If, like most of us, you’re not a cat psychic, you may still be able to understand what your cat is thinking. Body language – eyes, ears, whiskers and tail – convey many messages of their own.
Special Agent Denny Paris was already in the foster office by the time I got back. Through the large display window that looked in from the spacious lobby, I studied the young officer. He was tall and sturdy, immaculate aside from a few brown curls escaping from under his NHS baseball cap. In his uniform, he looked like any other cop until you got to the face. There was a sparkle to his cat-green eyes and an optimism in his handsome countenance that belied the usual hardened police crust. Here was a man who believed he could make a difference, and with good reason. Denny and his team, Frank Dawson and Connie Lee, investigated over a thousand cases each year throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Denny and I got to know each other last summer when he helped me straighten out a bogus murder charge by tracking down the real killer, but I still called him by his official title of Special Agent, partly because I liked the sound of it and partly because he deserved the respect, every little bit.
Denny was head to head with Kerry. As I opened the door, he was saying, “…another homicide. That makes three.”
“I know,” Kerry answered. “You never think that sort of thing can happen so close to home, do you?”
“And the method, it’s like something out of Law & Order: Grisly Victim’s Unit.”
“Hi, guys,” I said, feeling a little like I was interrupting. “Everything okay?”
The two looked up guiltily. “Oh, Denny and I were just talking about the news. Bad news, of course.”
I waited for her to elaborate, but she smiled passively, lips tightly shut.
I looked at Denny. “Special Agent Paris, good to see you again. How are you doing?”
“Good, Lynley.” He smiled, but his thumbs remained looped in his utility belt, a signal that he was running in one hundred percent official mode.
Kerry stepped out from behind her desk. A medium-sized carrier hunched on the laminated surface, and she ran a loving hand over it. I peered in through the grid door and saw two huge blue eyes staring back at me. The pupils were widely dilated so I blinked a reassuring cat smile and backed off, not wanting to push the greeting.
“Is this Meow?” I asked unnecessarily.
Kerry picked up a sheaf of papers and tamped them on the desk. “That’s him. He’s a beautiful cat and I think he’d be really very loving, if only…”
Denny held up a hand. “Whoa now. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, Kerry. We have no assurance this cat can ever be re-socialized.”
“Why?” I asked. “Is he feral?” I gave another glance through the grid, checking out a dark brown nose, wide brown ears and those deep blue eyes, so dark as to be almost purple. “He looks Siamese to me.”
Kerry and Denny looked at each other.
“Looks can be deceiving.”