Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spyin is Waitin

Musashi Sez:

So ther we wer: waitin. Ibrahim havd a cigaret. I cogfd an wisht I hadzd a bad habit to yooz whil I wuz waitin. But I hasn't got bad habits, as long as yu don't count scratchin mom's ankuls in the mornin (which she do an I don't), but aneewae, Mom wuz not in Marrakech that mornin, so I wuz plum outa luk. Huh. O well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First Impreshunz

Musashi Sez:

The 4 of us stood ther in the dark grey mornin coolnis, waytin. It wuz verree awkwerd. Eevntchullee, Ibrahim sed, “So Gatto, whu is yer rugbee teem?”

An Gatto sed, “Huh. I perfer fensin, maiself.”

An just as Ibrahim wus tryin to thingk of a wae to ansr that, ther wuzs a flash of whit fur an a scrambul of claws an a vois sed whut soun lik “Stratzvee, Payro, Gahto! Ayp? Whu this? Whu this? Bark bark bark bark bark!”

Perro sed, “WOOF!” (An I cud tell he ment it.)

The littul whit an blak furree person sat down sudden, lik he hadn’t got a choys.

Gatto sez, “Sabaka, theez ar mai frenz I told yu about, Ibrahim an the Merikan ajint, Octayvien, whu com heer to halp yu.”

Sabaka, whu lookd eevn yongr than me, jumpt up, all egsytid an yalpt, “Oh boy! Yu goink to sayv mai mastr! Oh boy! Mastr, mastr, yu ar sayvd!”

I sed cayrfullee, “Mistr Sabaka, mai peeples is willin to halp yu, but yu gotsta halp them in return, ok? They’r maykin a good-fayth effrt to see that yer hoomin, er, mastr, kin get out of the prizn, but they wants to noe that yu ar givn them somthin that is as importint as the fayvrz they has to call in to halp him. Yu unnerstan?”

Gatto translaytid in bits an peesiz, somtims asksin Perro fer a werd. Eeventchul, Sabaka sed, “O! Mai mastr is spy. Yu noe spy? So he heer vhut heez mastrz ar doink, an hee halp them to doink eet. I dunt noe egzaktlee, but I theenk it hav to do vith doggeez an globul mastrz, vat yu callz zem?”

Gatto sed, “Werld leedrz?”

“Da!” sed Sabaka. “I find out for yu.”

I likt mai paw, considrin, an then I sed, “That soun about rigt. I wayt heer, OK? Yu talk to yer mastr, an then yu tell me whut he sez. Mebbe we kin do a deel.”

Mom Says:

By that time, the sun had risen just enough for Octavian to see that Perro, Gatto and Sabaka had packages around their necks, tied to their collars. With a flick of their whiskers, they were gone, leaving Octavian and Ibrahim to wait.

Musashi Sez:

John Le Carré, a gy whu writ novulz baysd on his egspeeryens as a formr spy, alwaes sez that “spyin is waitin.” It turn out that he totallee rigt. Huh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plannin Attaks on the Prizn

Mom Says:

That night, Agent Octavian slept on an unfamiliar knee. Not Ibrahim’s, because he was up half the night preparing for the following day, but that of his wife, Zaina, who quite liked cats, and wished her husband would bring more of them home, particularly in comparison to the British and American humans he more frequently brought home.

She quite fell for Musashi’s charm, and she told him (when Ibrahim was busy in another small room of their tiny apartment) that, as long as the government was not chasing him for his life, he should consider their home his; they would protect him from the smaller of life’s violent obstacles, anything that would not put them directly in danger. Agent Octavian, thinking of how his mother might similarly take in a British agent, acknowledged his gratitude at her offer, and hoped strongly that he might never have to use it. He fell into a fitful sleep, and when Ibrahim woke him from his slumber on Zaina’s knee, at first he was disoriented and confused. But when Ibrahim fed him a small lump of tuna (not as fresh as it might have been) and clear water, Octavian roused himself.

