Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Hideout at Sea

Natalia looked over the moonlight on the blue green water and admired the view. It was pretty to look at but she wasn't tempted in the slightest to venture into it. The sea would get her fur wet and salty. As a cat, she had an aversion to being wet and the salt was a pain in the tail to clean. Not to mention, it tasted funny. Even though she didn't want to swim in the Mediterranean Sea that surrounded the latest of her hideouts. Though the term hideout conjures the image of a shack deep in the woods and this was more of a luxury villa on its own island in the French Riviera, but it still served that function. Though hideout wasn't exactly what it was either. It was more like a trap. A trap designed to capture the secret agent cats that M.E.O.W. would send after her.

Natalia might be a former M.E.O.W. agent with no current contacts in the Ministry, but some of her contacts had contacts. So what if the news was second or third hand, it was still news. The latest was all about the mission in Turkey that went sideways. It was bad luck that by keeping her rivals close that she and her followers had been next to where three cats and two M.E.O.W. handlers had died. Natalia knew Lady Gwen and Angus well enough to know they'd be after those responsible and then Natalia and her культ кошки. Hence the retreat to the island.

The island was very nearly cat invasion proof. Natalia and a half dozen cats resided on the island with a similar number of humans. The rest of the культ кошкиhad founded a commune in the hills of the Western United States where they could live in relative peace until it was time to rise up and take out M.E.O.W. once and for all. No cat could get on the island because a boat would be seen from miles away. M.E.O.W. cats might parachute in, but the element of surprise would be lost because the island was not on the regular flight route of planes capable of deploying parachuters and the noise from such a plane would be a dead give away of the plan. The drop from far enough away not to be noticed would be too far for a small cat to make. But if it was tried and a cat made it to shore, there were other anti-cat measures. Empty cardboard boxes, arranged in concentric circles on the ground, would be the first such measure. The boxes would only delay cats as highly trained as M.E.O.W. agents were, but even a delay could be helpful. After the boxes came patches of cat nip. Again, a M.E.O.W. agent wouldn't be stopped, they were trained to work through the high, whether they went manically nuts or became stoned. It would further delay the invasion until Natalia could escape. After the cat nip came the balls of yarns and the feathers on sticks. A delayed cat could be captured and interrogated. That was what the humans were for.

One would think with all the cat traps, the resident felines would succumb to the traps themselves, but they knew where the traps were located and could avoid them. They used the easy paved paths around the island. If the sneaking agents used those paths they would be easily spotted and taken out.

The moonlight had given way to the beautiful yellows, oranges, and blues of dawn. Natalia yawned. It might be early morning but it was late for a cat. She took one last circuit of the island and made sure her traps were ready. Once she was sure no strange cat would breach the island's defenses, she headed into the house.

Natalia made her way to the kitchen, where the cook had made a bedtime meal of chicken tidbits and warm milk waiting for her. After consuming her repast. Natalia visited the necessary box. The litter was fresh and at the perfect depth, so she had bit of fun playing in the stuff. She may have made a bit more of a mess than necessary but that would give the humans something to do later. After shaking the last of the litter from her paws, she padded up stairs to her room.

The room was a corner room with big windows in the South and East walls. Natalia made her way over to the large, soft, velvet cushion positioned in the space where the light from both windows fell. She climbed onto the cushion where the sunlight fell and turned around three times and settled with her head on her crossed paws. After a moment she realized she had forgotten part of her bedtime ritual. She stood up, hopped off the cushion and cleaned her nether regions. Once she had all the last litter bits removed, she returned to her spot in the sun, turned around three times and settled in for her sleep. Sometimes it was very good to be the head of a villainous conglomerate.

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