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Crime Funny

I do believe I am a living oxymoron, a fat cat burglar. When I mentioned this to my criminal colleagues, they just laughed and called me a fat moron, which I find highly impolite, not to mention politically incorrect.

Of course, it is well known that some people of the overweight kind can be remarkably agile, and that is how I have managed to ply my trade all these years without being caught even once.

As for my underworld companions, they shrugged and told me that everyone gets caught eventually, and that the main reason I haven’t yet is that people can’t believe a lump of lard like me can be a successful thief.


So anyway, one night I was robbing the apartment of an old dame. I had been given a tip off she had some real high-end jewellery, and that the lady in question would be out at the opera.

It was an upper floor apartment, so I came in from the roof, grappling down to the balcony, quietly jimmying the lock on the glass doors and slipping inside.

A low whistle escaped my lips. This place was opulent, hell it was decked out like an 18th century boudoir, all velvet and silks, with ornate furniture. There was even what looked like a large stuffed owl mounted on a hatstand.

I got down to business. A quick search and I had found a number of gem encrusted pieces, enough to keep me in the high life for months. As I was stuffing them into my bag, I heard the sound every thief fears.

The jingling of a set of keys and one being inserted into a lock.

Damn, I looked frantically around for a hiding spot, but too late. The owner of the apartment came in, tall and slender in a black gown and cape arrangement, gnarled face with a huge hook nose and shock of white hair.

Now, if someone had told me the apartment belonged to a witch, and I mean a real actual witch, I might have had second thoughts about the whole venture. Of course, at that stage, I didn’t actually believe witches existed, so c’est la vie and all that.

The lady looked at me in anger. “What have we here?” she screeched in a raspy tone, “A thief?” she looked at the open balcony doors. “Nay, a cat burglar!”

She laughed, an evil sound I never want to hear again. Drawing a wand from beneath her gown, she pointed it at me.

“Well, fat little man, you have chosen the form of your punishment for stealing from the great Esmeralda!”

“Hexus, Mutatas, Felinus!”

The words fell like leaden stones in my ears. I felt the most hideous pain I have ever felt, my bones, flesh and organs twisting and rending. The surrounding room seemed to grow bigger! Bony hands grabbed me, and then I had the sickening feeling of free fall, a tremendous thump, then… darkness.


I came to, lying on my back, the potent smell of rotting food assaulting my nostrils. Kinda surprised that I wasn’t dead, I rolled off the bags of rubbish I landed on and tried to stand up.

Except I couldn’t.

I don’t mean that my bones were broken or anything, I just could not stand up. What was going on? I looked down at my feet and saw two furry, black paws. With a flexibility I had never experienced before, I looked behind me and saw a thick black tail waving agitatedly.

Ok, so I’m a cat now. That witch turned me, a cat burglar, into a friggin’ cat! Even through my shock, I felt a sense of ridiculous irony.

As I stood there assessing the situation, I heard a voice behind me.

“Well hello, aren’t you a big, handsome boy?”

Turning around, I saw a giant woman! I hissed in fear and surprise. Logic broke its way through my dazed mind. Of course you are a cat now, everything is going to seem huge.

A hand reached down and stroked along my neck. Shivers of pleasure ran through my body.

“Meow?” I said.

Meow! I felt the urge to laugh hysterically, though I couldn’t, being a cat.

“Aww, are you hurt, big fella?” a pair of hands picked me up, and I was pressed up against a quite ample bosom. I perked up. Hey now, maybe being a cat isn’t all bad.

Burying my head into the soft curves, I started purring.

“Such a sweetie, too.”

I stretched my body up to the woman’s face and touched her lips. Hell, if a witch’s spell had turned me into a cat, maybe a kiss from a fair damsel would turn me back.

Nope.

The woman laughed, “You’re a bit stinky, puss.”

You fall three storeys into a pile of garbage and see how you smell, I thought.

“Well fed,” the woman mused, “Either you have an owner or are a top-notch mouser.”

A scratch under my chin. “Let’s take you home, big fella. Maybe you want some food and a nice, warm place to sleep.”