It was still dark outside, but he traveled on Ibrahim’s broad shoulder, seeing the night streets from a human point of view, practically empty and therefore open to human habitation. Such a view disheartened Octavian, and he tucked his head under Ibrahim’s hair until they reached the outskirts of the prison. It seemed to Octavian that they had walked for a long time, but the sky was still dark when they saw a high fence that encircled a large building, pale in the gloom. Ibrahim stood next to a tall palm tree a distance from the fence.

At a scramble of claws on the pavement, Ibrahim turned slowly and Octavian jumped down from his shoulder. Together they faced two small , lumpy shadows.

Gatto’s disillusioned voice came from the smaller shadow. “Sabaka say he weel meet us heer. Yu kin talk to heem an then he weel go an talk to heez hoomin. Then he weel com bak, an yu kin see eef yu has a deel, OK?”

“Shur,” said Octavian, not knowing what such a simple acknowledgment of such a simple-sounding agreement might mean…..

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Unegspektid Turninz

Musashi Sez:

We ar havin teknologologikl diffikulteez, cuz we can't figgr out our plot or how it ogt to go. If yu has ideers, or funnee werds in forrin lanwagiz, pass them on, cuz that kin onlee halp. Kthxbai. M/8

Friday, September 25, 2009

“Speshul Ajint Octavian Smift”

Musashi Sez:

This yer littrbox warnin. Anothr long blog. Sorree.

Mom Says:

Agent Octavian received his Catnip Royale (stirrd, not shaykin) with the aplomb that Jimbond had studied long to achieve, but the drinking of it was another matter. The waiter had conveniently included a straw, but Octavian had nowhere near the automatic resistance to alcohol that Jimbond had built up over many years. So Octavian wisely drank only in very small sips. Gatto watched him closely.

“What? Yu not lik yor drink?” murmured the strange cat.

Octavian huffed. “This a Islamic contree. I can’t egzaklee get drungk heer, now kin I?”

The dog’s eyes opened and blinked. He said something in Spanish, and Gatto answered him in English. “This eez ourrr nu frrend, I’m soree, I deed not catch yorr naym, Senor….”

Octavian sat up straight and curled his tail over his front feet. “Smift. Octavian Smift. At yer servis.”

The dog said, “Smeeth? Inglés? Americano?”

Octavian said, “Yes, I am. So I unnerstan that yu ar consernd that we may not hav mutch tim to figgr out whut yer ‘Northern Contact’ is sayin about…the werld an its leedrz… How kin I halp?”

There followed a muttered dialogue between the dog and his friend, but Octavian dare not turn on his LingwaTron 9001K. However, his gut instinct told him that they were speaking in some tough-guy dialect anyway, which his LT wouldn’t even begin to translate correctly. What had Jimbond said about moments like this? “When in doubt, sip your drink very slowly and pretend to be supremely confident.”

Well, thought Octavian, cats are very good at that.

Musashi Sez:

Is verree tru. In Merika, they sez, “Fayk it til yu mayk it.” Also, is verree halpfl to noe that the peeples yu’r talkin to can’t yooz gunz an lik that. (Not havin thumz an all.) I’m jus sayin.

Mom Continues as if No One Had Interrupted:

The dog rose from his side of the table, and he was bigger and heavier than Agent Octavian, and when he smiled, his teeth were considerably longer and somewhat… pointier. Octavian flicked his tail nervously, ready to jump, but kept himself from trembling by a tremendous act of self-control.

“Yeah?” he said to the dog. “Watchu want?”

And the dog laughed. Octavian nearly leaped away after all, but part of his brain told him to stay, so he sank his claws into the cloth of the couch.

Perro said, “Yu arr OK, littul kitteee. I likes yuu. Yu has the cajones.”

“Um, what that?”

Gatto said, “Ees lik catnip mousseez, egsept they roll around thee florr. Ees conseedrd a verreeee guuud thin wher we com from.”

“Um. Oh. Grayt! So….?”

Perro barked imperiously at Gatto, who sighed and said, “Yu meet us on the west syd of the prizn tomorro, yes? Jus befor dawn. Then we see whut we see, eh?”

