What, you were expecting a person?

Yes, I supposed I should cede this space to Pru. My roommate – the one who opens the cans – is Pru Marlowe. She’s also the one who dragged us both out of the city and to this godforsaken town a little over a year ago, as you people reckon it. Couldn’t handle the pressures of city life. The men, the fun. Couldn’t handle that suddenly, after a bad bout of flu, she could hear me, Wallis, the cat. Not her cat, please. May as well call Pru my human. Considering who does most of the thinking around here, it really would be more accurate.

Not that I get out much anymore. At 12, I’m a mature tabby, and really, keeping up this fine tiger-striped coat takes a good deal of time. No, I leave the adventures, such as they are, to Pru. She’s half in love with that old muscle car of hers, anyway, driving around this little podunk – excuse me, scenic – Berkshires town. And now that she can hear us, she’s always getting in trouble. Saving the animals, she calls it. Saving humans from themselves is more like it, though, yes, I’ll admit it. Sometimes my fellow quadrupeds do need a human hand to help them out.

Take this Persian, for example. Now, as a proper cat, I have little use for those flat faces. But this girl? I don’t care about the gun powder in her white fur – she could bathe, you know. I don’t believe she shot her person. From what I hear about the other humans in that household – that scolding wife, the pretty but vapid “aide” – I think old Donal was the best of the bunch. At any rate, a gun – even a rare antique dueling pistol – is not a weapon for a cat. No, I think Pru may be right on this one. I think someone has framed that cat. You humans have an expression, something about a “cat’s paw,” don’t you?

Still, couldn’t Pru leave it to Jim Creighton, that handsome young cop? I like the way he pets me, smoothing my thick fur down right. He likes her, too, though she can be a bit odd around lawmen. Maybe it’s because of her history. She’s been a bit of a wild one. Maybe it’s because her ex is in town. Now he’s feisty, a regular old tomcat. I don’t know what his connection is with the Persian, or with that gun, but I’m sure Pru will figure it out. I’ll help, of course. After my nap.

Meet the author
A reformed journalist, who has written for everyone from The New York Times to Cat Fancy, Clea Simon authored three nonfiction books before turning to to a life of crime (fiction). Her first mystery series, featuring the rock critic Theda Krakow, began with Mew is for Murder and continued for four books, through Probable Claws (Poisoned Pen Press). She then found herself communing with a ghost cat, Mr. Grey, via her graduate student heroine Dulcie Schwartz for the Dulcie Schwartz feline mysteries, the most recent of which is Grey Expectations (Severn House). The Pru Marlowe pet noirs, with their bad-girl protagonist Pru Marlowe, and her even badder tabby Wallis, launched last year with Dogs Don’t Lie and continues this spring with CATS CAN’T SHOOT (Poisoned Pen Press). A member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers Association, Clea lives in Massachusetts with her cat Musetta and their husband. She is working on new Prus and Dulcies, and can be reached at http://cleasimon.com and on Twitter @Clea_Simon.

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