Cat in the Wall
Dacious. Beau Dacious. Covert ninja.
I operate strictly internally at M15, Domestic Intelligence on Kirkwood Avenue now. My free-spirited missions have been curtailed and my Agent Number was changed from 009 to 008 when I used up one of my lives in a harrowing mission we call “Cat in the Wall”. This occurred in March of 2020.
My self-directed mission was one many agents relish, the coveted cat-vort, an opportunity to secretly hone stealth maneuvers outside of HQ. I’d managed to slip past M and her canine guard undetected and blend with the moonlit shadows on a particularly warm spring night. With luck, I’d hoped that I'd also be able to have a little catnap with a feral temptress I’d encountered once before after a similar training expedition. Like me, she prefers pate, not chunks, a sure sign of sophistication despite her preference for sleeping rough.
Sadly, we did not meet that night, nor have we since. What led to my unanticipated captivity that fateful night is a part of this story that I have not revealed to anyone; a loyal agent never would.
Just over 24 hours after my excursion began, M and her insufferable canine were walking near Headquarters and calling for me. M’s call was uncharacteristically frantic. I was obliged to call back. I did not want to reveal my identity and location to others in the vicinity but realized I had no alternative given the circumstances. I responded with my strongest, bravest yowl and, much to my relief, was heard, not just by M but by another woman as well.
Mercifully, the canine returned to HQ and M assured the other woman who was concerned for my wellbeing and whereabouts, that she recognized my call and knew I would only reveal myself when no one else was present. The first part of this was true, but I could not actually approach M, only continue to call until she realized exactly where I was.
“It sounds like he’s calling from inside that house,” the woman had said. Indeed, I was, but not from a position of comfort and warmth. I was, in fact, trapped behind the home’s soffit with no apparent means of escape.
Though it was rather late to be ringing a residential doorbell, M did so as soon as she realized that I was trapped and calling from within the house's structure. After explaining her concern to the homeowner, she was tersely told to “get lost”. Having no other alternative, she then spoke to higher authorities and soon the neighbourhood was illuminated with red and yellow flashing lights. The sirens preceding these incessant beams were deafening and the bulkily clad humans who ascended the rooftop near my entrapment were not pleased to be assisting M or me, not pleased at all.
True to my ninja identity, I did not emerge from the hole the firemen made in the soffit. I retreated further inward, waiting for an ideally quiet moment to make my escape.
M, who recruited me to M15 when I was but 4-weeks old, knew my proclivities well and returned to the home where I was entrapped after midnight when few others were in the vicinity and the homeowners were asleep. She had only to call once, softly, to see my relieved face stare back at her from the hole I was meant to leave. I gingerly stepped onto the rooftop, made my way to its edge, and realized she was much too far beneath me to descend further. M circled the home, I followed from above, but neither of us could see an easy means for my descent and so, reluctantly, I spent a second night nestled against aluminum siding.
By the next morning, I’d begun hallucinating. The city buses that passed the home every 30-minutes became soot belching dragons that would devour me whole if they spotted me. M didn’t know it then but I’d been eating insulation and wood shavings for sustenance. M refused to bring me food, rightly knowing that if I was fed on the roof I might never return to Headquarters. Visions of the feral temptress I’d hoped to see had become more detailed. The lure of salmon pate bringing her near was as appealing as returning to HQ at that point.
M procured a ladder and elicited help from other human agents who knew my identity but I was far too delirious and, yes, humiliated to be at all cooperative about leaving the roof. It wasn’t until past midnight on that third night, when the dragons slept, that M rested the ladder against the home two doors west of M15 one last time and ascended it alone. She'd brought the carrier I was usually taken for medical examinations in with her, making my escape imminently possible.
Within a nanosecond of M setting the carrier on the roof's edge and opening its door, I seized opportunity, exploded from the soffit hole in a cloud of dust and settled in the back of its familiar confines before fully revealing my true form once more. Relieved, M made our descent beneath the warm glow of a streetlamp and silently whisked me back to HQ for debriefing.
Once securely behind M15's armed door, the canine gave me a predictably hearty welcome. Agent 006 – her story more heroic than mine – sneered with her one eye from what was usually my preferred location for relaxation, defiantly adjusted herself and resumed napping. Within half an hour of my return, M learned what my diet had been as I expelled it onto her lap in a mixture of anxiety and relief. I was reluctant to leave warm comfort for even that indignity.
Tonight, Hallows Eve, is the perfect opportunity to practice my stealth, ghostly, invisibility maneuvers. I have successfully eluded the camera lens intent on revealing my true identity for this story and remain, Dacious, Beau Dacious.
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