Octavian sipped deeply from his drink and blinked rapidly. When he had recovered, he said, “Jus befor dawn. Urf, urf. Yah. OK!” And he leaped down from his couch and trotted out the door to Ibrahim.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ronday-Vu wift Perro Y Gatto

Mom Says:

Octavian followed the waiter through a long pair of red curtains, flicking his tail nonchalantly. In the candle-lit room beyond, a biggish black dog, with a white stripe from his forehead all the way down his belly, lay asleep in front of an ornery-looking black cat with green, skeptical eyes.

“Bon soir,” said Octavian politely.

“Watchu want?” asked the cat. “Yu Englishman? Americano?”

“Yes,” Octavian said. “I wuz sent to halp yu wift yer forrin doggee frend.”

“Mai onlee doggee frend is rigt heeer, Perro, mi amigo. I don’t noe what yu are talking about.”

“Huh. Wull, kin I joins yu? I cud yooz a dringk rigt about now.” (This was a phrase he had learned from Jimbond, who said it could be generally useful.)

The strange cat blinked. “Hop up,” he said. With a flick of his tail, he summoned the waiter. “A dringk fer mai frend heer, Javier.”

Octavian thought fast. He only actually knew the name of one drink that wasn’t beer, and he sensed that this kittee was not a beer-guzzlin’ good-ol-kittee. So he said, “I’ll have a Catnip Royale, stirrd, not shaykin. Kthx.” And he jumpd up to the cushion across from the one PyG occupied.

The strange cat purred deeply. “So yu’r English. Thoz Americanoz dringk nothing but the cervesa, the beer. So yu are not CIA.” He huffed in disapproval and the purr stopped short.

Octavian said, “I am 100 percent Merikan, but a edukayshun isn’t evr finisht unless yu studdeez in anothr countree. I’m in the Innerspeeseez Divizhun. We’re…speshul.”

The cat’s purr began again and grew loud.

Heartened, Octavian said, “I unnerstan that yu an yer partner are ontreprenoorz.”

“Huh,” said Gatto. “That is yor capeetaleezmo speeking. We are helping peeplez. We are errrning ourrr subseestenz. Eez not what I theenk yu wud call the profeetz, not egzaklee. Mmm?”

“Er.” Octavian opened his eyes wide and then squinted. The farther he traveled, the stranger the world became. So, he thought, what if there were peeples who wanted something less countable than money-profits? What if, just maybe, their main priority was to help peeples (of whichever sort)? It seemed unlikely to him, but as he thought about it more, it occurred to him that whether that was reellee what they wanted, it was certainly what they seemed to think they wanted, and that might be useful enough, for his purposes. (“Hah!” he thought. “I’m sinnikul now, jus like Jimbond!!!”)

He said, “So whu is it yu’r tryin to halp? The hoomin priznrz? That Rushin doggee? Somboddee else? The Merikans wift the CIA?”

The Spanish cat blinked very slowly, as if considering. Then he looked away. “O, look,” he said. “Heer comz yer drink, Senor.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maykin Contakt

Musashi Sez:

OK, this yer littrboks warnin, cuz this 1 is kinda long…

Mom Says:

The little Citroen puttered down the streets of Marrakech, past the tall pinkish buildings and then through the maze of souks in the marketplace, dodging other small cars, pedestrians, and feral cats and dogs. Agent Octavian looked out the car window on the scruffy and underfed fur peeples, so many more than he had seen even at the animal hospital so long ago.

At one point when traffic was congested, Ibrahim followed Agent Eight’s instructions on how to change his travel collar for his mission collar and then initiate Ibrahim’s paw-sized receiver. When traffic finally shifted, they moved on. Finally, Ibrahim pulled over and parked.

Ibrahim carried Agent Octavian on one broad shoulder as he moved confidently through the crowds, moving in a much slinkier way than any cat would have expected from such a large human. As they came to a small café with a colorful parrot squawking from its perch near the door, Ibrahim suddenly turned left into a dark narrow alley. Octavian sank his claws deep into Ibrahim’s shirt.

