Meet Kimble and James by MJW

James Carter walked slowly along the sidewalk that lead from the precinct to his favorite luncheon delicatessen. His thoughts were centered on his latest case and he truly was stumped. As a young detective with the Boston Police Department, James was often given cases that the other detectives found trivial or unimportant. James applied himself to these cases as fervently as he did the more high-profile cases.
     On this rainy day, James was working on a cold case that seemed to be going nowhere. He loved the cold cases, usually, but this one seemed to be as stagnant as a pond that formed in a rainy season and then fell on dry times. As he trudged along, deep in thought, he crossed an alley between two old brick buildings. Usually, this dead end alley did not have anyone in it, but today James heard three boys laughing and talking about twenty-five feet from his position. Normally James would not have paid much attention to this, but the way they were behaving caused him to stop and listen.
     They seemed to be looking at something in a large box along the side of a building. Every once in a while one of them would reach into the box and do something and then all three would laugh and make comments. James had a feeling they were up to no good, so he headed toward the boys. They looked up and realized that an adult was headed their way.
     The tallest of them put his hands on his hips and a wise guy look on his face. “What do ya want?” His manner was designed to frighten off James. He was tall enough and adequately tough enough in appearances to have this work successfully on most.
     James continued toward them. He was used to kids being belligerent, especially if they were guilty of something that they wanted to hide. “What are you kids up to?” James decided he would do a little posturing himself as he approached. He reached into his pocket and brought out his badge and announced, “Police.”
     Fear went across the two younger boys’ faces, but the older one did not flinch. “So? We ain’t doing nothing.” He then turned to the two boys, leaned down to where they were stooping and whispered something. He then straightened up and when James came close, he ran directly at him. James was not ready for a head on attack and unable to avoid the contact, he covered his chest. He was knocked sideways and fell against the building.       All three boys ran past him as fast as their legs would carry them.
     James was not hurt, but annoyed that he got his new raincoat dirty when he fell against the old brick building. Since the boys were headed out of the alley, splitting up and going in three directions at once, James decided the box was more interesting than they were anyway. He walked over to the box that had engrossed the attention of the juveniles. Inside were three small kittens. Two of which appeared to be dead. James stooped down and felt them. When it was apparent that they had received broken bones and necks, he turned his attention to the third kitten.
     It was a small, gray with white socks. It appeared to be about five or six weeks old and was in very bad shape. The boys obviously had not finished torturing this one; however, it still was trying to move around, away from whoever was around it. However, it was not able to see its attackers as the boys had done something to each of its little eyes.
     James was furious and worried at the same time. Although he had no idea what would happen if he rescued this little one, he did not hesitate to pick it up and put it under his coat to keep it warm. Fleas and kitten accompanied James back to the precinct. Retrieving his car, he left the parking lot and headed out of town. He had seen a sign for a veterinarian clinic outside of the city proper, so he decided to head there.
     The middle-aged woman, who looked like the day was longer than she was able to cope with, took one look at the kitten and walked quickly to the back of the office and through the swinging doors. It only took the vet two minutes to come out and introduce himself to James. He took the kitten from James and headed back to the swinging doors. James followed, although no one told him to do so. Once inside the large room, it was apparent that is was the operating theater. A large table was in the center with large, round spot lights hovering on either side.
     A petite young lady was spreading a large, fluffy towel out on the table. Once this was accomplished, the vet laid the kitten down and began a very extensive examination. James offered what little he knew about the kitten, where he found him, and what the boys had been doing. The vet only grunted as he looked the kitten over. The kitten mewed softly when he was being handled and it was apparent that he was in pain.
     The vet asked the assistant to get him a syringe with a pain killer, then once he injected the kitten, he continued with his exam. When it seemed he had checked out everything that was possible, he turned to James with a very angry look. “I hate the way people treat animals!” Having said that he looked down at the kitten, who was in the process of falling asleep. “Well, his injuries are extensive. His front leg is broken, he has cuts to his back and underside-none of which are too deep, but very messy. But the worst is that they punctured both of his eyes.” He hated saying this and it reflected in his voice as he added, “He will never see. What would you like me to do?”  Seeing the confused look on James’s face the vet continued, “Do you want me to put him down, or try to fix him up?”
