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A Whisker and Tail  

Posted by Scott Wilson

A Whisker and Tail
By Scott Wilson
Word Count 897

Achilles licked his paw until the dirt, firmly wedged in his toe pad popped out like a cork and hit the trash can like a bullet, ringing loudly in the quiet back alley. If there was one thing he hated, it was toe-jam; not as much as wearing shoes to prevent the toe-jam, but almost. A stray moggie sprung out of one of the bins further down the alley, startled by the ricochet.

“Sorry about that chief.” Achilles said apologetically.

The ginger and white stray looked at Achilles and wiped a streak of crusty gravy from his whiskers.

“You could kill someone with a careless aim like that, my friend.”

Achilles winked at the stray and continued cleaning his other front paw. The moggie slinked off down the alley, looking back over his shoulder once before turning left into Queen Street.

“You can come out now.” Achilles said.

Three tall, thickset black felines slithered out from behind a pile of rotten pallets near the back door of a sporting goods store. The biggest of the three slowly strutted across the rubbish filled ground, swaying its hips as if to distract Achilles from the other cats.

“We’ve been expecting you, Achilles.” The cat purred.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint you now, would I Angelina?”

The two slinky, sleek black felines walked to either side of Achilles, leaving the dominant female the only cat in view. Achilles knew where they were standing, and could strike out with his paws, knocking them off balance before they could leap.

“Didn’t we agree?” Angelina said in her husky meow. “That my girls could work this side of the city without any harassment from the fuzz.”

“I’m not here to bust your chops, Angie.”

“Why else would a straight laced cop like you stroll into this side of town?”

Achilles felt the two cats approach within swiping distance diagonally behind. His tail stood on end, and the silky fur on his back prickled.

“To help you.”

Angelina moved forward and rubbed her head against Achilles’ broad chest. Purring heavily in his ears to distract him.

“Why would we need your help, my sweet?”

Achilles realised he allowed himself to be cornered, distracted by the charms of this sleazy, kitten of the night. He knew he had to get his message through, and quickly.

“The bureau has gotten the scent of bad news. Bad news for you kitties, Angie. The humans have setting traps in this alley. Too many cats coming and going brought the attention down on your little operation. Now more felines are coming in than leaving.”

He felt the felines behind ease up their stand over tactics and back off.

“We’ve been very discreet. How could this happen?”

“Someone tattled, Angie. Someone who wanted you out of business. Do you know who would want to shut your girls down?”

Angelina licked her paw, and then brushed her brow slowly. She thought deeply, and then flicked her tail when recalling an odd character that recently moved in at the Thai restaurant down the end of the alley.

“This Siamese cat moved in. He strutted down the middle of the street, proud as can be. ‘Till one of my girls made fun of him, being neutered an all.”

“Thanks, Angie. I think I shall pay him a visit.”

“We’ll come with you, Achilles. You know how sneaky those Siamese are, I don’t think you should confront him by yourself.”

“You stay out of sight while I talk to him, okay.”

“We’ll be close by.”

The four felines strutted down the dim alley to the Thai Boat restaurant. Angelina and her girls slinking into the shadows before they reached the fly screen door at the back, leaving Achilles to front the new cat on the block alone.

“Wha you wan offica?” The Siamese said after nudging the screen door open.

“Just like to have a chat, um...Sorry didn’t catch your name.”

“I Hariuka. No ploblem at all. We chat inside you like?” The Siamese said motioning for Achilles to follow him back inside the kitchen.

“I think we should stay out here, Hariuka. You know how humans are with cats they don’t know.”

“My master like all cats, you be safe.”

“I’ve only got a few minutes, so let’s chat out here.”

“Okay, mister. What you wanna know?”

“Have you noticed any cats being trapped around the alley? You know, in those cages the humans use.”

“Me no see anysin’ likea that.”

“How long have you been in the neighborhood? I haven’t seen you around before.”

“Me move in not rong ago. My master buy restaurant and set up here couple weeks ago.”

“Don’t get out much, hey. I pass by most nights on the way home. Haven’t seen your whiskers out and about.”

Me no like to leave my master. He take very good care me. Feed me well and make sure me plenty happy.”

Achilles did not see the small Asian chef, in black clothes approach the kitchen door until it was too late. The door flung open, knocking Achilles into the trashcans and dazing him. The chef lunged at him and threw a bag over Achilles before he could spring out of the way.

“My master, do chop, chop on you now mister. No ladies laugh at me again when no boys left to buy kiss, kiss from them anymore.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 12:02 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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