Ibrahim murmured, “Be calme, Octavvyon. We are going tuu L’Arche de Noé, le café for the animalz like yourself and your contactes. Mm?”

“Is it sayf?”

“Pour vous? Mais oui. Pour moi? Ah bien. Octavvyon, simplee promees me yu weel not start a bar fight, OK? The las time I had a raybeez shot was not so fun. OK. Yu go now. Bon chance!”

He set Octavian down just outside a narrow restaurant with red curtains hanging in the glass windows. Octavian flicked his tail nervously, then pulled his head up and strode inside. On the left side stood tables and chairs of curly metal, with here and there a pair of humans drinking mint tea and talking in an undertone in French or Arabic. Off to the right, however, was a series of red-cushioned couches with low wooden tables between them. Sprawled on the couches were dogs and cats, most of them much sleeker than the fur people Octavian had seen wandering the crowded streets. In general, dogs were spending time with dogs, and cats with cats. None of them looked like what he had been told of PyG.

He paused, unsure how to proceed, when a man shorter than Ibrahim and with less hair on his head, leaned down and said, “Bien venue, Monsieur.”

Octavian went for broke, praying to Ceiling Cat that his phrasebook would not fail him. “Merci. Est-ce-que Perro et Gatto ici ce soir?”

“Mais oui.”

That wasn’t particularly helpful. “Parlez-vous anglais?”

“Ah, yes. Ar they expecting yuuu?”

“Oui, je crois. Je m’appelle Octavvyon.”

“Un moment, s’il vous plait.”

The man disappeared behind more crimson curtains. Octavian was in the middle of what seemed like two totally different places inside one set of walls. On one side the humans murmured in his direction. On the other, the animals fell silent and sniffed at him. He sat and licked his paw reflectively, thinking that practicing your leaping and pouncing! on catnip mice was not quite the same as fighting a room full of strangers larger than you. If/when he got through this mission, he would have to ask Jimbond to help him fix this rather considerable gap in his training.

The man reappeared, bowing. “Monsieur, thees way.”

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meetin Ibrahim…an Mai Destinee

Mom Says:

When Agent Octavian reached the baggage carousel, he looked around for the tall bearded man whose picture he had been shown back in London. “You’ll like Ibrahim,” Jimbond had told him. “He knows how to laugh and how to get your, er, tail out of a mess in a crisis.” M had been more reserved, naturally: “Don’t worry, Eight. Ibrahim has been taking care of our Mysiz agents for more than two decades. You’ll be safe with him.”

Octavian thought of his mother and her fierceness, and purred quietly. He licked a paw and washed his face, to avoid being hypnotized by the fascinating carousel. He wanted to jump onto it and investigate, but Jimbond, who had worked with cats before, had explicitly warned him against it. “You’ll find no one else doing it, Eight. Don’t draw attention to yourself.”

The carousel hummed alluringly. Octavian licked his legs and was starting on his stomach when a deep, musical voice asked, “Excuse me, Monsieur. You would not happen to be Monsieur Octavvyon Smeeth?”

Octavian sat up immediately, with his tail curled politely in front of his paws. “An yu ar, moosyer?”

“I am Ibrahim. I beleev you hav been told to expect me.”

“May-we,” said Octavian (with a rather decent accent, actually). “Havay-vu la proof?”

The big man towering over him laughed. “Mais oui. Le Ferrari de mon ami est détruit.”

“Ah. Ay kee ay tonami?”

“Mon ami s’apelle Jacques Sept.”

“Is gud to meet yu, Ibrahim. Kin yu halp me get mai sootcays?”

“But of cors. How shall I recognize eet?”

“Is eezee. Is small, in comparisn to the othrz. Also, the handl gots a wrap-thin that look lik tygr stryps. Mai mo—I meen, mon amie gayv it to me.”