     “You mean he could live?” James went from confusion to curiosity.
     “Yes, I think he could be saved, but remember he will be blind.”
     James did not hesitate to answer, “Fix him up! I will keep him.”
     “Very well, I will go to work on him immediately. It will be a few days until I will be sure as to his final discharge date. I want to make sure he can eat and excrete. Do you have other cats?”
     James was surprised at the question, “No, why do you ask?”
     “Well, I have a booklet to give you. There will be some preparations you will have to make before you bring him home. Purchases to make and perhaps a few changes to your home.”
     When James had approached the alley on his way to his lunch, he had no idea he would end up with a kitten instead of a fine delicatessen sandwich. Complicated. Yes, his life was going to get complicated. But James did not care. All he saw was this little gray innocent ball of fur on the table sleeping. Must have been a good shot, he mused. “Okay doctor, I will get everything ready.”
     He returned to the front desk to give his details to the receptionist and pick up a business card with the veterinary clinic’s contact info. He then headed back to the precinct to take up his baffling case once again. Time to do some legwork and interviewing. Maybe it would help time to pass quickly or so he hoped. He was looking forward to seeing how much change he would have to do to his apartment for this new addition.
     Three days later, James received a call that the kitten could be picked up at the clinic. It had a splint on its leg and stitches to close its cuts. The assistant said they would give him ointment to put on the kittens eyes and cuts, to prevent infection. He also would receive oral antibiotics for five days.
     James was ready, although he was not sure about giving the kitten the medicine. It would be easy to spread ointment, but sticking something in its mouth, well that was a little different. But he would not let that stop him, so after he finished his shift, he headed to the clinic to retrieve his very first pet. He was surprised that he felt anxious and happy at the same time. Yes, he actually was looking forward to picking up the little kitten. Humm, I will have to come up with a name.
     “The kitten is a feral. You must be careful when you handle him, especially since he can’t see you. The only thing he knows was back when his mother fed him and that hands mean pain. You will have to be patient and gentle. Talk to him constantly. He will learn from your voice and smell who you are and that you will not harm him.” The vet was very kind and felt he needed to keep an eye on James and the kitten. “Do you have a carrier to take him home?”
     “Well, no. I just brought this blanket.” James held up the small blanket that he found at Walmart. He was irritated that he had not thought of a carrier, but he was not sure the kitten could move around very much with the splint on his leg.
     “We have a cardboard carrier that we can give you. He does not weigh much and the carrier will help to keep him calm. Just put the blanket in it and he will calm down.” The vet turned and asked the assistant to get a carrier and when she came back, James put the blanket in the bottom of the it. The vet then retrieved a very active kitten from the cage on the side of the room and placed it in the carrier.
     This was a different kitten, not in looks but in behavior. It hissed and spit when it was being handled, but settled down as soon as it sat in the blanket. It seemed to like it and it walked and smelled its confines and blanket. It then sat down and looked around as if it had eyes with which to see. James was confused by the transformation, but the vet seemed pleased and said, “He eats well and does all the things that he should do. If I don’t hear from you in a few days, I will call you. I want to see how he is doing. We can schedule his shots at that time.”
     James thanked him and then picked up the little carrier by its handles and went out to the receptionist’s area to pay his bill, which made his eyes widen when he saw it. “Good thing I have a savings account.” He mumbled to himself as he left the building. Walking out to the parking lot must have unnerved the kitten. It started to mew in a much louder voice than when it had been taken into the vets. A good sign or so James reasoned.
