M.A. De Neve
body lay on the carpet. I hadn’t moved him. The oaf weighed at least three
Story arrived and
almost tripped over one of my cats.
cats,” I told him.
“How many do
in the apartment. There’s more upstairs in the cattery. I run a foundation that
finds homes for homeless felines. At times I might have up to a hundred cats.
When my husband collapsed, I got as many as I could into the cattery. Can’t
have them in the way now, can we?”
“In the way?”
obviously needs to be moved.” I nodded toward the body.
detective looked around at the assortment of cat trees, scratching posts, cat
beds and feeders. “I admire the work you do with homeless cats. I’ve read about
all homeless. Many are pets, and all of them have a home with me.”
as the coroner’s staff got ready to lift the corpse. It wasn’t going to be
easy. A big guy like that. I wished they’d hurry up.
When I led
the detective into the living room,
cats scattered off the couch. My chairs and sofa are all covered in water-resistant
fabric. We sat down. A few cat hairs never bothered me. I hoped the officer
wouldn’t worry about his cheap suit.
happened?” he asked.
had a heart attack.”
long. He just got out of
prison this morning.”
“How did you
curious. You’re wealthy and your husband…”
A cat landed on his lap. He smiled and petted little Fur Fuss.
was a drug dealer, a thug, and a convicted murderer. I married him when he was
on death row.”
have been a surprise for you when he got out of prison this morning.”
I knew it
One of the cats
climbed a cat tree, and another shook an interactive feeder for her dinner. Yet
another cat chased a cloth mouse across the carpet. We heard a meow and a hiss,
and the sound of a toy rattling across the floor.
none of the cats get out,” I told the coroner’s assistants.
stand to gain from his death?” the detective asked.
insure the life of a death row inmate.”
not,” he agreed.
nothing financially from his death.”
“But you get
your freedom. Surely you didn’t want to stay married to this guy?”
already drew up the divorce papers.”
“Did you get
a restraining order?”
“No need. I
paid for the appeal. I didn’t expect him to get out, though.”
“Why did you
marry a death row inmate?”
will. It says I had to be married before my 21st birthday to inherit.”
will let you marry a convict?”
Mr. Gordon, the deceased, three days before my birthday, and five months before
his scheduled execution.”
“But he got
loophole. They wouldn’t have found it, but I had to hire a good lawyer. It was
my part of the marriage agreement. I had to give him something.” A cat crawled
onto my lap. I gently petted the purring animal. “Such a sweet fur ball.”
got up, brushed cat hair from his suit.
died of a heart attack,” I told the detective.
my husband walked into my
apartment, he got quite a shock. The cats ran right over to him, and one even
tried to climb his leg. He had a heart attack.
husband had an irrational fear of cats. It’s called Gatophobia. Poor
man. But like I told the detective,
there was no need for a restraining order.
I guess I
maybe should have told him about the cats, though.
DeNeve is a crazy cat lady, tree hugger and bag lady. Her short stories appeared
in Over My Dead Body, Yellow Mama, Everyday
Mysterical-E. Her novels are available on Amazon.
Rosmus is a Jersey
girl who looks like a Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side
Story. She works out 5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do
whatever the hell she wants She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun
Honey, Hardboiled, A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out
of the Gutter, Mysterical-E, and Rock and a Hard Place. She
is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a Gemini, a
Christian, and an animal rights activist. She has recently been branching out
into photo illustration, under the guidance and mentoring of Ann Marie Rhiel.