The big man reached out an incredibly long arm and retrieved Octavian’s luggage in his overlarge paw, er, hand. Octavian followed him outside and they climbed into an old, beat-up Citroen. “Allons-y,” he said. “Let’s go!”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Royal Ayr Maroc an Me

Musashi Sez:

Yu kin looks at flyin 2 waes. On the 1 paw, it mayks yer eerz crankee. On the othr paw, ther is the pertee stooardessis, whu smylz at yu an givs yu fud, an somtims a blankee. OK. More than 2 waes. On the 3th paw, ther is all that annoyin noiz, an the hoomin peeples whu givs yu the eevl ey or mayks snottee remarks about yer aminal “naytchr.” Huh. But, on yer lastest paw, yu sertenlee get to playsiz reellee, reellee fast!

Mom Says:

Agent Octavian curled up on his Air Maroc blanket, stretched, curled, stood, shook himself, and curled up again, but in vain. His mind racing in anticipation, he could not sleep. The businessman in the seat next to him sighed dramatically, and since he had otherwise been fairly nice to Octavian, the nouveau spy felt guilty. (But t least he had learned some French from sleeping on the phrasebook.)

Almost ready to give up, Octavian pulled out the big guns. He had counted sheepdogs and he had tried to meditate on the oneness of tuna. Now he went for broke. Where a human people would have pulled out a battered copy of a William James novel, or a Henry James psychological treatise (because the whole family has soporific effects on most humans), Octavian turned his mind to home, imagined himself once again as “Musashi, house cat,” and asked his mom what she was reading about. “Well!” she said in his head, “You know how I’ve been reading Genesis at school? Well, it turns out it was written by a whole bunch of different men, with all these different biases and agendas, and then, like a few hundred years later, was redacted by—” It worked every time. Octavian was out like a light, and didn’t wake up until the stewardess roused him to get his seatbelt on as they descended toward Marrakech.

The airport at Marrakech was bright white and ultra modern, so modern in fact, that it prefigured the future, and reminded Agent Octavian ominously of the Death Star. Luckily, being himself a black cat, Octavian had never taken omens too seriously; if he did, he’d be able to do nothing else all day. So he licked his paw, let the feeling pass, and proceeded through Customs.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

QRS: Q Reellee Somthin…

Mom Says:

After sleeping as fast as he could on maps of Marrakesh, Morocco, North Africa and Spain, a French phrasebook and a narrow pamphlet entitled, “Things Cats Should Avoid Doing in an Islamic Country,” Agent Octavian was hurried into Q’s London lab.

“Mistr Q,” he said. “I gots a bon to pik wift yu about that LingwaTron—“

“Oh, yes, dear boy! A thousand apologies! We’re working on that. In fact, you get to try out the prototype LT 9001-K, and we’re including an extra battery for good measure.” Q gripped the lapels of his tweed jacket proudly while one white-coated young subordinate set a small pile of gadgets on the table where Octavian sat, and another slipped a black matte collar around his neck.

Despite himself, Musashi began to purr. “This mai nu camra collr?” (And you can tell he was distracted because he forgot to think of himself as Agent Octavian. As Jimbond would say, "It can happen to the best of us.")

“Indeed. We disabled the GPS function for you. In an emergency, you can re-enable it by typing in ‘Schroedinger’ on the keypad, but mind you spell it correctly. The paw-sized piece is the receiver for your human partner. With that you’ll be able to communicate, and you can send him the data you’ve downloaded.”

“Whut’s dada? Is that like som weerd old paintin styl? I thingk ther wuz somthin on that in the frayzbook I slept on.”

“Er, no. Data, with a T. Information, in this case, photographs.”

“O, rigt. Cors.”

In the wide space behind Q, several of these serious young men and women in white coats were running a projector that projected pictures of waterfalls, forests and beaches on the far white wall. Off to one side, a young woman looked at her clipboard and then at her watch.

“In this small case that can hook to your harness, you’ll find a micro-fiber rope ladder and MHDO tablets for emergencies.”

“Um, Q, mebbe yu din’t reeliz, but I am a kittee peeples. We don’t do ladders. An whut’s emaitchdeeo?”

“MonoHydroDiOxide. As long as you have the least bit of spit in your mouth, taking one of these tablets will give you a mouthful of water. It’s taken us decades to achieve.”