     When James arrived at his apartment building, he hoped that his neighbor, who had a noisy little dog, would not be in the hallway. He was afraid that a lot of strange noises would frighten the kitten and make his homecoming unpleasant. But no dogs, kids, or anyone were to be found as James climbed the stairs to his second floor apartment. The kitten was very quiet at this moment and James was worried that he might be frightened into silence. What he could not see was what the kitten was doing-sitting upright in the carrier sniffing the air and memorizing what he discovered.
     When James entered his apartment, he started speaking to his new kitten in what he thought would be a comforting voice. “We are home now. It will be a few days before you can explore it. I have to get you used to being picked up and handled. You are still a baby and need to be careful.” James had a sudden sorrowful thought; this kitten could not see anything. He would never again see birds or his mother or his siblings. His whole world had changed in one brief instant and he was expected to understand. Well, James was determined to give the kitten all the attention and time he would need to adjust.
     James put the carrier down on the living room rug, and went into the bedroom to change his clothes. I am going to have to give him a name soon. I can’t keep calling him kitten. I never thought about it, but I don’t know him well enough to hazard a name. Usually people name their animals after a behavior or their appearance, but this kitten is too new to me.
     Once James was back in the living room, he decided to put the kitten in the little pen that he had setup next to the sofa. He had put a tarp down on the carpet and a low litter box in one end of the pen and a little box with a very soft blanket on the other side. Although the pen was only four feet square, he thought it would be a good start for Kimble to get used to a potty box and new sleeping arrangements.
     He did not want to pick the kitten up out of the carrier, so he opened the top and slowly tipped the carrier on its side. Then he said, “Okay, you can stretch your legs and move around.”
     But the kitten was not sure what it should do, so it just crouched down and kept sniffing the air as if it expected to smell a change. It took almost five minutes until the little kitten dared to stand up and take a few steps out of the carrier. It was definitely curious, but obviously afraid of being attacked.
     James decided a little food would help the situation. He went into the kitchen, talking to the kitten the entire time he walked. Since it was an open floor plan, the kitten could hear him the entire time he moved around and made the food preparations. When he returned, he had a small saucer of kitten milk he had purchased at the pet store. The vet said that the kitten had been nursing and was a little young to be put on solid food right away. James would have to work it into his diet over the next several days.
     James decided that he would put the saucer near where the kitten was standing, so it would not have to look for it. The kitten heard James put the saucer down and arched his back and hissed at the proximity of Jame’s hand. James spoke to him again and slide the saucer closer to the kitten’s feet.
      When it touched the side of his paw, he hissed again and then suddenly started smelling the air. He knew what that smell was and he found it was exactly what he needed. Sticking his little nose down toward the saucer, he accidentally bumped the side of it. Startled, he drew his head back; However, hunger and curiosity got the best of him and he leaned down and tried to find the aroma that was so inviting. When he found the milk, he could not judge where the saucer ended and the liquid started and he inadvertently stuck his nose deep in the liquid.
     Snorting and shaking his head, he withdrew again, not sure what had happened. James was watching and started speaking again in low tones. The kitten licked his face as clean as he could get it and discovered he liked the warm liquid. He wanted more, so he repeated his attempt to find it. The second time, he did not get as wet, although James figured that he would have to wipe the kitten off once he was finished his little version of eating.
     However, the third time was perfect and the kitten was able to use his tongue instead of his nose to consume the liquid. James continued to talk to the kitten and decided to start the conversation about a name. Although the kitten had not heard voices directed at him until he was in the vet’s clinic, he did not associate the voice with anything other than prodding, poking and bathing. He was now flea free and healing.
     Once he had a full belly, he started to walk around the pen, bump-finding his way. James continued his one-sided conversation with him, in hopes that he would get used to him more quickly. As the kitten walked around the pen, looking more like a small gray bumper car, James reached in and stroked his back. The kitten froze, puffed up, but did not hiss. He was waiting to see what would happen next. James continued to speak to him and when the kitten realized that he was not going to be hurt, he started to look up toward the direction that he heard the voice.
