door pulls

#WatchCats (artist unknown)

Lydia scanned the neighborhood from their perch on the roof of a local apartment building, while Amadeus groomed himself. She froze as she spotted a man walking in the street, two blocks away. He was testing the door handles on parked cars as he walked. So far, none of his “door pulls,” as the police call these, bore fruit.

It was Lydia’s responsibility to spot trouble. Well, not all the time, of course. Cats need their haps! Right now, though, she dispatched the neighborhood WatchCats. She nudged Amadeus, who looked up from licking his paw. The grey tabby knew what the nudge meant. He looked up, scanning below. When his eyes spotted the walking thief, Lydia nudged him a second time.

Amadeus nodded and nuzzled his WatchCat partner. He walked over to the fire escape and cautiously jumped from their perch onto its step. Lydia yawned and scratched as he made his way down the stairs. Amadeus jumped to the sidewalk and trotted down the street. He let the man walk to him, but then changed plans, as one of the car doors he pulled popped open! The WatchCat crossed the street, positioning himself behind a garbage can. He waited for the man to lean into the car, then sprinted across the street.

The man wore sweatpants and running shoes, with no socks. Amadeus targeted his bare ankle, slashing it with his right paw as he dashed under the car.

“Fuck!” The man said, loudly. His complaint drew attention from two folks who lived in that block. One was a teen, just walking out her front door. She looked at the house next door as her neighbor yelled at the man.

“Get the hell out of here! Stop trying to steal from my friends!” the demand came from a woman in her late-40s, one of the stay-at-home moms on the block.

The thief flipped the thief off, turned, and walked back the way he came. Amadeus stuck his head out from the front of the car. He saw the thief’s feet as he retreated, then came out to verify his departure.

“Amadeus! I didn’t see you there. Did you stop that man?” the girl asked, walking over to the cat. Amadeus purred loudly as she scratched behind his ear.

“I knew it! Good kitty!” the girl said. Amadeus rubbed against her leg, then trotted off. A few minutes later, he was back on the perch. Lydia groomed his back, then left the perch. A Maine Coon named Penelope joined him, as he took over the spotter’s position.

© 2020, Edward J. Branley. All rights reserved.

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