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Hero Cop Saves Cat

by Steve Douglas

Audio version by Jerry Wright
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Yeah, Sarge, it was one of those days. I was working the emphasis patrol for those daylight burglaries over in the Edgewood Manor area. Yeah, the ritzy zone, half-million dollar townhouses, a Mercedes SUV to go to the grocery store, etc. No wonder the higher-ups want these guys caught so badly. Bad for the image: five break-ins, and no suspects so far. People might think that The Mayor and Chief don’t feel their pain.

Anyway, I was parallel-parked at the corner of Fern and Windsor Circle, when this guy came out the front door of 71 Windsor, went around the side of the house and into the side door of the garage. I started the motor of my patrol car, just in case, although he didn’t have anything more than an airline carry-on bag.

I saw the garage door come up and a burgundy Rolls Royce convertible back out of the garage. Yeah, a Rolls, no kidding. It backed down the driveway about 30 feet, stopped, and the driver got out. Caucasian male, 35-ish, about 6 feet or so, dark hair, conservative hairstyle, light gray suit, looked like an executive type. He went to the corner of the house, picked up a stepladder, and leaned it against the front of the house under an open window. I know, I know, you don’t lean a stepladder against the wall.

Where was I? Oh, right. Well, he had the ladder stuck in the soft dirt in the flowerbed, and I could see trouble coming already, so I rolled the patrol car over in front of the house, and started to get out as he climbed the ladder. Then the idiot grabbed the sash and yanked the window down, or at least tried to, ’cause as soon as he tried to put pressure on the window... Yep, you can see it coming too!

With all that pressure he was trying to put on the window, the ladder leaned out from the wall just enough to put all the weight on the legs, and sure enough, the one closest to the driveway sank in the soft dirt. Well, it was magnificent, lovely aim; he went over sideways, and made a perfect one-point landing in the front seat of the Rolls!

Oh, hi, Harv, you got here just as it starts getting interesting.

Well, when the guy landed in the front seat, he knocked the gearshift into drive. He must have hit the gas pedal pretty hard too, ’cause the Rolls chirped its tires and, whoosh, jackrabbited back up the driveway, into the garage, and smack out through the back wall.

Not to mention which, the ladder hanging off the side of the car clipped the gas meter on the side of the house on the way by! About this time I grabbed my radio and called for Fire, an aid car, Electric Company, and Gas Company emergency response teams. Good thing I did too, ’cause when he went through the back wall he must have took out the breaker box. There was all kinds of sparks and arcs going off in there.

That’s about when the garage collapsed, and at the same time, the runaway Rolls hit a big ol’ tree at the back edge of the yard, not quite hard enough to break it off, but hard enough to knock it loose in the ground. It was awesome, watching that old tree topple over and one of the big roots sticking out under the car flipped the car just like flipping a flapjack, only it did a complete 360 and landed on its wheels again! I dunno how he avoided being ejected. The motor was still running, and it was still in gear, so it did what cars normally do in that condition, and took off again, out towards the street, with the guy’s legs still waving in the air.

I thought it was about all over by now, but those Rolls are tough babies. It still had enough left to hit the power pole on the corner hard enough to break it off and bring it down and continue across Windsor to take out the fire hydrant there. It must have figured that as a good day’s work, because that’s where the motor finally stalled, and that part of the party was over.

I figured that it was now safe to go over and see if the guy in the car was still alive after his joyride, but about that time there was this big woof, and the gas from the gas meter lit off. I ran for the house, just as a woman came running out the front door. That’s also when the TV News crew pulled up, piled out of their van, and started taping.

She took one look at the home improvement project in progress, and screamed, then, as I got to her, she grabbed me and cried, “Save the cat, please, Officer, please save that poor, stray cat! I was feeding it in the kitchen!”

I shook her off, and cursing under my breath so she couldn’t hear me, I tore into the house, and found the cat, who wasn’t stupid, en route to the front door without any help at all. It didn’t look much like it needed any saving, but I grabbed it anyway, and with cat in arms, I zinged back out the front door, grabbed the lady, and took them both down and put them in the back of my unit.

I went back on the radio, called for a couple of traffic units to block Windsor drive, one at Dahlia Lane and the other at Wiffle Crescent. I also called for City Water. The Electric Company reported the division substation had blown up when the wires hit the water and asked for Fire units to expedite their response to what was rapidly becoming a fully involved house fire.

While I was talking, I was trotting over to the Rolls, where the erstwhile driver had at last gotten right end up at least, even if he looked like he didn’t have a clue or a dime to buy one with.

He was gazing around, with a silly look on his face, and I grabbed the door and opened it, and said, “Are you okay, can you move?”

No, it wasn’t a silly question, I could smell raw gasoline, and one fire at a time was plenty. I told him if he was able to move he had better hike his hiney out of that wreck, and relocate to a place that wasn’t working on going up in a fireball any second.

So, he got out of the car, still dragging that silly carry-on with him, and staggered across the street, toward my patrol unit, and his, I assumed, wife.

About that time the first Fire units arrived, and the Station Lieutenant took one look and asked for a full Battalion response. Then he told me to go to the house next door and get the people out, as the fire was going ballistic by now. The gas hadn’t been shut off yet and the wrecked garage was now in the process of enthusiastically and spectacularly burning up as well as the house.

A second Fire unit had now arrived, and was proceeding to give the poor old Rolls a decent burial in fire-suppressant foam. The first unit had finally located a hydrant that worked and was preparing to play with their hoses, and an aid car was coming down Fern, with the driver totally awed by the carnage.