     To James, this was an encouragement. He did not want to force himself into the little blind world of the kitten too aggressively. But he did want him to get used to his comings and goings as he was going to have to go back to the office on Monday. He only had a few days to acclimate the kitten and ensure he was adjusted well enough, to be on his own during the day. It seemed to James that the kitten was getting used to his voice and he hoped he would allow himself to be petted, cleanup, and eventually handled.
     The kitten started walking around the pen again and when he discovered his tray with litter in it, he stumbled his way into it. The litter must have felt odd to his paws, so he only took a few steps in it and then jumped out, shaking his paws. James hoped that was not his lasting reaction, but he could not worry about it now. Only time would tell and he hoped that he would have lots of time to teach the little one where and how to use everything.
     James stood up and walked back into the kitchen to fix himself something to eat. The kitten’s ears followed his every step. James did not know he was under surveillance. He was hungry and the kitten was contained, so he was not really worried about it. After he fixed a sandwich and opened a bottle of water, he returned to the living room and sat down on the couch next to the pen.
     “Okay my little friend, it is kitten naming time.” Taking a bite, he began saying names randomly hoping to invoke a reaction. But the most the kitten did was sit where he was yawning. He apparently was not impressed with the choices that James had made thus far. “Smokey, Jasper, Nudge, Sparky, Mittens, Buddy, or maybe Chuck?” James was sure that one of the many choices he came up with would do, but the kitten ignored him and started looking around the pen again. Finding his little sleeping box, he half crawled, half stumbled into the soft blanketed area, walked around carefully and laid down. He seemed very tired and James was not about to disturb his little companion’s nap-time.
     James, taking his plate and bottle to the kitchen, speaking softly as he went, decided to do some review on his very frustrating case. The case was over a year old and it involved the shooting death of a small convenience store employee. The perpetrator had worn a sky mask and the outside camera did not pick up the vehicle type or license of the getaway car. The young man who was killed had just gotten married and his new bride was still in shock and mourning. In the reports it stated she was slightly hostile toward the police, as she did not understand why they had not found her husband’s killer.
     James played the video again on his tablet, then sat thinking about what he had just seen. Although the killer was in full view near the counter, he was unrecognizable and the shooting took place so quickly that it almost did not make sense. The perp did not seem to ask for money or anything. He came up to the counter, said something that did not record on the video and then pulled the trigger. As far as James could see, the victim did not even have a chance to respond.
      The perp then climbed over the counter and looted the register. He left the store and went around to the side of the building, where his vehicle was parked…. out of camera view. No car pulled back into the camera’s optical range. So it was even possible that he walked or ran away on foot-there was no way to tell. It was very frustrating. No prints, no facial shot or distinguishing tattoos to help with his identification.
     As James continued with his contemplation, a small cry came from the pen. The kitten had woken up and apparently felt alone. James immediately started to talk to him again. The kitten stood up and walked carefully out of his sleeping box. Head down, he was smelling his way around the area. James wondered if he would let him pet him again, so while he continued to speak to him, he reached over and gave him a little caress down his back. The kitten stood still, but this time he did not puff up or hiss. He allowed the touch.
      James was ecstatic. He picked up the empty saucer, and after filling it with warmed milk, he placed it down in front of the kitten, all the while speaking to him. Smelling the milk, the kitten started looking for the source. When he located the saucer, he was a little more careful as he put his nose in the milk… yes, he got a little bit up his nose, but not so much that it startled him. He lapped up most of the milk, his little tongue flicking in and out of his mouth like a rapid firing gun, or so James mused.
     When he was done, he started smelling around the box and soon found the low litter box. James wondered if he would get in it again and he was surprised when the kitten jumped in and used it. “Marvelous, young one! You have mastered the most important parts of your new home! And now it is time to continue your name picking.” James picked up the list he had made prior to picking up the kitten from the vet, and started slowly reading off names once again.
