The following is an excerpt from, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, a mind candy mystery novel soon to be published. Thumper is a Tuxedo cat with six toes on each foot. With the knowledge of his ancestor’s memories, he helps his mistress solve murders. The family comes to Texas where he encounters attempted murder, someone embezzling Grandmother’s money, and smuggling across the Mexican/Texas border. It’s not all murder and mayhem, though. Thumper shows his true romantic nature when he falls in love with Grandmother’s cat. Here is the scene where he first encounters his lady love…
Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer
Thumper arrived at Grandmother’s ranch, napped on the top of the piano for an hour, then began exploring the entire house, sniffing each stick of furniture, closet, bedroom, storage area and patio. Along the way, he came across the enticing scent of a female cat. She remained illusive, despite his thorough exploration of the lower floor.
Thumper was a tuxedo cat with four white feet. He possessed the gift of his ancetor's memories and used this knowledge to help his mistress solve murder.
He was not a cat without some experience with the opposite sex, though he and his forefathers were not as obsessed with the notion of love as most tomcats. He fancied himself more of a discriminating lover, not given to one-night stands, but rather selective in his choice of female companionship. He disliked the idea of “love um’ and leave um’,” having experienced his father’s abandonment immediately after the initial transaction. He remembered his mother lying awake at night, endlessly grooming, waiting in vain for his father’s return. She was unaware of his untimely demise beneath the wheels of a big rig loaded with computers headed for Seattle. Thumper vowed he would never be that kind of a cat, or cad.
But this enticing, exotic, yet illusive scent was something else again. This begged a more committed relationship; something a guy could get his teeth into, a relationship that might easily end a fellow’s bachelor days forever. Thumper ran through the house, frantically searching for this unseen temptress, this invisible goddess, this illusion that filled his head with thoughts that shocked even his own delicate sense of morals.
His search ended in the library. He looked up to the top shelf in the fiction section and froze. She lay on the top shelf between the inspired works of Lillian Braun’s, “Cat Who” series and a complete collection of Rita May and Sneaky Pie Brown’s mystery series, (both true masters of the written word).
Her tiny toes were delicately curled beneath her breast, the sun glinting off her gorgeous body. Her fur was striped with streaks of gold shot through a summer sunset. Her eyes were golden moons in a midnight sky. Her sleek striped tail lay curled around her nose, the tip of it rising and falling seductively in rhythm with the beat of his heart.
Perhaps it was the desert air or something blowing through the tumbleweeds on a hot wind. His heart constricted. His whiskers twitched. He blinked his eyes, not quite believing such a gorgeous beautiful creature could be real and yet he knew she was the one he had searched for. She was truth and beauty. She was poetry and song. She stared at him with yellow eyes filled with such total disdain, in that moment, he was convinced - he was in love.
Thumper lost no time wooing the fascinating creature. After a short time of rolling contortions on the library rug and grooming, displaying his muscular shoulders, four white feet with six toes on each foot and his excellent physique. She appreciated his specific charms and became more receptive to a relationship; though plutonic, she informed him with a sniff.
He replied, “Of course. But I insist, you must tell me your name.”
“Noe-Noe,” she whispered.
“Oh, do please, tell me,” he coaxed.
She squinted her magnificent eyes and cooed, “Noe-Noe. That’s my name. That’s what Mother calls me.” She rose from the shelf and stretched, knowing how fetching she looked in the sunlight.
Thumper sighed, “It’s the most beautiful name I’ve ever heard.”
Several minutes later, with the promise of lunch, he coaxed her off the bookshelf and out the door and half way across the yard, into the shade of a large willow tree. Beneath the tree, a large fountain gurgled and tiny birds flitted from the branches down to the water’s edge to sip or flutter and bathe in the spray that bounced off the rim into the grass.
Thumper and Noe-Noe crouched in the tall grass beneath the tree, inching toward the unsuspecting items on the lunch menu. The birds, cognizant of the feline duo, and having calculated the distance between themselves and the unrealistic possibility of becoming lunch, continued their baths with wild abandon and apparent disregard.
Noe-Noe’s ear twitched. The tip of Thumper’s tail jiggled to the right, in answer to Noe-Noe’s barely visible signal that he was ready whenever she was. His unspoken thoughts transmitted a clear message, “I’ll go to the port side and draw their fire. You bear starboard and catch them unawares when they make their escape. We’ll share the booty 50-50.”
Anxious seconds passed as Thumper’s eyes darted from one potential item on the menu to the next, assessing body weight versus susceptibility and finally choosing the light tan bird with the red head hopping in the grass on the outside edge of the water’s spray. Noe-Noe’s heart beat wildly; her muscles tensed. The birds hopped, seemingly innocent and vulnerable. Thumper gathered his legs beneath him, rocking his rear left and right for traction. Noe-Noe glanced at Thumper, ready for the signal when he made his move.
Thumper sprang. Noe-Noe sprang,...and they collided in midair. The birds rose as if with a single mind and circled overhead, landing in the willow tree. The big black and white cat lay on the ground with his legs tangled with those of the bright orange cat with eyes the color of mustard and stripes the color of marigolds. The cats disentangled themselves. Noe-Noe shook herself, beginning at her head and working her way down her body to her long striped tail. When she had thoroughly shaken the insult from her golden fur, she pointed her nose to the sky and stalked toward the barn, leaving her disgruntled suitor in the grass.
Thumper bounded behind her, meowing in protest. “I said flank starboard! Starboard! You went port instead of starboard! Haven’t you ever been on a boat?
Noe-Noe lowered her ears and looked at him in disdain. Her expression clearly said, “It’s not my fault. It could have happened to anybody. By the way, what’s a boat?”