Mince Meat Pie and Pepperoni
© Jerry A.G. Ericsson 8/23/00
It was 2:00 o’clock AM; Officer Harris turned north on 4th Street, then turned into the next alley stopping behind Tony’s pizza joint. That was where he had set the stray cat trap, and he had to check it. Department policy dictated that once set, the traps should be checked every two hours to prevent any unnecessary cruelty to the captured felines. ‘Unnecessary cruelty, right!’ he thought, ‘I’ll show these damn cats cruelty!’
The gangling officer exited his patrol unit, and checked the trap. He was right in thinking it would be full, it contained not one but two of the largest cats he had ever seen in his seven years on the force. Quickly, he gathered the trap and placed it in the trunk of his ’98 Ford LTD unit. He used the tarp strap to hold the lid shut, as the trap was too large for the newer squads, having been designed in the unenlightened days of the ‘70s when people feared stray cats. He got back into his car and drove directly out to the City Dump Grounds, where his favorite invention of all times awaited the unsuspecting cats. As he entered the gate, he turned to the left passing the AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY sign, and on to what his fellow officers had appropriately named Aschwitz. It consisted of an abandoned deep freeze with a three-inch hole near the bottom. He backed his patrol within three feet of Aschwitz, and then leaving the engine running, exited the unit and walked around to the rear. The pungent odor of the exhaust stung his nose in the night air, as he unstraped the trunk lid and retrieved his trap filled with golden cats. He walked around and strained to lift the heavy trap into the deep freeze, then closed the lid and returned to the trunk where he retrieved a flex-pipe. He attached one end of the pipe to the exhaust pipe on the unit, the other he pushed into the three-inch hole near the bottom of the freezer. His gruesome task completed he returned to the comfort of the patrol car, and put his favorite tape in the player, as the speakers blasted into the night the Three-Dog Night singing “Joy to the World” the officer put his foot on the gas peddle to increase the speed of the engine and the amount of exhaust gas into the freezer.
After a few munites, the officer let up on the gas pedal and returned to the freezer. He lifted his trap from the freezer to look at his handy work. One of the cats was still awake the other appeared sleeping. Having learned in a class on suicide that carbon monoxide gas caused a terrific headache in suicide attempts, the officer retrieved his night stick from it’s holster on his utility belt and began striking the outside of the trap. His efforts were rewarded by screams of pain from the two cats. The officer laughed out loud, then returned the traps to the freezer and allowed the gas to do its horrid job.
Five minutes later, the officer again returned to the rear of the car, removed the trap then emptied the trap into the dead animal pit. Then the officer returned to his duties as a patrolman, happy having removed the world of two more hatted cats.
The next night around 2:00 AM, Officer Harris returned to his trap in the alley behind 4th Street, and again found his trap occupied, this time there was only one cat in the trap, but this cat was nearly twice the size of the those from the night before. The officer debated with himself weather this was a stray cat, or maybe some sort of wild animal that had come into the city in search of an easy meal. He decided it was simply the biggest cat he had ever seen in his life and he was as determined as ever to rid the city of strays, after all that was the order of the day, get those damn cats out of the town, they were keeping the public awake with their nightly courses of howls.
The officer drove out to the city dump and repeated his nightly ritual of execution. This time, though, instead of removing the cat trap at the half way point, the officer set the trap on top of the freezer and retrieved a syringe that he had removed from the drug awareness board, filled it with spot remover. He opened the trap, and grabbed the huge cat with a gloved hand, then pushed the needle of the syringe into the cat, and injected the spot remover into the screaming cat. He then placed the cat back into the cage, and sat back on the trunk lid of his unit and watched as the poor cat began pacing back and forth as far as the trap would allow, then after a short time, fell on its side, dead.
“Take that SPOT!” the officer shouted, and laughed as he took the trap over to the dead animal pit, and dumped its gruesome cargo atop the other cats the littered the pit.
Officer Harris again returned to his duties and had an uneventful shift, he logged the same in his daily report, then went home for a good day’s sleep. He never received his sleep because the spirits of cats haunted his dreams; he awoke several times during that day screaming, as the spirits ripped at his thin flesh.
Shaken by his nightmares, the officer ignored the impulse to check his traps until nearly 4 AM. He knew that the workers at Tony's would be arriving at 4:30, and he wanted the trap gone by then, as the destruction of stray cats was a closely guarded secret in the Department.
He was relieved to find the trap empty, he gathered it into the back of his unit placing it in the back seat instead of the usual trunk, as there was no danger of the animal soiling the seat, and began his trip back to the PD for his end of shift reports. As he drove down the alley, he heard the unmistakable sound of purring from the back seat. Startled, he slammed on the breaks, bringing the squad to a halt. He turned on the interior light, and looked in the back. There sat a cat much larger even then the cat the night before, in fact it appeared to be a small tiger without the stripes. Slowly, the officer began to open his door in an attempt to escape his fate, but the door would not budge. The officer panicked, and began beating on the door with his fists, as the cat purred even louder.
The terrified officer grabbed at his radio microphone, and screamed into it, “OFFICER NEEDS ASSISTANCE ALLEY BEHIND TONEY”S PIZZA!” He waited, but there was no response from dispatch. In the back seat, the huge cat purred even louder. The officer began shaking, as if he were suddenly chilled, as he recognized the cat, as being a bigger version of the one he had used in his earlier experiment, trying to see if cats always landed on their feet, he had thrown one from the window of his unit driving 60 miles per hour. Surprisingly, the cat had landed on its feet, then went into a tumble, ending up dead on the side of the road. He gasp, in the back seat, the cat purred even louder.
The officer now in tears again tried the door, and this time it opened. Thoughts of freedom and escape ran through his mind, as he jumped from the door, and into the alley. He began running. As he neared the door of Tony's Pizza, he saw them. Hundreds of cats, some big like the one in his back seat, others normal size, some even smaller. He froze in his tracks. All he could hear was the purr of hundreds of satisfied cats, then they were upon him, clawing biting, scratching and chewing. Within a merciful few seconds the officer was gone.
A few hours later, the crew at Tonys arrived at the back door. All they saw was a red spot on the tar that made up the alley. There was the usual collection of cats, which Tony himself fed every morning. “Good Morning my friends!” Tony said, as he spread out the feast of pepperoni and mince meat pies that were left over from the previous day. Tony scratched his head at the vacant police car sitting near the end of the alley, ‘going to have to call the PD and see what the deal is with that car’ he thought as he closed the back door behind him. The alley was filled with a low purr.