I went on over to 69 Windsor, but the lady that lived there was already outside, looking at the elm tree that had come crashing down into her driveway and onto (A) the front corner of her porch, and (B) the Mercedes sedan in the drive. She was visibly upset, which is cop-speak for pissed as hell.

I asked if there was anyone else at home, and when she said no, I politely requested that she move across the street, as her safety was at risk this close to the fire. She was quite pleasant about it, thanked me for my concern on behalf of her safety, and sloshed across the street, which was rapidly approaching 6 inches deep in water from the broken hydrant.

At this point, I figured that the excitement was about over, which just goes to show, that I don’t know anything, it was just getting to the best part! The paramedics from the aid car were busy checking out the fella from the Rolls, his wife had left my patrol car and was hovering around the back of the meat wagon, and everything looked under control.

Yeah, right! A cab came slowly down Fern, and pulled up right where I had been parked, just 15 minutes ago, watching a guy come out his front door. The fare got out, and boy, howdy, what a looker she was, about 22, long blonde hair down to there, long legs clear up to there, and dressed to show ’em! The accessories were pretty tasty too.

She paid off the cabbie, and walked over to where I was, looking at the fire, the water, the downed power pole, and all the pretty flashing lights. Then she saw the crunched Rolls, slowly emerging from the piles of suppressant foam, and her pace quickened. She asked, breathlessly, where the driver of the Rolls was, so I politely indicated the aid car, and told her that they’re checking him for injuries right there. She gave me a big smile, said thank you, and strode purposefully that direction.

Momentarily distracted by the scenery, I almost missed the blue-haired lady in the Caddy sedan, who thought that we had closed the street just to inconvenience her. I gave her directions to several alternative destinations and the routes to follow, and she left in a huff, just in time for me to hear raised female voices from the vicinity of the aid car. Looking that way, it appeared that a confrontation was taking place, so I proceeded toward the aid car. I arrived amidst a barrage of “What do you mean, his wife?” and “Lunch with YOU?”

The language went rapidly downhill from there, and I was thinking I was gonna have a ringside seat at a catfight, when they both screamed simultaneously, “You bastard!” and went to work on the gent that the paramedics had just finished with. It took two paramedics, the aid car driver, three firefighters and myself to get them both off him.

I sent the young blonde, Miss Brandi Boone, to stand by my patrol car, and the wife, Mrs. Amber Brite, to wait by the aid car. The crash victim was again being worked on by the paramedics, since the two women had undone a great deal of their previous work.

While I called for a unit with a female officer to assist with the “ladies,” the driver of the aid car gave me a significant look, so I went over to talk to him. He pointed out to me the carry-on that the guy had been hauling around, lying on the ground by the back bumper of the aid car. It had been torn open somewhere during the many activities of the day, and a white powder was dribbling out. I thought I recognized it and so did he, so I told him to have the paramedics stall a bit on their repair work, then got out of earshot, and called for a narcotics unit.

Sergent Peters and his partner got there within 5 minutes, and as soon as they saw the carry-on, lying there in the street at the back of the aid car, they both smiled like kids in the candy store. After a quick field chem test, they smiled even more. When the paramedics finished, Peters placed one Wiley Brite, Attorney-at-Law, under arrest for possession with intent to distribute 5 kilos of pure cocaine.

While Peters and Dawson were working with Mr. Brite, I questioned the two women, one at a time. Mrs. Brite was a bit distraught, but bearing up well. Her story was that her husband had said he was going to lunch with a client, then back to the office and another client meeting, for dinner. She claimed that she had never seen Miss Boone before. She also stated she was starting divorce proceedings as soon as she could find a telephone that worked. I cautioned her about her display of affection for her husband, stating that someone not familiar with the circumstances might have mistaken it for a case of domestic violence and arrested her.

It was Miss Boone’s turn next, and it was just about what I had figured. They had met in a single’s bar, and been seeing each other for about three weeks. She had no idea he was a lawyer, and furthermore, had plainly stated he was not married, and that she hoped he would soon be stinking up the proper corner of Hell that was obviously reserved for him by name

I also cautioned her about her, ah, peculiar behavior on finding her boyfriend injured, the uninformed might think it was actually an assault in progress. I then released the battling bimbos to Officer Julie Bates to see what could be done to get them out of there before someone really got hurt.

That just about wrapped it up. The firefighters had the fire out by now, the wrecker had showed up to tow the Rolls, the water department had shut off the broken hydrant, the gas company had the gas shut off, and we had a felony narcotics arrest.

I went over to get the neighbor lady’s name and address, so I could send her a copy of the report, so she would be able to file insurance claims on her car and house. She gave me her name, address, phone number, and invited me over for dinner, as she was a recent widow, new in town, and didn’t know anyone here, yet. A real lady, about 30, red hair, blue eyes, about 5 foot 3 inches, well, we don’t need to go into that, it isn’t relevant. She also took custody of the cat, which had spent the whole time in the back of my patrol car, and hadn’t even left any souvenirs. The cat seemed to like me, so I guess I’ll just have to go visit it. Often.

The only fly in the ointment from my point of view, was the damned TV crew. They set up just in time to catch me running out of the burning house with that damn cat in my arms, and seemed to think I’d done something really special. The bastards ran it as the lead story on the 6 o’clock news titled “Hero Cop Saves Cat!” I wonder if I can sue?

Copyright © 2006 by Steve Douglas

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