The rabbit was white and menacing. It came out at night to watch things happen, loitering in the backyard like a dead saint. Word on the street claimed that it drew sustenance from the corpses of dead felines. The cats were nervous. They could not catch the rabbit, for it possessed the alacrity of a snake, the cunning of a bird and the bizarre fortune of a dog.
There were sixteen cats living within Dell Road. All of them were frightened of the rabbit.
Cats lived in strange cells of two or three, only meeting fully on certain special or mystical dates, though they were all ruled by the wisest cat on the road. This cat was known to its brother felines as Lapradush, or ‘destroyer of Hare’. This was very funny to the wisest cat, whose owner was entirely bald. Nevertheless, he took his role as protector, destroyer and seer very seriously, and had sworn a bitter oath to rid the street of the rabbit.
A short while after the rabbit moved in under the house, the tenants moved out. A human boy had fallen mysteriously ill – rot of the lungs - and had quietly died a few nights before. A fish lived at the house, the companion of the dead boy, and had spoken quickly and confidently to Lapradush.
“Do not eat me,” said the fish.
“I will not, little thing,” said the wisest cat. “I am here to speak.”
“That is good, Kashkakash,” said the fish. Kashkakash was the name the bowl-kept fish of the road had named the wisest cat. It meant ‘destroyer of Fish’. “Speak.”
“What killed your master? Was it the whitest rabbit? There is talk of your family moving out of the road… this disturbs us greatly.”
“Yes, they are planning to move out,” said the fish. “The rabbit comes, sometimes, you know. To watch. I tried to speak to it, at first. Then I begged it to go. It would not leave. It would not even speak.”
“How did it gain entrance? Was there a hole – a door left unlocked?” said Lapradush. He knew that the fish – despite being bowl-ridden – was intimately familiar with the home.
The fish blinked.
“I do not know how,” it finally admitted. “All the doors were locked. No open windows. No holes. Unless, perhaps, a cat let him…” The fish knew that all cats – despite their supposed distaste at all things mechanical – were intimately familiar with locks, keys and doors.
“No. The cats would not.”
“Sometimes, the rabbit comes to watch me. I know that the hopping folk do not care for meat, least of all the flesh of fish, but… what if it…? What if it is here for – what if it killed Matthew so that it could get to – to me…?”
“Goodbye, little fish,” said Lapradush, known as Kashkakash, ‘destroyer of Fish’, as he leapt out the window.