Caffrey loved dogs and you supposed you honestly weren’t surprised. He reminded
you of a dog in a lot of favorable ways – loyal, friendly, happy, and
energetic. He made friends with dogs that came sniffing up to him in the
street, played happily with Satchmo whenever he saw the Burkes’ pet, and was a
very polite and fun tenant of June’s dog, Bugsy. If you had to guess whether
Neal was a dog or a cat person, you definitely would’ve guessed on the side of
dogs from the get-go.
yet, you’d also never had him pegged as impractical. Impulsive, yes, but
impractical? Neal often made impulsive decisions because they seemed the most
practical at the time. That’s why you were so surprised that you were now going
on a walk with him in Central Park alongside a purebred husky pup with big paws.
you just… volunteered?”
a good offer,” Neal defended his choice. One of June’s friends needed a dog sitter
while she went out of down, and even though it would be hard for him to care
for a pet while working long days at the bureau and simultaneously not being
able to go to the pet store out of his radius for quality dog food, he had
eagerly proposed his services.
not even being paid,” you pointed out exasperatedly.
I am!” He optimistically countered. “In the priceless medium of building
connections and making a stronger place for myself in June’s community.”
just wanted an excuse to have a dog for a while.”
accusation was met with a sheepish, but not at all ashamed, smile from Neal. The
blue-eyed man shrugged haplessly and the husky pulled on its leash.
knocked on Neal’s door pretty loudly, just in case he had his earbuds in and
was painting or something. Luckily, you had never walked in on anything awkward,
but you had learned that Neal didn’t always hear when you just called through
answered quickly and was fully dressed, no art supplies anywhere in sight. You
held up a to-go bag with his usual lunch order from the deli, but Neal was
already urging you inside, beckoning with his hand and grinning widely. He
closed the door behind you swiftly like he was afraid something was going to
get in or out.
what are you-?”
He interrupted you with the same huge smile. It was honestly pretty adorable –
he was usually so controlled and charismatic that you didn’t often get these
genuine beams. “She’s sleeping!” His own voice was a stage-whisper.
You repeated, indulging him and lowering your voice. You couldn’t think of
anyone who Neal would have sleeping in his penthouse, except for maybe June
(the landlady) or Mozzie (who wasn’t using female pronouns, last time you
checked). As you thought about it, you frowned. Maybe he has someone over. Neal was easily one of the most
flirtatious men you’d ever met.
put a hand on your lower back and guided you over towards the sofa, where he
leaned over the back to look down on the cushions. His expression melted like
ice cream in Australia and he reached down to very gently touch something.
looked away from him and down. There, curled up inside his upside-down fedora,
was a tiny little ball of fuzzy, fine fur. Neal let his fingertips play over
the soft kitten’s neck while its ears twitched jumpily, but it stayed asleep.
really weren’t sure what to make of the scene. Where did Neal get a cat? Why
was she in his hat to begin with? Why was he letting her stay in his hat? How did he plan to feed her? Was he going to keep
her? Why weren’t you petting the small fluffy animal right this instant?!
questioning the situation much more, you reached over and dipped your hand into
the hat to feel the kitten’s fur. She was a soft orange tabby with pale white
spots on her head and tail.
guess you could say the kitten is the cat in the hat.”
you want to leave?”
Neal play with a ferret made you feel like something was fundamentally wrong
with the universe. A ferret climbing up his arm, and he wasn’t swatting it off?
Sure, ferrets weren’t exactly sewer rats, but still. You knew Neal liked domestic animals, but you hadn’t
realized that extended very far past June’s pet pug and Peter’s yellow lab.
on your shoulder,” you pointed out, unable to concentrate. It kept moving. It had
tiny little claws that you couldn’t imagine felt good, but Neal had taken off
his suit jacket specifically so he could play with the ferret.
hummed agreement. The ferret’s head swiveled towards you, small eyes seeming
both beadily intimidating and playfully mischievous at the same time. Its
adorable pink nose twitched.
put your pen down. The crime victim you were interviewing had accidentally
released the ferret from its cage while trying to give it more water, and Neal
had been first to catch it. Since then, he and the animal had apparently become
best friends. The victim had shrugged and gone to get her receipt book to prove
her alibi, leaving you alone with him and a free-roaming rodent.
