by Douglas T. Araujo
Yes, Officer, I admit I hit Mr. Whitmore. I hit him right on the head with the silver chandelier I inherited from my mother.
No, of course I didn’t want to kill him! That was an unfortunate accident, and I’m very sorry… poor Mrs. Whitmore… But what was I supposed to do? He broke into my apartment and wanted to take Miles away from me!
Who is Miles? Well, Miles is my cat. A ten years-old white Persian with marvelous blue eyes. A friend gave him to me soon after my husband passed away. He was just a kitten then, and I must say that taking care of him was the only thing that kept me alive during those difficult times.
Yes, it was like I said. Mr. Whitmore wanted to take Miles away, and that’s why I hit him with the chandelier. I couldn’t allow him to take Miles away, could I? I’m an old woman, Officer, and Miles is my only friend.
Well, I can’t say why Mr. Whitmore wanted to do that. Who can say what was going on the poor man’s mind? Besides, I don’t think we should say bad things about the dead… it’s just not right, don’t you agree?
Yes, Officer, I understand you need to know what really happened. But even so, I don’t think…
Very well, then. Since you’re insisting so much, I will tell you this: I can’t say for sure what Mr. Whitmore would do with Miles if he had taken him from me, but I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t see Miles again.
No, I don’t know why! I mean, I can understand when somebody says he prefers a dog instead of a cat, because that’s a matter of personal preference, and although I think a cat is worth a dozen dogs, I can understand it. But that was not the case with Mr. Whitmore. It was not that he wasn’t a cat person, he really disliked Miles.
Previous incidents? Well, I wouldn’t call them incidents, but yes, there had been some awkward situations before. Since Miles was a kitten, Mr. Whitmore had always complained about him. He blamed Miles for everything wrong that happened. I remember once when he found a dead rat at his front door and insisted it had been Miles who had put it there. Nonsense! It could have been any cat. But he was sure it had been Miles. He was so angry then that I became worried he would have a stroke… His whole face turned red. He even yelled at me! I also remember another time…
Sure, Officer, let’s focus on these last weeks. I apologize for wandering so much, but my mind just isn’t what it used to be anymore. It’s the age, you know? The brain cells start dying. I know because I watched a TV show about it on Discovery Channel, and they explained it all… but here I go again. I’m sorry. You wanted to know about these last weeks, is that it?
Any recent incident? Well, now that you mentioned it… yes, there has been one. Mr. Whitmore complained of a bad smell. He said he could feel it from inside his apartment and, of course, he blamed Miles for it.
When? Let’s see… I think it was about ten days ago.
What did I do? Well, nothing. I just ignored him, as I always do. What else should I do? I know that Miles smells a little, but I don’t care. He is my friend, right? Besides, it was none of Mr. Whitmore’s business.
What happened then? Well, as the days passed by, Mr. Whitmore didn’t let it go. Instead, he complained more and more. He said that the stench was getting worse, and that he could smell it coming from my apartment. He said it was unbearable, and he was sure it was coming from Miles! He said that if I didn’t get rid of the stench, he would do it himself.
When was that? Do you mean the exact date? I think it was two days ago.
Yes, that was the last time I saw him before this morning, when he broke into my apartment.
What happened? It was very awkward. I heard a knock at the door, and I opened it. Then Mr. Whitmore just pushed me aside and entered into my apartment. The man seemed possessed!
No, he didn’t say anything, but I knew he was there to take Miles away. I could see it in his eyes. That’s why I took the chandelier and hit him. I couldn’t allow that. I couldn’t let him take Miles away from me. Miles is my best friend, my only friend. Couldn’t Mr. Whitmore understand that? I don’t have anyone else in the world but Miles. He is my cat and I love him! What if he threw a dead rat on the man’s door? I don’t care. What if he smells bad? I don’t care either. And I bet Mr. Whitmore would smell much worse than Miles if he also had been dead for two weeks…