My friend and neighbor Ken has a new cat, named after the neighborhood’s main street, where he was found wandering.  “He’s a big guy.  Eighteen pounds.  Let me go upstairs and bring him down.”  Cortland squirms in Ken’s arms.  “The only thing I miss, he’s not a lap cat,” Ken says wistfully.

Cortland has had more than enough of being held and leaps to the landing where he turns his magisterial profile.  “And in the night he’s up running around.  Raccoons and possums in the garden drive him nuts.  He jumps from window to window, and taps on the shutters to see out.”

“Surveillance cat.”

“Right.  Two nights ago it got too much and I locked him in Diana’s apartment.  She’s moved out; it’s mostly empty. About 5 in the morning I hear footsteps and voices and see a light flashing back and forth, then banging on my door.  “’Who’s there’, I shout.  ‘Police.  Open up.’  They got an emergency call from this address.  Not me, I say, nobody else lives here.  One of the cops takes out his device and retrieves the last four numbers of the caller. It’s Diana’s number.  I open the door to her apartment for the cops and Cortland runs out. Nobody’s in there, and the phone is in its cradle.”



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