Mittens raced through the streets to the trees on the outskirts of town. He darted through the trees until he arrived at the clearing with the vault. He hid in the leaning twilight shadows, his luminous green eyes glowing brightly in the darkness as he waited for the killer.
The white shecat crept out of the trees. She caught a quick, fleeting glance of Mittens’s eyes before he blinked and the glare subsided. She thought nothing of it and made her way across the clearing to the vault. “The mice shall be mine.”
She pounced on the indolent sentry, asleep off to the side, and tore his throat out, letting his blood spray into the grass. “Curiosity killed the cat!” she whispered.
Mittens suddenly found himself frozen, immobilized with horror. He shook it off and jumped out of the shadows. “Hey, you! Stop right there!”
The shecat turned. “Ah, Mittens. You are here.”
Mittens cleared his throat. “That’s Detective Mittens.”
The cat scoffed. “I don’t care.” She gestured to the key lying in the grass. “You can’t stop me from opening the vault. Curiosity will kill you like the others!”
“Yeah, well, Curiosity is going to jail.” The tension was palpable in the air as Mittens started forward, ready to take the key.
“Not so fast.” Curiosity snatched up the key and fitted it in the lock. The door swung open with a click, and Curiosity jumped inside, slamming the door and locking it. Mittens used his own key to unlock it, and leapt in after her.
Mittens grabbed Curiosity’s tail in his teeth. She yelped in pain, and he dragged her back outside. Flinging her into the grass, he pounced on her and knocked her out with a deft swipe of his paw.
Mittens whipped out the cell phone he had taken from his humans just before he left. He began to dial the number for his detective office. “Hey, Pawlie?” he meowed gruffly. “I’ve caught the murderer. We’re at the vault. Come as fast as you can.”
As he ended the call, a flash of ginger caught his eye. He whirled around to see a fiery-orange tomcat stalk out of the shadows.
“Another victim, I see,” he rumbled. “Willow, we’ll have our paws full.”
The stone-grey she-kitten strutted after the ginger cat. In truth, she wasn’t actually a kitten, just a really small adult cat. “Yeah, Gusto. Detective Mittens is famous.”
Gusto snorted. “Of course. His death will be an even bigger shock. It might even deter future detectives like him.” With that, he leapt at Mittens, bowling him over, and tried to slash at his throat. Mittens ducked away hurriedly.
Willow snapped at Mittens’s tail. “Did you really think you could track down Curiosity? She’s the best, even if she is a little out of it.”
Mittens growled. “You’ll never get away with it!”
“That’s what they all say.” Gusto clawed Mittens’s shoulder, tearing away tufts of light grey fur.
Mittens backed away as Curiosity’s two accomplices began to corner him. As he stepped back, Curiosity, who had awoken, stuck out a paw and tripped him. He stumbled.
Is this the end?!
Suddenly, he glimpsed a flash of black-and-white, then cream-colored fur blocked him from seeing what happened next.
Twilight lashed her tail as she stood in front of him.“They got your call, tom, but they asked us to help you out until they could get here. After all, we are the closest. As they say, when the mice are out, the cats will shout.”
Mystic swayed from side to side as she dodged Willow’s repeated strikes. “That’s right, hon. Can’t beat me.” She pounced on Willow, pinning her down.
Gusto was fighting with Twilight. Twilight swept a paw at him, then shoved him away. He stumbled back into Mystic, knocking her away from Willow.
“Thanks.” Willow jumped at Mittens as he tried to stand.
Mittens tried to push her away. “You will never empower me, Willow. You cannot defeat me.”
“I’m not trying to.” The grey shecat jabbed at his stomach as he reared up for an overhead attack, then darted to Curiosity’s side. The white shecat was battling with Mystic, while Twilight engaged in the fight with Gusto.
“He called reinforcements,” Curiosity yowled. “Willow, Gusto! Let’s go!”
Willow and Gusto followed Curiosity as she abandoned the fight with Mystic and raced away. Suddenly, shapes flew out of the darkness, landing on the three runaway criminals.
Pawlice, head of the Kat Police, gave Mittens an acknowledging nod. “Good job, Mittens. Willow and Gusto are wanted for several crimes, and Curiosity for escaping. We’ll be taking these three back to prison.”
Mittens turned to Mystic and Twilight. “Thanks for your help back there. Well done.”
“Anytime, hon,” Mystic purred.
“This never happened.” Twilight fixed Mittens with an intimidating glare. “Speak of it to no one. Again, silence is golden.”
Mittens shrugged. “Sure. No problem.”
Mittens returned to his office to sort out the last of his late-night paperwork. He was looking forward to going home and taking a well-earned catnap, and was praying he wouldn’t get another phone call. “This goes there, and this goes here, and this goes in this folder,” he mumbled as he sorted out the last sheets of paper. He slid the folders into a drawer.
“Ugh, what an exhausting day,” he grumbled. “Great Cat Lord, please don’t make me do that again. I don’t think I can stand another phone call tonight.” He gathered his stuff and walked to the door, ready to leave.
The trring of the phone echoed loudly in the silence of the hallway.
…or is it?
A loud ring chimed throughout Detective Mittens’s house. Mittens, half asleep, rose from his bed. “Oh, it’s the doorbell.”
He stretched as he stood up, taking a tentative step out of his soft, fluffy cat bed. He padded over to the door and swung it open. Behind it, standing in the dim light of the apartment floor’s green-carpeted hallway, was a mysterious cat shrouded completely in a dark cloak, its face overshadowed by the deep cowl.
The cat growled softly. “It is true, Curiosity did kill all those cats.” She paused. “And by dawn, she will have killed this cat, too.”