sinistrella, part 3

Having learned through my sources that Hector and Sinistrella planned to attend a local performance of the Moscow Cat Circus, I called young Brooklyn Ivan, who I knew to have family in the Brighton Beach fishmarket - a rough and tumble port of call for many a cat from Moscow. As it so happened, Ivan's cousin Leo Lyonovitch was owed a favor by none other than the highwire-strutting calico Katya Katsiskaya. We had an in. And so it was that my protege Ikey and I came to find ourselves in the glare of the spotlight as a voice crackled through the PA system: "Ladies and gentleman, we are pleased to present ... Rocky Rockovitch and Ikey Ikovitch!"

We trotted to the center of the circus ring carrying a 25-foot pole. I bit one end and leaned my head back until the pole was perpendicular to the floor. Ikey scurried to the top, bowed to the audience, crossed his forelegs and began performing a Russian folk dance.

I spied Hector and Sinistrella in ringside seats. As Ikey danced atop the pole I began to maneuver it in seesaw fashion to the beat of the music, dipping the still-dancing Ikey up and down all around the edge of the ring. Sinistrella's cries of delight segued to shrieks of dismay as Ikey's trajectory enabled him to lean down and seize the McGothic birds-nest wig from her head, revealing her true Katie Couric hairdo with a miniature spy-camera bobby-pinned to the top.

Ikey grabbed the camera and I quickly raised the pole to its full height. "Ladies and gentlemen," Ikey cried, displaying the camera, "we have a spy of the junta among us!"

Hector's face turned ashen. Russian-felines and humans alike clenched their paws and fists as they grappled with memories of relatives consigned to the Gulag by NKVD and KGB agents; others in the audience similarly grew silent and rigid.

To be continued ...

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