     The kitten sat to the side of the pen, not moving-just leaning against the siding. He seemed almost lack-luster and James was a little worried that something was wrong with him. After all, he had a very rough time of it. James continued to watch him as he clipped off the last of the names. When he came to the name Kimble, the kitten sat straight up and started to move toward James’s location on the couch.
     “Kimble? You like the name Kimble?” James was two-fold relieved. The naming was done and the kitten seemed to be moving normally again. James reached into the pen and stroked the kitten on his back as he approached. Kimble’s tail puffed a little bit, but he continued to walk toward the side of the pen where the sofa was located. James then held his hand in front of the kitten’s face to allow him to smell it. The kitten stopped, smelled and licked the outstretched appendage.
     “You smell my sandwich don’t you? Maybe we can start you on a little solid food tonight.” The vet had told James how to mix canned kitten food into the kitten milk for a few days to get him used to the change in texture and allow his digestive system to adjust to solid food. And so the afternoon and evening progressed. Kimble tolerated James’s pets and pats and James continued to speak to Kimble as he walked around the apartment picking up things and laying them back down, to get Kimble to get used to the sounds.
     However, that night, James was not sure how Kimble would handle his sleeping away from him. He knew Kimble seemed content to sleep in his box during the day, but he wondered what he would do when he did not hear from James for the entire night. James went to bed around eleven, but it did not take Kimble long be aware that he was alone. A very pathetic cry came from the living room. This continued until James could not stand it. Although he had not carried the kitten since he had picked it up to take it to the clinic, he felt the kitten was in need of a little close encounter.
     James went back into the living room, speaking quietly as he went. Kimble raised his head as James approached and changed the timber of his cry to let James know that he was aware of his presence.  James reached down and stroked the kitten to let it know that he was close.  He did not have any gloves on and he wondered if it was advisable to pick Kimble up, but he was tired and did not want to prolong all this.  His feet were cold and he wanted his bed.  He reached down and scooped up the kitten slowly, allowing his voice to calm the little gray fur ball. But to his surprise, the kitten did not hiss, claw or cry. He put the kitten up against his chest, the same as he had done the first day, when he had found Kimble. He was shocked that the kitten allowed this familiarity and touch, but was relieved too. The kitten turned and seemed to flatten out on his chest, trying to hold on.
     James did not know what to do at this point, but decided that they would go to bed. Returning to his bedroom with a kitten attached to his pajamas, he settled back against his pillow. Kimble did not seem inclined to move during this entire process. He was now getting warm and sleepy. Although James would liked to have turned on his side, he was afraid he would roll on the kitten, so he stayed on his back with his covers pulled up over the kitten. It was going to be a long night…
     The next morning, James carried Kimble back to his pen and went into the kitchen to get breakfast for both of them. After they had eaten and Kimble had used his potty box again, James decided to do some more reviewing of the case. As an after thought, he picked Kimble up and put him on the couch next to where he was sitting. Kimble walked around smelling the entire couch. He was very careful and seemed to sense where the edge was or so it seemed to James. When he settled back down near James, he seemed alert and ready to listen.
     James decided to review the case out-loud as it would get Kimble used to his being with him and help himself to concentrate on the case and not the kitten. After about twenty minutes of the review, James looked down and Kimble was still listening to him as if to say, ‘yes, go on…’
James was amused and so continued. This went on for a while until James said, “You know Kimble, I think this perp knew the clerk. I think this shooting was personal. Maybe he owed him money or maybe he stole the perp’s girl. I think we need to look into some closer acquaintances and not concentrate on robbery.”
     He pulled out the file about the marriage and wife. He found were she had gone to school and decided to start with prior relationships. Having done all this heavy reviewing with Kimble, he decided to put on the radio. He wanted to get Kimble used to the sound, so he would not feel so alone when he had to go to work on Monday. Kimble seemed to ignore the music, but at least he did not puff up at it. James was very pleased at how well Kimble was adjusting and how quickly.
