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Archive for November, 2010

On that most auspicious and audacious fall day the air was crisp and clear. Brilliant colors floated and lay freely, warming the ground like a patchwork quilt. The differing shades of brightly muted golds, deep burgundies, and faded greens signaled that change was not ion the but was underway.

Officer Crawley thought many things to himself that morning. One of things foremost in his mind was that of his recent break up and what it had left in its wake. His heart ached as he longed for Anges. Goldielocks, her cat and the only thing she had left him, brushed up against his leg. Ignoring the persistent feline as usual, he adjusted his shiny belt buckle over the many generous folds of his wide girth.

The small house that faced the station was the house that Officer Crawley had lived in his whole life. As a little boy he had dreamed of nothing more than working in the station that he awoke to see every day. In those days of youth he would often gazed out the window and wonder what it would be like to drive one of the shiny cop cats. Little Crawley would often lock up all nine of his kittens and pretend that they were criminals. His small fury offenders were addicted to the illegal substance of Kat Nip.

Officer Crawley no longer had to imagine himself doing the things that a police officer did. He no longer locked up all nine (plus one, Goldielocks) of his cats. He could now lock up the real criminals who were in the big house for more than an affinity to Kat Nip. After two years of going to ‘Binghams School of Law Enforcement’ his certification to be enforcer of the peace saw to this.

Each and every morning His thoughts were cut short as his, now grown, ten felines made a run at the open door. For the past few weeks, his cats had tried daily to escape when he left for work. Though Officer Crawley found this to be odd, he never thought much of it. Unfortunately that morning, as he stepped outside his front door, he was completely unaware of the feline brigade that followed fast on his heels.

The comical eleven made their way across the street. As he was about to enter the front door of the station, ten furry bodies flew between, under, and around his legs. He groaned. Everyday at eight a.m. sharp, the inmates were allowed out of their cells.  Knowing that trouble was brewing, like the Foldgers Coffee in the break room, Officer Crawley began to wave his arms overhead.

Officer Crawley began to shout, “Feeny! Buckly! The cats! The cats!” The two confused officers looked up from their coffee and doughnuts in shock.

Feeny and Buckly snapped into action and the chase began. Officer Crawley continued shouting at Feeny and Buckly to catch his cats. Huffing and puffing he ran at an alarmingly fast speed for a man so large.

The first cat Officer Crawley spotted was Mutton Chops. Seeing Little Mutty filled him with great excitement and joy. Mutton Chops happened to be Officer Crawley’s favorite felines. Sweat ran down Officer Crawley’s dark brown curls. His back was a dark pond of slimy, greasy wetness. His trained eyes saw the blur grey, blue fur bolt into the open cell of the jail’s newest inmate.

This convict had just been transferred to their county jail. He was a small, graying, bent Asian man. Something in life had made him hard, and due to an obscure event (which he never spoke of) he had an intense hatred for cats.

Officer Crawley froze in his tracks. Icy fear worked its way down from the top of his head to the very tips of his untrimmed toenails. The feeling was so strong that it immobilized him for a moment. His breath caught in his chest as though he were choking. The sharp sound of Mutton Chop’s desperate cries for help reached his ears. Adrenaline in his veins, Officer Crawley began to run again.

“Oh no, oh no, oh no!” Officer Crawley yelled as he rounded the corner only to find that it was too late. Mutton Chops lay lifeless in the hands of a crazed crook.

“Officer Crawley!” he said, “I told you, I not like cats! Keep cats far, far, from here! I kill cat! Yes! I kill! This is more fortunate than a cookie!”  The delighted Asian began to speak rapidly in Mandarine Chinese.

Just then the bright orange bodies of Sir Francis Afifi,  Paw Paw, Buttons, and Mew Mew, flew past them.  Though his heart was heavy, Officer Crawley left the convict. He knew he had to try to get the rest of the kitties before another unthinkable incident occurred.

Officer Crawley began to run again, slower this time. Sir Francis Afifi, Paw Paw, Buttons, and Mew Mew must have had their Wheaties that morning; they sped with the tenacity of ten cheetahs. Officer Crawley, who did not have Wheaties that morning, ran with the speed of molasses sugar on a cold winter’s day.

As Officer Crawley was running, Officer Buckly was exiting the doors of the station pushing a large cart to his now damaged cop car. The red haired officer had orders, from those he loathed, to abandon the chase. As Officer Buckly approached the cop car and his skin pricked at the sight that greeted him. Apparently, some peeved and belligerent teenagers had thought it kind to smash an anvil, satellite dish, and computer on the hood of his car. No doubt as an act of benevolence.

How thoughtful. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. Officer Buckly was known in the town to be the toughest of all the cops. For this, he was the brunt of many a practical joke. Officer Buckly felt that he was entitled to a raise.

He tried to load the heavy items onto the cart. His small muscles worked as hard as they could. Alas, it was to no avail. Realizing he would not be able to remove these articles on his own this was not possible, he radioed Officer Feeny.  The two officers worked together and managed to load the heavy items onto the cop car.

