There it is! Would you mind? Just kick it over here – yes, thank you!
I know it’s simply a button, one of those round-topped ones with a big, braided dome. But that’s what makes it special. That’s what makes it roll in such an intriguing semi-circle, as if it were trying to sneak up on me, the great hunter. For I am, you know. They may call me a kitten, but I am more than that. I am Ernesto the Fierce. There! Got it! Look at it go!
What? Why am I playing with a button? Knocking it back and forth on the floor here in my new house? Well, kick it back to me, one more time, and I’ll try to explain.
Oh! Watch it! If it goes under the sofa, I won’t be able to . . . wait, what’s that? Is that a drop of blood? A spot someone missed on the floor? Why, yes, my new person – the lawyer who lives here – did hit his head when he fell. But they took him away hours ago. He was very still.
That lady Pru has come back to visit me since then. She seems to hear what I am thinking, which is more than I could say for that old lawyer, although he did give me that button, tearing it off as he fell. More than I can say for the various people who came to see him earlier today, too. I know at least one of them visited before he started coughing. Before he grabbed at his chest and fell. Before he was still. Since then, things have gotten weird. I can tell from the way they talk that they think I had something to do with what happened. That I made the old guy cough and choke, made him fall down.
Pru looks at them funny when they say that. I don’t think she believes that I made him fall, that I made him lie so still. She wants to know what happened, during those hours when he and I were alone. I’m not sure what to tell her. After all, I may be Ernesto the Fierce, but I’m also just a kitten. And I have a button to hunt. If you’ll just pass it back to me one more time . . . there!
Ernesto is the title feline of Clea Simon’s Kittens Can Kill, the fifth book in the Pru Marlowe pet noir, out this month from Poisoned Pen Press. The other books in the series are Dogs Don’t Lie, Cats Can’t Shoot, Parrots Prove Deadly and Panthers Play for Keeps.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 9 for the chance to win a signed copy of Kittens Can Kill. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Clea Simon is the author of 17 mysteries in the Theda Krakow(4), Dulcie Schwartz (8), and Pru Marlowe pet noir (5) series, as well as three nonfiction books. A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. You can read more about Kittens Can Kill and Simon’s other work at www.cleasimon.com and is on Twitter.