     He picked Kimble up and sat him on his chest. Both kitten and detective were content and James thought the worst of Kimble’s orientation was over. Just then, the phone, located on the stand on the far side of the room, let out a loud ring. Kimble’s claws, fur, and teeth came out all at once. Jame’s chest felt like a pin cushion and he quickly picked up the wild kitten and put him in his pen. Once he finished his call, he returned to the couch to see how the electric kitten, as he thought of him at this point, was doing. Kimble had recovered, but was very wary of all noise and movement for the next several minutes.
     James decided not to pick him up for a while and instead headed into the bedroom to do some domestic chores. He continued to speak to Kimble and soon he saw the kitten crawl into his sleeping box, curl up into a ball, and fall asleep. He had turned the ringer down on the phone, but did not know how to get Kimble to accept the ring tone. Life is always full of little, dumb complications.
     The day continued relatively quiet and James decided that he would pick up some takeout from the local Chinese restaurant on the corner. He called in his order, then he announced he was going to leave, but would be right back. He may as well have announced it to the lamp, because Kimble was fast asleep. Turning up the radio, he closed the door quietly, and set out to pick up his food.
     When he came back, he turned the key in the lock and announced, “Kimble its me, its James.” When he walked into the living room, he saw a round, puffed up kitten looking very disconcerted. He went closer, talking all the while. It seemed to work, as Kimble started to settle down. Then he began sniffing the air, as if what he smelled was much more tantalizing than anything else. “You smell my dinner, Kimble. Chinese. I have it most Sundays.” James went into the kitchen and fixed Kimble’s dinner for him and took it into the room. While Kimble was happily eating his dinner, James had time to dish out and bring his food back into the living room and sit it on the coffee table.
     Kimble stopped lapping up his dinner and started smelling the air again. James started eating his egg foo young when he noticed he was being watched-not with eyes but with a small nose. The kitten had stuck his face up against the enclosure and was facing James as if to say, ‘can I try some?’
James picked up Kimble and sat him on the couch. He dipped his finger in the food and held it out to Kimble. It did not remain on his finger long and he decided that the kitten definitely liked people food. He knew he could not give him much as his little stomach was barely adjusted to mixed solid and liquid food. But a few finger fulls would probably not hurt, or so James hoped.
     And so the evening progressed, with Kimble listening to James review the case and James feeling that he had company. He did not feel that he was lonely, but it was nice to have someone (or something) to speak to over the weekend. James decided to get Kimble used to him coming in and going out of the apartment, so he did this a few times. He would put Kimble in his little bed, then make noise and explain he was leaving. He would walk around the block and then make a noisy show of coming back into the apartment. He would announce himself and then continue to speak to Kimble in low, quiet tones.
     After a few times of this, Kimble appeared to accept that James came and went, as did his mother. And as with his mother, James always gave him a little food whenever he returned. It seemed to work and by the time Monday rolled around, Kimble was used to James’s absence, at least for a short time period. Now for the test. James fed Kimble, washed him up with a little warm hand towel, and placed him back into his pen. Kimble seemed content and headed for his little sleeping box. Although he did not sleep in there at night, he seemed to feel it was fine for his naps-of which there were many.
     James headed off to work and tried to think about the research he was going to do on his case. Although his mind kept wandering back to the kitten and the weekend, he knew he would have to concentrate to catch the killer, so he focused on the interviews he needed to complete. Once at the office, he looked up the name of the last school that the victim’s wife, Mrs. Justin, had attended. She was a pretty girl and should have had a lot of boyfriends. That would be a good place to start.
     James called her up and asked to come over to speak with her. She said it would be okay, but she would have to finish by one o’clock as she had to get ready to go to work. James said that would be fine and was soon knocking on her apartment door. She seemed very cooperative to James and not the least bit hostile as the police notes stated. However, this was because of James’s looks, not the fact that he was a detective. James was a very good looking man and all of the ladies noticed it.
