It must be around midnight when I thought I heard something strange. I was still up since I had trouble getting sleep sometimes, I would just lie there the whole night in my bed cursing the ceiling. The source of the ruckus was from outside my bedroom window and apparently, seven angry cats broke into the house. They clawed a perfect circle on the glass but one of them couldn’t fit through, so they made a much bigger hole. They were looking for a “black limping spider” that was how they described who they were after, a male black widow to be exact.
“It’d be just a speck to your eyes, mister, just about 7-8 millimeters in size.” One of them said.
Two cats sat down by my bed while the rest went about the room sniffing and searching.
The lead feline sleuth pulled up a photo from its tabby fur coat, fanned out its chubby paws to show me. I told them that only common house spiders came by but none of them stayed. They asked me for their names but of course, I wouldn’t know any of that.
“How about rabbits? Have you noticed any strange activities around your yard?”
“What do you mean rabbits? I’m not sure where you came from, detective, but around here in the city, you wouldn’t see any rabbits roaming around.”
“The rabbits whom I refer to are not from around. These are dangerous yakuza rabbits.” The lead detective’s tone was low.
“They were hired by the female spider, the lover. Those crazy bunnies are after our client. They won’t stop until they’d found him.”
“What’s this got to do with me then?”
“Well, we traced some shreds of vegetables on the way over. And your house is the nearest from our last lead, we’re just scouting, sorry mister, just standard procedure.” Its silvery fur glared in the light of a passing car.
“The one we’re looking for, the black limping spider, was her mate. She got a taste of him, it’s now missing a leg, and apparently wants the whole cake if you know what I mean. We’re here for his protection. He went to us last week but it seemed like he got spooked and ran away.”
Since none of it was my business, I couldn’t help but feel amused about what the detective cats were wearing. They were wearing fedoras and ties, one of them had suspenders, even. I didn’t know that there were detective cats let alone dressed up like humans.
“Cats do have furry coats for a reason. We use it to conceal these whenever it’s needed. We are true to our cause that’s why we have to pretend that we’re just your normal house pets. That’s how we get into your homes.”
“Are all cats like you guys?”
“Of course not. But everyone is into it. It’s part of our code.”
While we were talking, one of the deputy cats came up to us holding a sachet of Nizoral in its mouth.
“Found this caught in the trap door ceiling, looks odd,” turns to the lead cat sleuth.
And just like that, all seven cats surrounded the area. One cat made sure that the door and the windows were closed, another climbed up the closet near the trap door and the rest stealthily hid under the side table, a shoebox, and into a plastic container. All of them have waited patiently until the male black spider came out from its hiding spot.
It took a lot of convincing but after some time, the black spider with a missing leg calmed down. We fed the poor thing and it confided that it was feeding on the dandruff shampoo for days to stay hidden and to stay alive.
It loved her. But the female black widow tried to eat him. And needless to say, it was devastated, brokenhearted. The seven cat detectives had valiantly exemplified their skills, but the male black spider wanted to discontinue their services for obvious reasons.
It was the last time we saw the spider. Maybe it made the trip on the way over to see the female black widow, if so, I still don’t understand why he’d do that. Maybe it wanted to confront her. Maybe it needed some sort of finality, an answer at the risk of getting eaten. Maybe he was able to escape, but nobody was able to find out what exactly happened.
I still get regular visits from the cat detectives. Sometimes, I even get to see them around the park, but they don’t like to be petted.
“In my years of detective work, I’ve been around the world serving kings, queens, royalties, important men of their time, dealing with the common town folk, even insects, an arachnid in this case. And fate has been kind enough to have allowed me to witness many great mysteries, big and small, have allowed me to participate to deal with questions difficult to answer, oftentimes because I am not asking the right ones. Do you see? our reach has its limitations for a reason… Time had lent its invisible hand and invited me to work and solve some of these cases only to arrive at the conclusion that answers are not the answers sometimes — I don’t know if it makes any sense to you, but the most important mysteries, I think, are best dealt with quiet ponderings that sometimes need not be responded to.
This pinched my chest. I thought of giving my dead wife a late-night phone call just because. I picked up the handset releasing the plunger, I then rested my ear on the receiver. And as soon as I did this, the dial tone indicated some signs of life in its infinite tone. But I knew there was nothing there on the other end, at least not there. I think that cat sleuth is onto something.