the layout of the Cubbyhole Apartments. How hard can it be to spot an albino cat? I could do this job in a night. But I wanted to milk her for at least a week. I needed fifty sardines. Rent was due on the office. My Slim-Fast habit was taking a bite out of my bank account.
Tabitha Davenport stopped at the edge of a flower patch. Suddenly her whole body lurched forward. I heard a loud hacking as if she was being choked. She heaved up something greenish. She stood looking at the mess for a moment and walked on. “I’m glad she didn’t leave that in here,” I thought to myself as I watched her approach a red Jaguar. The door opened and she hopped in. The car eased into traffic quiet and stealthy as any dignified cat should.
I jumped on the counter and peered into my cupboard. No Slim-Fast. I looked at the trashcan. Slim-Fast bottles spilled from its gaping jaw onto the floor. I needed a fix bad. The fools who run this joint I call home wouldn’t be arriving from their jobs for another five hours. This Slim-Fast business started out as her kick to lose weight. She had opened a bottle and was drinking so fast chocolate dribbled down her chin. He came into the kitchen and called her a slobbering cow. The fight was on. The Slim-Fast bottle was thrown landing on the linoleum spilling its contents onto the waxed daisies. I licked and got hooked. I’m reduced to rubbing my body against her fat ankles to get my fix while the bar is closed during the day. Oh, so ignoble for a cat to be at the mercy of a bad habit. But I needed a fix. I couldn’t wait for that fool to get home. I’d have to slip over the old folks home and trick some doddering dame out of a saucer of that hideous Ensure. A cat’s gotta do what a fish won’t do. That’s my favorite saying. It means what it means.
Four Crazy Short Stories
Sue cocked her head like a poodle as she tried to recall. I knew good and darn well Sue knew who I was talking about. She was the one who pointed out the poor soul to the Government goons. But I carried on as if Sue was a vacant vessel that needed filling. To be frank it was nice to have someone to talk to, even if the conversation might land you before the three judges. What can one say to an elephant except, “Mish, mish, mish,” as you guide her around the pen with a stick and hope the cow doesn’t step on your foot. “Mish” works just as well with Harry too.
“No. What happened to that poor dear soul?” Sue’s tone was condescending and syrupy as if I was a giant fly she was trying to bait.
“They took her to the hospital and cut off her lips. They even took the bridge out of her nose. Now her face looks as flat as an iron. And there stood poor Harry spotting the postman’s uniform. He kept saying, ‘I did not order an elephant!’”
“You know our address is 1121 Lincoln and the Zoo’s is 1211 Lincoln. I had told Harry that I did not like living so close to the zoo. But he prevailed since it was near his job.”
“Men and their jobs!” Sue beat her fist against the couch cushion.
“Hmm,” I said to myself. “It must not be so hot being married to a 15.1C after all, even if you’re allowed to shop for onions at Carmichael’s Onion Emporium where their sweet onions are ‘sweet enough to stop an elephant’s tears.’”
Sorry for that commercial interruption. The government has decreed that all conversations have at least one commercial. Anything to raise revenue. Sue continued to beat the couch cushion. She had become stuck again. There’s something wrong with this woman’s wiring, I said to myself as I slapped her left breast. I think that’s where the controls in Humanoids reside for bodily motion. If you remember earlier, I slapped her ear when her speech locked up. When I first met Sue a few months back, I thought she was a real woman, the kind made of flesh and blood like me. I found out later she’s one of those mechanical women this new government awards to their upper echelon men.
When Sue stopped beating the couch, she asked me what Harry used to do for a living. “Surely they’ve wired this bitch with more than eight gigabits of memory,” I thought to myself. The President’s wife has sixteen terabits in her large head. She looks so nice in hats. The last First Lady who wore a hat was Jackie Kennedy, I think. Perhaps her husband should have worn the hat. Might have confused that Lee Harvey fella. But I better entertain Sue’s question. She might be testing my ability to recall world events.
“My Harry had a good job at the Government Press Office. He was a proofreader. He combed the newspapers in search of words that began with the letter Q.”
“Q is a bad letter,” Sue said studying her fingernails. The government is right to try and purge it from the language.”