     James asked if she had dated anyone prior to her husband and she gave him a few names. He asked her if she had seen any of them since her husband’s death.
     “Funny, now that you mention it, I did seen Jack Harrington the other day. He came into the shop where I work. He acted very surprised to see me, but nothing else. We chatted and he said how sorry he was about my husband’s murder.” Mrs. Justin stated.
     James held her yearbook in his hands. “Could you point out what he looks like in this?”
     Looking through the book, she pointed to a picture located on the football pages. “Jack was the quarterback for our college team and very popular. I was amazed when he asked me out, but after we dated for a few weeks, I decided he was not my type-really.”
     “Oh, why not?” James asked out of formality.
     “He acted as if he owned me. We were not engaged or even going steady, yet he would not let anyone else ask me out.”
     “How did you break it off?”
     “It was ugly. I knew I had to do it in public, so I did it while we were at a restaurant. I did not want a big scene and he was all about appearances.” She shifted in her seat as if remembering such an incidence made her uncomfortable.
     “How long after that did you meet your husband, Mark?”
     She sat thinking for a moment or so and then answered, “About two months. Mark joined one of my classes and I got to know him a little before we started dating. Jack was still after me, but he seemed to backoff after I started dating my husband. We married as soon as we graduated. Although we only had clerking jobs to start with, we had wonderful plans.” She hung her head down as if the thought about the ruined future was too much to bear.
     “Do you know where Jack currently lives?”
     “No, I am sorry. I never kept up with him after graduation. I was married and not at all interested in maintaining any kind of a relationship with him.”
     James thanked her and left to pursue this new lead. He was able to track down Jack Harrington’s address back in the office. As it was almost lunchtime, he decided to drive back to his apartment to feed Kimble and reassure him that he would return. When he opened his door, he announced, “Kimble, it is James. It is me, buddy.” He walked over to the pen and was amazed at what he saw. A huge, puffed up kitten, with claws and jaws ready to go, yowling in a very small, but menacing voice. James wondered if the phone had rung while he was gone. He would have to check the answering machine a bit later.
     “Hey Kimble, calm down, its me.” James kept talking as he walked into his kitchen to get Kimble some food. Kimble did calm down after a few minutes, and after his lunch, seemed to resume his adorable little behavior. James picked him up and held him close for a little while, then told him he had to go again. He promised to come back soon and that Kimble would be safe. He put Kimble back into his little nap bed, then finished his quick lunch and headed back to the office. This was to be his and Kimble’s life and it appeared to be working fairly well.
     Checking with the postal service, James verified that Jack Harrington received mail everyday at the location that James had found. While he was still at the precinct, he received a phone call from Mrs. Justin. “How can I help you, Mrs. Justin?” Since he had just seen her, he was surprised that she was calling.
     “He’s here.” Mrs. Justin was speaking so quietly that James could hardly hear her.
     “Who is there, Mrs. Justin? And where is here? Are you at work?”
     “Yes,” she breathed quietly into the phone. “I am at work. He won’t leave. He wants me to go out with him.”
     “Try to keep him talking. After all, you can’t be expected to leave work, so he will have to wait for your answer. I will be right over.”
James told his captain an abbreviated version of what was going on and he told James he wanted him to take an experienced uniformed officer with him. He dialed a number on his phone and in two minutes a tall, redheaded, uniformed officer by the nickname of Red, came into the office.
     “James will fill you in as you go. Now, the both of you get going.”
The two men had a coordinated plan by the time they reached Mrs. Justin’s workplace. James was to enter and ask Jack some questions. If he ran or offered resistance, Red would come in and help with an arrest. James was not expecting to have the answer to the puzzle on the first try, but at least he could eliminate this man from his inquiry.
     Jack Harrington was still there, haranguing Mrs. Justin about a date and how lonely her life was without a man around. When Detective Carter introduced himself, showing his badge and moving in-between Mrs. Justin and Jack, the man had several emotions cross his face: surprise at the interruption, anger at the interloper’s nerve, and finally caution. Jack knew that the case was old and that they had no idea as to who the murderer was, so he decided that he best proceed cautiously. “What do you want?”
