It’s cold here on the ledge. The rain refuses to let up. Not exactly the warm, cozy fireplace that we cats love. I’ve been waiting here for a long time, but it’s okay. I can wait a little longer. We cats have an infinite amount of patience.

I want to see the look in your eyes when I plunge four sharp claws into your chest, then drag them down to create deep, ragged valleys that flow with red. I won’t kill you, oh no. That would be too easy, too selfish. I want to hear you scream.

He didn’t scream, you know. I’ve seen him shout, swear, seethe, but never scream. Not even when that pile of stone and mortar tumbled down on him. Not a word single word was spoken; he just looked into my eyes before fading away.

He said so many things with just that one look. Understanding. Love. Don’t blame yourself, Selina. Don’t beg me for forgiveness, because there’s nothing to forgive.

He died because of me, dammit. Like hell I won’t beg. We cats may be proud, but we’re not stupid.

Funny how I only found out his true identity at the funeral. Even when he lay dying in my arms, I never thought to pull off his cowl. It seemed sacrilegous, somehow. And besides, it didn’t seem to matter who he was behind the mask, because he *was* the mask. It was the real him. I think we both knew that. His identity in daylight, that was the mask. The Bat was the real him.That was all that mattered.

I wonder if he would have told me who he was eventually. We’ll never know now.

The rain’s getting heavier. If you don’t come out soon, Miss Kitty is going to get very, very ticked off.

I won’t kill you. The others, his family, deserve a shot at you, and Mama Cat always indulges her kittens. They’re not going to turn you over to the authorities, though, no matter what they’ve been taught to do. Screw their little honor code. You see, my little mouse, they cannot prove you committed any wrongdoing without revealing who the Bat actually was, and if they reveal Bruce Wayne, it won’t be a far shot to discover who Nightwing, Robin, and the current Batman are.

No, little mouse. They will keep their silence. They will come after you themselves and exact their own vengeance. Me, I’ll leave my mark on you. What else becomes of your fate, will depend on them.

It wasn’t so hard to find out the truth, you know. Did you think you could have kept it a secret forever?

I had been in my little South American retreat, living out my retirement with my cats and jaguar, when Oracle called. I knew it was important because there was no other reason she would contact me — the lady and I aren’t exactly the best of friends. But only she had my number and address, and I’d told her to contact me if there was an emergency.

She told me what Nightwing had discovered. The falling building in the construction area, the one that had killed the Bat — it hadn’t been an accident, had it? No, my little mouse, it was your doing. You had arranged it from the start. I flew over to Gotham immediately. It took weeks for us to track down your identity and to learn the truth.

I don’t appreciate being used for bait. Cats are free-willed predators. We don’t like being tricked into doing your bidding.

You’d stashed that jewel in the middle of the construction area. Then you spread word to the underground about it, knowing that somehow, someway, it would reach my ears.

You knew I would be unable to resist. And you knew, somehow, that he would come after me. And when I held the jewel in my hands, you saw it all too easy to have part of the half-built wall “accidentally” fall down to kill us both. He had pushed me out of the way; I lived.

Damn you, I lived.

I wonder if in the back of his mind, he knew it was a trap. He had to know; he was the Bat. He knew everything. Yet he came anyway.

Did he know? Or did he fall for the bait?

We were both fools. Fools for our cause, fools for each other.

And you sat there in your seat, didn’t you, the way you’re sitting right now in your office by the window, and laughed. A perfect plan, wasn’t it? No one would have thought it was anything less than an accident. You let guilt tear me apart. Guilt *still* tears me apart, because if it wasn’t for me. . .

No, I will not kill you. His family deserves a share of the pieces. What they do to you is up to them. I admit, if there’s any way they could do the “honorable” thing and turn you in, they would do so. That’ll be their prerogative, their decision.

You stole their father from them. You stole him from me. Tonight is the night, my little mouse. I know it won’t be too long before they show up. But you are mine first.

Now I lie in wait for you on this wet, cold ledge. I’ve long given up my purple Catwoman costume. The only mask I wear now is a cat cowl and claws. No fancy skin-tight costime, no whip. Catwoman isn’t the one after you now. It’s Selina Kyle. It’s all me.

Watch out, little mouse. Kitty cat’s here for you.

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