Octavian noticed that he said nothing about ladders, and assumed that poor Q was embarrassed, so he said nothing more about it. “What these othr thins?”

“The spikey-looking thing is a Spaw: part spike, part straw. If you stick it into something that contains a liquid, you can suck the liquid out through it. Since you’ll be near the desert, it helps to be prepared. The round black one—I’m particularly proud of this—is a TRUST-R, a Titanium-Reinforced, Ultra-thermal Sleeping Tire, with Rubber coating on the outside, to give it that abandoned, bald tire look. We figured that a sleeping-bag shaped object would be noticeable, but an old tire? Hardly.”

“OK! Collr, rope, tablits, paw and trustee. Got it!”

“Er, yes. Quite. Thank heavens I don’t have provide a sports car for you every time you go on a mission. I must say that 007 has no respect whatsoever for—“

Then the world exploded. Musashi leaped!

At least that’s what it felt like. Dizzy and terrified, Musashi opened one eye, and found himself clinging by his claws to the soft material that made up the ceiling. As the dust subsided, he saw that the white-coated woman was writing things down on her clipboard even as Q was yelling at her colleagues.

“Of all the ridiculous, irresponsible—“

“It’s just the timing mechanism—“

“Um, Q?”

“Next time you do such a—“

“Um, Q? Halp? Halp! HALP! MMMRRROW!”

Q and his helpers looked up.

“Oh, my dear boy. I am mortified. A thousan—“

“Jus getz me down, Q, an mebbe I won’t tell Jimbond to trash yer nex 7 cars. K?”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Agent 08, On Her Majestee’z Intrspeeciez Servis, Part II

Musashi Sez:

Fer thoz of yu whu ben followin mai adventchurz on my old blog, The Musashi Guide, at, yu alreddee noe how I got rekrootid by MI-6 an met the reellee awsom laydee, “M,” whu imeediatlee saw how yoosful a resorsful kittee lik me cud be to the organizayshun. Yu watcht wift baited breft whyl I navigated a verree difficult mishun in Licktenshtyn, a mishun that inkloodid money-laundrin, pertee kittee laydeez, survaylens eeqwipmint, dark tunnelz, brayv eskapyz, an som reellee amayzin fresh fish.

So yu ar probubul not bein surpryzd that MII-6 in jenrul, an M in partiklar, are desydin that I am the bestest possibul ajent to send on a danjerous mishun wift the possibul-ness of nevr comin bak alyv—Hang on a minoot. I gots to mayk a call. Yu jus keep reedin, cuz it stayz interesting.

So M gayv me Singul-O Status (SOS, as oppozd to Jimbond’s DOS). The “O” meen I got “lysense to claw out yer eyz an yer gutz, reellee qwite paynfullee” as long as I don’t akshul kills yu. M sez that it call fer lots mor judjmint, sinz I’m not allowd to aksidental blow up a bildin, fer instins, or shoot down a ayrplayn, cuz that migt akshul kills somboddee.

I’m in the Innerspeeseez Devizhun, but they sez I kan’t meet the Qween yet, cuz then I wudn’t be seekret aneemor. Is verree importint, not blowin up yer covr.

OK! This is me bak from talkin wift M. She sez that she alreddee had whut she call a “sivilyzd diskushun” wift mai mom. M sez mai mom wuz pertee tugf, an jus a littul skaree, but that they kaym to a “reezonobbul” agreemint about necessaree and egspektabul danjr. Aneewae, parentlee, M wuz reellee perswaysiv an Mom loosind up. Also, M has desydid to giv me egstra resoursis so that nothin happn to me that mayk mai mom hunt M down. (Go Mom!!!)

So the onlee othr ishoo is about sekyooritee. Now, I personal noe that yu wuds nevr givs me awae becuz yu’r gud reedrz. An that’s verree conveenyent. But fer thoz of yu reedrz whu migt classifai yerselvs unner “not gud” or possible “untrustabul,” we has tekhnolojee fer yu, too.