     “I have some questions that I need to ask you. I would like you to come down to the station with me.” James said as politely as he could, in hopes of sounding non-threatening. It did not work. For the second time in two weeks, he was shoved aside as Jack, the ex-quarterback, jumped over James’s fallen body and streaked toward the door. He was stopped abruptly by Red, who was standing in front of the doors, gun drawn. Hands up, Jack was cuffed and lead away to the car by Red while James finished speaking with Mrs. Justin.
     “This does not necessarily mean he killed your husband. He might just hate police. But I will keep you posted as to what I find.” James bid her a goodbye and headed out the door to join a hostile Jack and smiling Red in the car.
     “This gent has a very colorful vocabulary and likes to use it.” Red informed James as he got in the passenger’s seat. “Maybe he will learn to use it less when he gets to the station.”
     Jack did not say another word until he was seated in the interrogation room. At that point, he addressed James. “What is all this about? I was speaking with my girlfriend and you just came in and forced yourself into the conversation.” His eyes spoke volumes even though he said little. James knew Jack wanted to tear his head off and would if given the opportunity.
     “I brought you in to ask you some questions about Mr. Justin’s murder.” James sat back in his chair to watch Jack’s face after he announced the reason for the interruption.
     “I had nothing to do with that! I was not near where he worked that day.”
     “Oh, well, just where were you at that time?” James asked.
     “That was too long ago. I can’t be expected to remember that far back.” Jack was now ready to start yelling at James, but thought better of it.
     Well, perhaps a little time in the cells will jog your memories.” James stood and told the uniformed guard that was standing at the back of the room, to place Mr. Harrington in custody. James was just biding time until Red could search Jack’s apartment. The gun that shot Mr. Justin might just be there… and with a little luck, Red might find it.
     James sat back down at his desk to finish up some of his reports, all of which were filled out on the computer. Two hours later, Red came back into the room with two other officers. Smiling, he handed a clear plastic bag to James. Within it was a large revolver… the same caliper gun that was used to kill Mr. Justin.
     “Good work, guys!” James stated. “Get it down to ballistics and lets see if we have a match.”
     It did not take more than half an hour and James received the answer. The bullets matched. James had collared his first cold case killer. James still had the case details to put together, but he was very detail minded, so he was fairly certain a good case could be made. It was late, so he went down into the cells and informed Jack Harrington that they had found his gun and that he was under arrest for the killing of Mr. Mark Justin.
     This time, Mr. Jack Harrington said not a word. He had to think. His lawyer was due in a few minutes, so he decided to remain as silent as the grave. He sat back down on his bunk and stared at James with loathing.      James was now positive that he had his man.
     James headed home to see how Kimble had faired his first day alone. When he put the key into his door and made the clattering sound of unlocking it, he announced, “Kimble, I’m home.” Opening the door, he repeated the words to make sure Kimble understood.
     Kimble looked up at James and mewed loudly. He was only moderately puffed up and seemed to understand. James came into the living room all the while talking, picked up the small gray kitten and spoke to him while he carried him into the bedroom to change his clothes. Kimble started to purr with a very steady rumble, his little feet spreading and closing on James’s chest.
     Thus Kimble came to live with Detective James Carter. The relationship between the two would grow and James would find reviewing cold cases with Kimble most effective. As for Kimble, he had found his home and new way of life. He was a very contented kitten-as long as the phone did not ring….

*****

I hoped you enjoyed this introduction to the character of Kimble. You can read more about James and Kimble in my mystery novel, Dark Justice, found on the Bookpatch website and Amazon.    MJW

Note:  The kitten in the picture was rescued after being severely mistreated.    SrS rescued it after hearing about the young kitten, I was inspired to use him as Kimble in my story.

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