What was the answer to catching this prowler?
|675 word entry into December's WEIRD TALES CONTEST
Kitty Adams had a ‘thing’ for cats. “Dogs are noisy, bothersome, so demanding. I don’t know what people see in them.”
She didn’t know how many of her outside cats there were. Strays gone wild. Kitty’s shelter boxes lay hidden everywhere around the neighborhood. More food and time was spent in their care than on herself. “A cat’s purr is so comforting.”
Lurring the animals into captivity long enough to be spayed or neutered was so rewarding. “My pretties could, otherwise, take over the world with their five pregnancy litters per year.”
Kitty thought of herself as a cat whisperer, totally dedicated to understanding and caring for the breed. Her birth name, Eve Adams, what a joke that was, quickly had been substituted by all who knew her by what she loved best. “I’ve had challenges before, This latest prowling wild thing, is like nothing I’ve encountered.”
The paw prints were monstrous. The size of the scratches its nails left in her wooden fence was bad enough. They had actually made her favorite new dwarf tree bleed. “And both my indoor and outdoor felines are beside themselves.”
Neutering this beast was going to be something else. “Part mountain lion, part human,” Kitty had fought the lurking shadow for weeks. “Must have laser-like eyes to see in the dark like it does.”
Restless, in a mental fever, Kitty prowled protectively among her well known cat haunts this night. Her ears were tuned to every whisper of wind. “Here, kitty, kitty,” She laughed nervously waving her favorite soporific for subduing nature’s wiliest versions of her favorite pet. The cat bowl with hamburger, gravy, and strong sleeping powder had never failed her.
“So sleepy, myself, I can hardly stay awake.”
A silent, silky shudder of motion shivered in Kitty’s peripheral vision where everything comes out looking black and white. “There. Too big to be a normal cat.” She almost hissed to herself.
The well learned trail led back to her home. “Go on. Make things easy for me,” Kitty felt like purring. Her lair held more than one kind of trap waiting to be sprung. The scent of cats in heat made her smile. “I’ll call you, Tom.”
A reflection of moonlight on her back bedroom window caught her attention next. The shadow magically took human form. “A cat burglar?”
Kitty licked her lips. The sight had gotten her fur up. She was ready to scratch the man’s eyes out for even thinking he could get away with this. “Go ahead. Sneak inside. See what you will find.”
There was a slight sound of a mere melodious tinkle where a piece of glass lay cut away. The cat burglar’s paw seemed just small enough to reach inside to the latch. The window sighed open “Got you.” The tail of the man wiggled inside.
“That’s it. In my bedroom’s top draw, hidden among my lace panties. “Such pretty jewelry. All yours.”
The spring in the door snapped it shut on a hand as quickly as a fistful of diamonds was grasped. “Caught you. One cat at a time.” Kitty watched through her window as the man struggled and cursed. A frying pan over the head put the cat burglar and his nasty words to sleep.
She wasn’t sure how she’d get the cat burglar neutered, maybe she’d have to do the deed herself. Outside, the original Tomcat sprang through the open window. It saw her and prepared to attack.
Defenseless, Kitty wanted to curl up into a ball. The scent of the meaty mixture in the cat bowl she’d brought in with her caught the wild thing’s attention. “Go ahead, kitty, kitty. It’s what you want. Not me.”
A sniff and fangs appeared over the soporific mix. Soon, her second unexpected guest lay a slumber. It was the most exciting night of Kitty’s life.
“I’ve caught such a rat,” Kitty purred as the cat burglar stirred and opened his eyes. Her knife poised above her in question. “Would you rather be neutered or your life kept in a cage?”
Kitty could hardly hear the cat burglar. From a larger than life threat he had shriveled into a whispering thing.