See, as of Joolai 4, 2009, we gots this cool nu tekhnolojee to locayt reederz by GPS, an then signal the closest K-9 “Cleen-up Sqwad” (K9CS, somtimz calld Cannons). They got theez hyooj Dobermun doggeez wift teeft the length of mai tail an breft lik a garbudj dump. Yu be bad reedrz, an they will com vizit yu.


So I noe I am sayf wift yu…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mai Breefin Continyooz (A Lot)

Musashi Sez:

I doesn’t noe why they callz it a breefin, cuz it almost nevr partiklr breef. I thingk it ogt to be calld a longin. So this is yer littr boks warnin. Kthxbai.

Mom Says:

When Musashi finally awoke, it was Jimbond who continued his briefing. Jimbond had a big white cast on his shooting arm and looked tired and annoyed.

“Well, you’re a heavy sleeper, Eight. Didn’t you nap on the plane?”

“I wuz wae too egsytid about comin bak.”

“Just what you get for ignoring martinis. How far did M get with you before you swooned from exhaustion?”

“Huh. Yu ar so amyoozin. M said that this Spannish piggee in Morocco had found out som stuff an so she wants to send me to a prizzin. That don’t sound gud!”

“I think M has forgotten how little experience you have. Oh well. Necessity is a mother! First of all, PyG stands for Perro y Gatto, Dog and Cat, their highly unoriginal code names. They are informers. They are not spies, simply information gatherers. And this time they may have gathered a piece of information that could have world-shattering consequences.”

“Mor shattrin than that monee-washin in Licktenshtyn?”

“Much. You see, they have a business, bringing food and medicine from the prisoners’ friends and families to the prisoners. Moroccan prisons are horrible, overcrowded and dirty, without much food. So the prisoners depend on outsiders to help them get the basics.”

“But if they’r in prizzin, then they’r bad gyz, rigt?”

“Some are the worst of humanity. Some were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most are in between. You’ve never been imprisoned, so you can’t—“

“I livd in a caje at the aminal hospittul fer a monft, aftr the hoomin peeples found me an Larree and Curlee in a box in Roxberree.”

Jimbond blinked. “Ah, yes. Well, the situation in America is much better than in other places, particularly if you are a cat, I suspect. Anyway, these prisoners tell Perro and Gatto their relatives’ addresses and the relatives feed Perro and Gatto in return for their sneaking food and other things into the prison. There and in the homes, PyG hear things that they pass on to us here in London.”

“Did M tell yu she had som laydee giv me pointee shotz?”

“Eight, focus! Most of the time, PyG only talk to humans, but last week they met a dog who sneaks in to see his human, a Russian national imprisoned on a minor drug charge. The Russian dog, Sabaka, thinks his human is dying. He also seems to believe that his human was part of an international conspiracy of some proportions.”

“Lik a spy?”

“Er, similar. We don’t know. Sabaka spoke to PyG because he assumed that they were Spanish. He doesn’t trust the British—which makes M think the conspiracy may be aimed at the United Kingdom instead of the United States. He asked them if they could find a CIA agent. Sabaka hopes to trade the information on the conspiracy for diplomatic pressure to get his human out of the prison. If his human is indeed dying, and he may well be, we may not have much time.”

“Rigt! We gots to find the CIA!”

“Er, no. There are questions about the Moroccan CIA operatives. And as for the CIA in the rest of North Africa and through the Middle East, they are far too busy worrying about terrorism to consider a possibly nonexistent conspiracy. And in any case, the Americans tend to ignore the four-legged operatives. A few years ago, we had a squirrel liasing with them—they fed him espresso, as a joke. The poor bloke had a heart attack, nearly didn’t make it. M has been cautious letting Mysiz work with them ever since then.”

“I see sqwirls somtimz, at hom, out the windo.”

“Er, yes, well done. Eight, you are going to meet Sabaka. You will pretend to be CIA, promise diplomatic action, up to a point, and try to get the information from him and pass it on to us.”

“An yu’ll halp his hoomin?”

“We will extract him from prison, yes. Your job should be very simple. You will have a human contact in Marrakech, the city you are heading to. His name is Ibrahim. He will meet you at the airport and facilitate your meeting with PyG. You will report back to him and he will send your reports on to us. Questions?”