are you letting it on your shoulder?” You objected. You would let it on your shoulder, but Neal didn’t strike
you as the type who loved animals enough to let them crawl on his nice shirts.
are actually pretty clean animals,” Neal pointed out, holding his arm out
horizontally and bending his elbow. The ferret squeaked and raced down his arm
to his wrist, where it paused before tentatively sniffing again and placing a
dainty little limb on the back of Neal’s hand. “Especially when they’re healthy
and taken care of. And this little guy is.” It squeaked again at the perfectly
uncanny time and Neal smiled.
artist moved his other arm under the first. It slowly moved its front half over
the curve of his arm and down towards the other. While doing so, it stretched
out to a fuller length. You leaned back, shocked – it reminded you of an
you were starting to get used to this.
feeding it,” you complained, on a stakeout mission with the thief. “It’ll never
go away if you don’t stop.”
I don’t want it to go away.” Neal retorted defensively, ripping off another
small piece of croissant and tossing it towards the ground right outside his
slightly-open car door. The little fox outside skittered towards it happily and
ate it right up, just like it had been doing. Neal tore off another piece of
croissant. “This is better than watching that house.”
already told you, we’re here because of a tip, not because of anything
concrete. I’m not exactly having fun, either!”
that’s too bad, because I’m enjoying
myself.” Neal sounded imperious, but he sent you a wink while ripping off a
small third part of his pastry. “It helps when you make friends with the
calling the fox a local like it’s an actual person!”
appeared wounded and held a hand over his heard. “Don’t you get it? The foxes
have to stick together.”
compared himself to the animal, you snorted and rolled your eyes. “So you’re
playing with the wildlife because you wanted an excuse to call yourself foxy
big blue eyes went wide. You knew it was an act, but you also knew you’d fallen
right into a trap, and so you groaned into your hand. Neal tossed another piece
of croissant to the lone red fox while teasing you. “I was referring to the association of being clever, cunning, and up
to no good. You think I’m hot, Y/N?”
smuggling wasn’t a white-collar crime, but it was part of your latest case. You’d
thought that the valuable cargo being shipped in from Greenland was actually
counterfeit money, but once you’d actually intercepted the shipment and
arrested your bad guys, you found something very unexpected: when the top of
the crate was pried up, there was a wolf.
actual, living, breathing wolf, about the height of Satchmo but longer and
slimmer, had been smuggled as an exotic pet from Greenland. Its specific
species was yet to be determined, but its fur was thick and white and you
thought its face looked a little longer than most wolves you saw in the zoo.
for once, showed the proper wariness of a strange animal, but he kept looking
at it curiously. You did, too. There was a huge difference between homeless
vermin like foxes on the street and an actual, captive wolf. You were
fascinated and thought the wolf was beautiful, and it looked so soft. After
several minutes, Neal pointedly glanced at you and then back to the crate.
you relented without actually waiting for him to say or do something. “Come on.
But we move slowly, and pull our hands back if he acts like he’s getting
grinned sneakily like he was getting away with something and excitedly came
with you towards the shipping crate. “Just a couple minutes.”
yeah.” Still, you kept watch to warn him when he was about to be scolded. Neal
offered his hand first, and the wolf sniffed at his knuckles. The wolf couldn’t
care less about Neal after that, and the conman took that as his invitation to
Once Neal’s hand had been un-attacked for
several seconds, you put yours in, too, first offering for the wolf to smell
your closed fist. Its dry, rough nose bumped at the side of your thumb, then,
like with Neal, it was done dealing with you. You slipped your hand into the
fur on top of its head and cautiously scratched, wondering at how it felt. You
expected it to be soft – in actuality, it was warm, but rough and coarse.
petting a wolf,” you said aloud, surprised. Neal grinned at you, and you
declared, “Are you sure you’re supposed to be a conman? Because I’m thinking
you’d be pretty happy working at a wildlife center.”
Neal dismissed quickly, smiling as the wolf sort of noncommittally leaned its
head toward his hand. “Too dirty. This way I get to do all the playing and none
of the cleaning and maintenance.”
Firstly sorry it’s so short, I’m a bit under the weather. But anyway, personally have two cats, Cappy and Elphaba and they are my babies. If i was to get more cats (which I will eventually) they are all getting Broadway names!