Artwork by Ava Byroads

Artwork by Ava Byroads

Last week, Horgan, our Covert Animal Handler for the CIA, received a new mission from headquarters. I was initially relieved. He had added cat breeds to our foreign language lessons (who knew there there was a whole world beyond domestic short hair and domestic long hair?) and I was looking forward to field work again.

No such luck. “Even I don’t get to go, buddy,” he said. “This is for advanced feline agents only. They specifically requested Lester.”

Lester put down his flashcards and blinked. “A solo mission? That’s above my pay grade. Do you think I’m ready? I don’t have a suitcase. Do I have to fly? What if my passport is expired? What if I get–YEOW!” The black tip of his tail was swishing so rapidly back and forth across the carpet, Pfizz had darted across the room and pounced on it.

“Thorry,” Pfizz said through a mouthful of fur. He spit out Lester’s tail. “I thought you were a mouse.”

“Lester, you don’t need a passport,” Horgan said. “You’re a cat.”

I’ll let Lester explain the rest.

————————————-
Field journal of Feline Agent L. McMuffin,

Undercover assignment, Day 1

Location: Unable to reveal

Date: Unable to reveal

Mission: Infiltrate household and report suspicious activity.

Feline observations:

This look? You think it's something special? Don't flatter yourself.

This look? You think it’s something special? Don’t flatter yourself.

1. The house is run by a feline matriarch. She prefers the high ground. Avoids contact, except via teeth. The look of disdain captured by this photo is representative. Criminal potential: HIGH

2. The low ground is covered by a large, orange blanket. With feet. Excessively demonstrative. Purrs at the first sight of food or a human lap. Is too fat to reach either unaided. Criminal potential: LOW

My food...it's so far away. Yet somehow, I keep getting bigger.

My food…it’s so far away. Yet somehow, I keep getting bigger.

Human observations:

Majority of household activities are dictated by two miniature humans. They spend most of their time either playing with cats or dressing up as them. Once, I caught them smuggling large amounts of colorful currency into the basement. They spent a lot of time buying, exchanging, and mortgaging property. One of them spent time “In jail” during this activity. I suspect they are dwarves being groomed to infiltrate the Secret Agent Cat training program. Criminal potential: EXTREMELY HIGH.

I reported my findings to Horgan.

Meow. This isn't going to cause trouble at all.

Meow. This isn’t going to cause trouble at all.

He laughed at me. “Lester, the kids were playing Monopoly.”

“Then what was I there for? It was highly suspicious, Boss.”

He held a remote control up to my back, pressed a button, and much to my surprise, a voice started talking. I recognized the owner of the cats and dwarves saying, “Why do we have a foster cat again?” Horgan fast-forwarded through the recording, listened to bits here and there, and made notes.

At the end, he nodded, and said, “Thanks to you, we now have proof that Switzerland is trying to start a canine secret agent program.”

“I never saw anything.”

“They talked about it while you were asleep.”

“The dwarves? I knew it!”

Horgan’s coffee spilled. Through his nose. “The parents, Lester. The parents.”

“You mean all that time I was a glorified tape recorder?”

“The best undercover spies are the ones who don’t even know it.”

Used. For the sake of my country.

It’s better than being a cat toy, I suppose.

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