“Yah. Yu got anee toona? I hasn’t eaten sins about mebbe jus befor Ireland.”

Musashi Sez:

Whut? I wus hongree! This spyin is hard werk!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mai Briefin

Musashi Sez:

Natchuralee, mai playn wuz layt getting to Londin, so bai the tim I got to M’s offis, I wuz out of breft. She greetd me all distraktd an then led me down the hall, moovin so fas, I was trottin to keep up. Whyl Q wuz fittin me wift a new camra collar and harness, an this dark laydee wift whit teeft an a whit coat wuz givin me annoyin shotz, M egsplaynd the sitchooayshun.

“Musashi, I’m sending you to Morocco, in North Africa. We got an earnest message from PyG there—“

“Yu got piggeez workin fer yu?”

“Yes, of course, but not in an Islamic country. No, PyG is a team of informers, Perro and Gatto, who work in the city of Marrakech. They’re from Spain, originally, just across the Strait of Gibraltar, and they’re rather good at sniffing out problems.”

“An sitchooayshunz?”


“OUCH!” I leaped awae from the laydee wift the shotz. “Mayk her stop doin that!”

“All done, sah,” sed the laydee, an she left.

I likkt mai flank whyl M egsplaynd som mor. “I’m afraid the immunizations are necessary. There are many stray cats in the streets in Morocco, carrying God knows what. And you’ll be going to a prison—“

“But I not don aneethin wrong!”

“Of course not. Let me back up. You see, PyG’s human worked for us back in the late 90s, right before she died and left them her pension. Musashi? Musashi!”

But I had curld up an gon to sleep. Dang that jet lag aneewae.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Yard Is Not Enough!

Mom Says:

M’s voice on the phone sounded hurried and irritated. “Well, Musashi,” she said, “I hadn’t planned on bringing you in again so soon, but we have a situation and we need you. How soon can you get here?”

“O boy! A sitchooayshun? I be rigt ther!”

He caught the next flight to London like he’d been traveling all his life. The only trouble he had was in the line at security, when the guard kept insisting that Musashi take his shoes off, and Musashi kept insisting that he didn’t have any shoes to take off.

“But I’m a kittee person. We doesn’t wayr shooz!”

“If yoah a pet, then you gotta go in a pet carriah. If yoah a passenjah, then you gotta take off yoah shoes.”

The problem was solved by the little girl behind Musashi who lent him her doll’s shoes to put on, take off, send through the X-ray machine in the big grey plastic tub, and then give back.

He thanked the girl and let her pat him on the head before going off to his terminal, where he reflected that Jimbond probably never faced such problems, and that, in fact, wearing shoes was no fun.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Agent 08, On Her Majestee’z Intrspeeciez Servis, Part I

Mom Says:

Having made the decision to spend one of his nine lives as an MI-6 spy for England, serving on the international, Interspecies Service, Musashi took up his middle name, Octavian, as his code name. (And that name came from his being adopted on 08-08-08, a very auspicious date for the Chinese, who have been around long enough to know.)

Now, naturally, we expect readers to have questions, and we encourage them. After all, James Bond’s section of MI-6 is well documented in stories, novels, and films. But who has written of MII-6? And who knows of the tricky and sensitive moves required of operatives who, in part because of antiquated citizenship requirements in every country of the world, are not nationals of any country, and who, in addition to whatever first-country commitments they might have, are also deeply committed to protecting Britain, the home of the world’s first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals?

And, most importantly, who has the ninja writing skills necessary to tell the tales of inconspicuous gallantry from the members of MII-6 (pronounced Mysiz, in memory of the mice of the Underground tunnels who aided Churchill during the Battle of Britain), oh-so-carefully telling the tales of daring and technological showiness, while also protecting the identities of the United Kingdom’s most valiant protectors, though they go about in the shadows on four feet?

Who indeed?

Musashi Sez:

That wud be me.

An if yu don't noe whu me is, I sugjest yu go to The Musashi Guide, at, wher yu kin lern mor.