I could think of worse outcomes, so I stayed silent as I was carried down the alleyway toward the woman’s home.


A dingy first-floor apartment, though the inside was clean, if sparsely furnished. I padded around, sniffing. Amazing! I could smell so much, and everything was so loud.

I heard the woman talking under her breath as she fussed around in the kitchen.

“Hmm, let’s see, tin of sardines. That should do the trick, not much else except bread and eggs.”

I shuddered. Sardines? I hated canned seafood.

But as she peeled back the tin and tipped the contents into a bowl, I smelled an irresistible umami aroma. I started drooling.

She placed the bowl on the floor and it was all I could do to walk with at least a little dignity before I tore into the salty fish. OMG, so good!

“Hey slow down,” she giggled. “You’ll get a sore tummy.”

The telephone rang, shrill and loud. The woman sighed. “Oh, what now?”

I listened as she answered.

“Mr Forsythe? Yes, I know the rent is overdue, but can you just give me a few more days? I’m in between jobs right now.” I heard a raised voice from the receiver, and a quiet whisper in return, “You pompous asshole.”

“Thank you Mr Forsythe, just give me once more chance, please.”

She banged the phone down and leant against the kitchen bench. Looking down, she said, “Oh Mr Kitty, what am I going to do?”

I would have offered her a number of solutions, but as a cat, I could only come up with, “Meow?” I guess being a cat had some benefits, but vocabulary wasn’t one of them.

The woman grabbed something from a cabinet against the wall. A vinyl record? How old school. She placed it on a turntable, picked me up, and settled down into an armchair, plonking me onto her lap. Definitely a novel experience for me, not that I was complaining.

The familiar sounds of Miles Davis’s “So What” floated through the air. Ah, a lady with taste. I mean, I am a jazz cat from way back.

She started stroking me in time with the swing rhythm. Man, I don’t think I have ever felt as relaxed and content as I did in that moment. I drifted off into a cat-like slumber.


I awoke to the sound of gentle snoring. Ok, time for some action. I jumped down onto the floor and padded around until I found the laundry and the screen door that led outside. Meowing plaintively, I scratched on the door in the way cats have from time immemorial.

“Hey big fella,” the woman came in blearily. “You wanna go outside and do some business?”

She opened the door, “I’ll leave it ajar so you can come back in when you finish, alright.”

I slipped out into the garden courtyard. I had some cat business in mind, but not of the scatological nature. Beyond the wall of the courtyard, I could hear the sounds of a main road. Vaulting over the wall and over the other side was easier than I thought.

I trotted along the side of the road, the occasional car rumbling by and filling my sensitive nostrils with fumes, until I saw the bright lights of a gas station.

Bingo.

At this time of night, there was no one pumping gas, which suited me fine. Luckily, my body was big enough to activate the automatic doors, and I padded into the brightly lit shop.

A lone male attendant sat bored behind the register, flipping through a magazine.

Approaching the counter, I jumped onto it, scattering a box of chocolate bars with my heavy landing.

“Well, what have we here!” exclaimed the attendant, “A big, chonky cat dude!”

You know, I really wish people would stop commenting on my weight. There are other facets to my personality.

“You hungry or something, puss?”

I rubbed myself against him, purring.

“Hey, I think I’ve got some jerky around here. You want it?”

He placed some on the counter and I gobbled down the salty treat, then sat sphinx-like looking at him with that owlish gaze only cats can do. Well, possibly owls as well.

Now just gotta wait. Sure enough, after the guy petted me for a bit, he straightened up.

“Just going to go check the pump levels. You can stay here if you like cat dude.”

Now that I was alone, it was time for action. Moving across to the register, with a paw I pressed the release button, opening the cash tray. Good, the hundreds tray was nice and full. Lowering my head, I picked up a wad of notes in my mouth, then pushed the tray back in with my paw. Wouldn’t want to leave any evidence, right?

I was out the door and across the street before you could say, “Cat’s got your tongue.”