Officer Buckly pushed the cart inside. Officer Feeny followed close behind. All the while, Officer Crawley had been chasing the lithe cats around the station. He was having no luck. Little did Officer Buckly and Officer Feeny know Sir Francis Afifi would be rounding the corner at that exact moment.

The cats and three officers collided with the cart, causing it to spill its contents. Officer Crawley ran into the cart, knocking off its cumbersome items. The satellite toppled over and landed directly on his big toe. He did a dance, that one does under such circumstances, swearing in time to the rhythmic throbbing of his balancing appendage. The impact pushed Officer Buckly backwards. As Officer Buckly fell, he bumped into Officer Feeny. Officer Feeny fell then hit his head on the water fountain. While he was sailing to the ground, his left foot flew up and hit Officer Buckly on the back of head. Both fell into the dark oceanless sleep of those who dream deeply.

When his pain eventually subsided, Officer Crawley felt like the Looney Toons had come to life. He noted with much dismay that Sir Francis Afifi and Paw Paw lay dead under the weight of the cart. Oh Buttons, poor Buttons, lay lifeless under the weight of the great anvil. Officer Crawley’s breath caught in his throat as, alas, poor Mew Mew’s head protruded from the glass of the computer screen. His legs twitched as fresh blood ran down into his fur. He consoled himself with the knowledge that five more of his best friends remained.

His relief was short lived. A pathetic, bleating sound came distantly from down the long white hall. Inhaling deeply, happy for the extra deodorant he put on that day, Officer Crawley ran. As he trotted down the hallway the source of the noise grew louder. Stopping and putting his hands on his knees, Officer Crawley wished he had enrolled in that spin class he had seen advertised at the neighborhood grocery store.

When his breath had returned to a more normal pace he began to run again. As Officer Crawley rounded the corner, he was un-prepared for the sight that greeted him. Shock and horror filled his large person. Four convicts were swinging his cats by the tail and hitting them against the wall. Everything in Officer Crawley was immobilized. He could only stand there and listen to their helpless, confused cries.

“Meow!  Meoow! Meow!” the cats yelped as they hit the walls. Slowly, ever so slowly, their fury bodies went limp.

Officer Crawley could only stand and watch. It was as though he were helpless. He felt like he had that time when he was a little boy and had climbed a tree. He hadn’t realized how high up he actually was till he looked down. The tree had become his new haven for the next few hours. It took even longer for his dad to coax him down. The same feeling held him there as he watched the scene unfold before his disbelieving eyes. Slowly, ever so slowly, their small fury bodies when limp.

The four convicts looked pleased with what they had done. Officer Crawley paled. There was nothing he could do. Tears ran down his corpulent cheeks. Seeing this, the men laughed and laughed. Their laughter echoed hollowly in his ears. He didn’t care if they saw him cry.

After the convicts had been ushered back into their cells, Officer Crawley remembered Goldielocks. The one, and only remaining cat.

Even though Officer Crawley had a distinctive distaste for little ‘Goldie Gold’ she was all he had left.. This realization made him bound and determined to find and save her. As the day at the station wore on, she was nowhere to be found. When five o’clock rolled around, Officer Crawley left work that day feeling defeated.

When he was halfway across the street, the delighted call of his feline lover tickled his ears. Exhilaration filled him and he turned around expectantly. Goldielocks began to trot merrily towards him, tail straight in the air. The cadence of her small, cat like steps made his heart flutter with joy.

Officer Crawley’s ears pricked with the sound of tinkling music. All the butterflies in his stomach died slow deaths as his stomach dropped. An ice cream truck rounded the corner, merrily announcing its arrival. Little Jimmy, his neighbor boy from down the street, came speeding on his new segway towards him and Goldie. Jimmy and Goldielocks came closer and closer.

“No!” Officer Crawley screamed.

Segway, truck, and cat were all oblivious to one another and continued moving onward. Officer Crawley leapt into action and tried to grab Goldielocks in order to save her. Unfortunately, he miscalculated his leap and landed on Jimmy instead.  The handlebars of Little Jimmie’s new segway caught hold of the cat under its stomach and propelled it through the air.

When Jimmy and Officer Crawley came to, they were surrounded by paramedics.

“Have you ever seen anything like this?” he heard one say.

“Never! Not in all twenty years I’ve done this!” the other replied.

“It’s a freak accident! Whoever heard of a cat going through an ice cream trucks windshield? Why! Just look at it! There’s glass, blood, and fur everywhere. The driver was so freaked out! When the catbomb exploded, it caused him to overcorrect and roll his truck! I can’t the truck rolled right into the jail and created a large hole in the wall.

The other paramedic nodded. “It’s going to be hard for them to round up all those convicts.”

The transfer of the new, Asian convict had been no accident. As it turned out it had all been a clever scheme devised for escape. The graying, old man had brought with him enough Kat Nip to cover a trail from Officer Crawley’s house to the jail. While no one was sure how he had gotten the Kat Nip in the first place, it was apparent that this devious scheme had been in the makings for a long time. Investigators were still working on the details. When the paper interview Officer Crawley, words he had spoken brashly to the inmates, echoed with resonance in his head.

“The day you convicts get out of this here jail, is the day that all ten of my cats are dead.”

 

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