Bugsy prowled stealthily up and down the alleyway, his tail taut, whilst Joey counted the fish they had just been paid in. Knuckles, as usual, stayed right where he was; relaxed and lying against the cold brick wall, his furry chins rested on his chest.
Knuckles’ sight was through half closed eyes. He didn’t need to open his peepers wide; his whiskers guided him and his chums made sure no one bugged him.
The Mafia Cats (formerly known as La Cosa Nostra) only showed their furry faces near the finest of establishments. The rubbish bins of this alley were in back of a fine Sicilian restaurant called Tony’s. Across the way, Cats the musical played for the stupid human tourists that walked their streets.
Joey stopped counting for a moment to bring fat cat Knuckles his favourite: the last mouth-watering scraps of a pepperoni pizza.
‘Why that’s soitanly an offer I can’t refuse,’ he mewed, while the others laughed appropriately.
Once the fish was counted and hidden safely in the bottom of a discarded human shoe, the three thugs discussed private matters: the moggy who was swimming with the fishes as they spoke, the young kitten who had gotten in too deep, and the saucy feline who claimed to be the best mouse hunter since Purrs Galore.
All the while, a lost white pedigree stayed as still as she could, so that her bell would not give her away. She could have skulked away minutes before, but here she was, eavesdropping on the secret plans and future crimes of the infamous Mafia Cats. She was frozen with fear and cold: she wanted to be safe at home with her humans, but at the same time her ears pricked up, eager to hear the dastardly plans of the nasty trio.
What she heard next was truly shocking. If word got out about this, the entire feline world would be turned upside down. A yowl involuntarily escaped her mouth at the terror of her discovery. She ran as fast as her pampered feet would take her. That darned bell! The mafia cats Bugsy and Joey chased her, and it wasn’t long before Joey had a tuft of her carefully combed fur between his unrelenting teeth.
‘You’re a curious little showgirl, ain’t ya,’ Bugsy mewed slyly.
‘Tell me you didn’t listen to a word we said.’
‘I didn’t – I-’
The poor cat shivered, her pretty eyelashes quaking above her saucer-wide eyes. This is the end, she thought, mentally counting all the lives she had used up: yep, this was her ninth and final one.
Just like the old proverb, curiosity killed that house-trained cat.
After all, it could never get out that the Mafia Cats were due to return to their humans at sunrise. None of the feline community had a right to know that these three loved to snuggle up on the laps of humans while they had their fur combed and their ears scratched. The girl had to die – it was too risky with her having knowledge of their trysts with scratching posts and balls of yarn.
It was a shame though. She could have survived if only she hadn’t discovered the most rep-damaging information of all. Their real names were… they were Fluffy, Mopsy-Poo and Tiddles.