Retracing my steps, I was soon back in the woman’s courtyard. I made my way into the kitchen, leapt up, and carefully dropped the cash next to the telephone.

The woman was snoring blissfully on the couch still, so I got onto her lap, snuggled in and fell promptly asleep. It’s a cat’s life, I tell ya.


I got a whole bunch of cuddles in the morning, a reward for being “Such a good kitty coming back and looking after me.” Could definitely get used to this cat life, not that I think I have much of a choice.

As the woman busily made breakfast, I jumped onto the bench and waited. Eventually she laid her cup of coffee on the counter and gazed wonderingly down.

“Is that money? How in the world…”

She picked up the notes and counted. “My lord, that’s 700 dollars! Where could it have come from?”

The woman glanced sideways at me, her eyes narrowing.

“Are you a feline felon?” laughing a little shakily. “No, that’s ridiculous.”

Scratching me under the chin, she said, “That will cover the rent for the next month, thank god!”

“And I think I will go down to the market today and get you some nice fresh tuna, my big, cuddly boy!”

I looked at her with unblinking eyes and thought, lady, this is the start of a long and beautiful friendship.

February 28, 2023 03:19

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14 comments

Mary Bendickson
13:30 Mar 31, 2023

Fun on the run. If a chonky cat burglar can. Just got around to reading this gem. Was so sure he would end up behind bars because 'criminal colleagues' mention in beginning. Glad he is leading the good life. Thanks for reading and liking some of my attempts.

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Darryl Roberts
11:27 Apr 01, 2023

No thanks needed, they were good stories. I’m glad my plump puss is still getting some love.

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Mary Bendickson
18:32 Apr 01, 2023

So many great stories, so little time to read them all.

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Michał Przywara
18:08 Mar 05, 2023

Hah, that was hilarious :) Right from the opening paragraph, which also does a lot of good characterization. There's a lot of great lines in this piece, which I think are critical for establishing a funny character voice. "that owlish gaze only cats can do. Well, possibly owls as well" is just one example, but it had me laugh out loud. The attitude of the narrator is impressive too. The guy just rolls with the punches and makes the best of a situation :) Thanks for sharing!

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Darryl Roberts
22:40 Mar 05, 2023

Thanks for reading!

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David Sanchez
02:54 Mar 10, 2023

This is a fun story to read. It must have been fun to write, getting into the mindset of a cat through the main character. I really enjoyed the narrative voice and the overall pacing of the story. Well done! :-)

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Darryl Roberts
00:48 Mar 11, 2023

Thanks glad you enjoyed it.

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Jane Andrews
16:08 Mar 05, 2023

This was great fun, Darryl. You and I both went for the idea of someone being turned into a cat by a witch, but I love how you stick to the cat’s POV - or rather the MC’s still-human POV as a cat. It’s a really sweet story with your literal cat burglar rocking the Robin Hood’ vibe by robbing the gas station to pay the woman’s rent - and you’ve left the door wide open for more adventures. A great entry.

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Darryl Roberts
22:51 Mar 05, 2023

Thank you, I really liked your take on cat transformation as well.

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Wendy Kaminski
15:54 Feb 28, 2023

I love this story so much, Darryl! It is fun and sweet and a little larcenous, lol. Some incredibly dry humor in there from Chief Wigglebutt, too (" then sat sphinx-like looking at him with that owlish gaze only cats can do. Well, possibly owls as well." was my favorite, if I had to choose!). What was your favorite line/part? This submission is awesome - good luck next week and welcome to Reedsy! :)

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Darryl Roberts
02:25 Mar 01, 2023

Thanks for reading and your kind comments. The owl line is also my favourite.

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Michelle Oliver
09:28 Feb 28, 2023

I love the idea of a chonky car burglar who is actually a cat. Your MC has a delightful attitude towards property and is totally without remorse. Such a cat-like trait. Great use of voice to bring this scamp to life.

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Darryl Roberts
11:49 Feb 28, 2023

Thank you I had fun writing it.

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Rylee Duncan
16:52 Apr 24, 2023

sooo cute!!! first story that's so good to make me comment !

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