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Short Stories | Contos

THE OLD CAT

Constable Martin was almost twenty years old and had all the qualities of an undercover cop, which he refined with age. If you paid close attention, you could find the cat everywhere, always making close contact with all kinds of citizens and non citizens of the metropolis’ animal world. To distinguish him from other cats, you should pay attention to his right hip, where a half-circled scar made proof of his wrestle against one German-shepherd of the vice unit. Constable Martin was accidentally covered in cocaine and Bullseye Lady had the nasty habit of biting the packages she sniffed. Her instructor said she was hooked. Constable Martin wouldn’t say otherwise if he could talk.

The old cat still used to jump through the windows of police cars, either patrol or detective vehicles, making his own inquires. No, he never solved any crime or presented evidences to police officers. This is not a TV show. Most times he would find mice, pigeons and burned spoons from drug addicts. Forensics got mad each time he jumped out of the car to run all over the crime scene.

“Cats are home animals, for Christ sake!”

Not Constable Martin. He was savage, a wild cat from trash cans, alleys and rooftops. When a cub, he appeared at the canteen and officers started feeding him. One fat inspector once tried to give him a collar, ending up unrecognizable with zillion scratches on his face. People noticed “Fat” McKenzie became obsessed with making arrests since he was diagnosed with ailurophobia.

Though he didn’t solve any crime nor had any role in finding evidence, Constable Martin had the useful habit of sitting on the lap of complainants, witnesses and suspects under interrogation. He let these people stroke him while he purred as noisily as the engine of a paddy wagon. More frequently than you could imagine, he used his hunting skills to protect law enforcement agents from armed suspects, mainly the cut off pigeon technique. Little before having completely grown up, the cat started practicing the intersection of pigeon flight. At least twice a week visitors were startled by his blurred silhouette crossing the sky from some window-sill on the first or second floor and smash a pigeon on the sidewalk. He devoured the bird in front of everyone, much for the delight of wearied personnel. Imagine the same acrobatics on the face of armed thugs.

His old age got noticed when he started missing the pigeons. Sometimes his claws pluck half a dozen feathers, but the gray sky rats managed to zigzag upwards, letting Constable Martin waste his seven lives in dangerous free falls. The stubborn old cat only stopped after having one leg broken. This happened when “Fat” McKenzie was leaving station at dawn, his arm bleeding after being stabbed on his patrol. He was going to the hospital by his own feet. The blurred silhouette of Constable Martin spiraled before him after close contact with one lucky pigeon. Next he saw the cat shaking on the sidewalk, tainted in orange by the sunrise. For the first time in years, “Fat” McKenzie had no fear at all. He freed his hand from the wounded arm and carefully took the old cat with him. They were both treated in the hospital.

That afternoon, everyone stood still when the inspector made his entrance with the wounded arm on his chest sustaining the purring old cat.

“Now you have the chance of putting a collar on his neck,” yelled Forensics, raising her arms. “Please, adopt him out of here!”

“Believe it or not, I gave it a thought, but he wouldn’t let me.” “Fat” McKenzie laid the cat on his desk, who did not move the whole afternoon.

Constable Martin started meowing at night. Inspector “Fat” McKenzie took him to the floor and let him slowly move away. The old cat had some patrolling to do.

Monday, September 6th 2021

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