Disclaimer: I do not own "Cat's Eye" or Catwoman. They are property of Tsukasa Hojo and DC Comics respectively. No profit is being made from this story.
Author's Note: This story is based on older versions of Catwoman where she was a straightforward villain.
The living room was lavishly decorated, with an exotic carpet and rugs, teak and mahogany furniture and expensive statues, vases and other curios lining every available flat space. A large mirror took up most of one wall. All of the items had been either stolen or bought using money gained by selling other stolen treasures on the black market.
The room's owner, Selina Kyle AKA the notorious criminal Catwoman, would usually be revelling in her stolen wealth and luxury. Today however she was not in a good mood. Instead she sat on a throne-like armchair and seethed with rage as she read a magazine. The article was about a group of art thieves operating in Tokyo who called themselves Cat's Eye.
"How dare they rip-off my theme" Selina ranted. "There's only room for one top cat and that's me!"
Her anger grew as she continued to read the article. "What? They only steal artwork from the Heinz Collection. Bah, there's far more valuable art they could be stealing instead. What a waste. And what's this? They send out a calling card before each heist. How stupid is that?"
She hurled the magazine across the room. It knocked over a Ming vase which fell to the floor and broke into pieces but she didn't care. She stood up with a determined look on her face.
"I'm booking a flight to Tokyo. It's time I put these copycats in their place!"
At the Cat's Eye café everything was going smoothly. The Kisugi sisters had located another piece of their father's collection, a painting called "Snowstorm" which was being exhibited at a local gallery. They had sent out a Cat's Card announcing their intentions to steal it and, as usual, Toshio had told Hitomi about Inunari Station's plans to catch Cat's Eye. With that information the sisters had devised a plan to beat the security and get the painting. Since they had hours to prepare for tonight's heist they had decided to leave the café open for a little longer. There would be plenty of time to get ready that evening.
"Welcome" Hitomi said from behind the counter as a customer entered. He took a seat and ordered a coffee which she promptly served while Rui washed the dishes. The eldest sister looked over at Ai who was sitting in one of the booths and reading a manga.
"Ai, you work here as well" she pointed out.
"Meh, you both seem to have everything covered. There's nothing for me to do" Ai replied lazily.
Before Rui could answer there was a sudden screeching of tires from outside followed by a pained yowl. The three sisters instantly looked over in alarm. Ai leapt to her feet and ran outside with Hitomi and Rui right behind her.
"Tiger!" Ai screamed.
Her pet tabby kitten was laying on the pavement, unmoving. Ai dashed over and knelt down in front of him, her eyes filling with tears. For a second Hitomi feared the worst, but then she noticed that his chest was rising and falling.
"Nee-san, call the vet" she said urgently.
Rui nodded and rushed back into the café while Hitomi crouched next to Ai and hugged her while whispering reassurances into her ears.
Soon afterwards Hitomi and Ai were sitting in the veterinary clinic's waiting room. Ai kept glancing anxiously at the door and drumming her fingertips against her chair. Seeing how nervous she was Hitomi put a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Don't worry Ai. Tiger will be fine" she said comfortingly. "The vets know what they're doing."
"This is all my fault" Ai said miserably. "If I had paid more attention instead of goofing off this wouldn't have happened."
"Ai listen to me. This was not your fault" said Hitomi. "There was no way you could have expected this."
"Thanks sis" Ai replied.
"That's why nee-san and I are here."
The door opened and the vet, a middle-aged woman with light brown hair wearing a lab coat, entered. Ai jumped to her feet.
"Is Tiger okay?"
"He's fine" the vet replied with a kindly smile. "His leg was broken but it was a simple closed fracture. "We've set it and put it in a cast. He'll be fully healed in about five weeks."
Ai laughed with relief and Hitomi smiled.
"Thank you doctor"
The vet led them into the surgery where Tiger was sleeping soundly. His left front leg was immobilised in a cast and an e-collar had been put on him but otherwise he was fine. Ai stroked his fur, needing the reminder that he was alive, while she and Hitomi listened to the vet's advice. She gave them some medicine for Tiger and advised them to keep him from moving around too much. Finally they put him into the cat carrier and set off for home.
"Are you sure you want to continue with tonight's job Ai?" Hitomi asked as she drove the car home. "I can talk to nee-san and ask her to postpone it if you like."
Ai thought about it for a moment and shook her head. "It's okay. The vet said Tiger will be asleep for a while. We can get Papa's painting and be back before he wakes up. If we postponed tonight's job it would affect our reputation."
Hitomi chuckled. "All right."
That night Hitomi and Ai, now wearing their signature unitards, climbed up the side of the gallery using hand-held suction cups. When they were on the second floor where "Snowstorm" was being kept Hitomi took out a glass cutter and with practised ease she cut out a perfect circle in the window. She then reached through the hole she'd made and opened the window, allowing them both to slip through.
"Very smooth Hitomi-onee."
"Thanks. Now let's get to the breaker room and cut off the power."
But as they were heading down the corridor the lights abruptly flickered and went off, plunging the museum into darkness.
"What's going on? Is this a trap?" Ai asked, looking around in alarm.
"Nee-san, something's wrong. The lights just went out" Hitomi said into her headset.
Back at the getaway car where she was waiting for her sisters to return Rui frowned as she heard the transmission. "Proceed with the heist but be careful. We may have some unexpected competition."
They arrived at the breaker room to find that sure enough someone had already cut the building's power.
"Nee-san was right. There's another thief at work here" said Hitomi.
"What if they're after Papa's painting too?" Ai exclaimed. "We can't let them beat us to it!"
As they ran through the gallery's corridors they heard a series of low pain-filled groans. Turning a corner they came to a stop as they came across some cops laying on the floor. A few of them were barely conscious but most were out cold. All of them were battered and bloody, many with slash marks across their faces.
"What happened to them?" Ai wondered.
"It must have been the other thief" Hitomi replied. Her eyes widened as she realised something. "Toshi!"
Not for the first time Utsumi Toshio congratulated himself for coming up with such a brilliant plan. He was currently hiding behind a false wall in the gallery where Cat's Eye's target was being displayed. There were a few other officers plus Asatani standing guard. No doubt Cat's Eye would stage some diversion at which point they would all rush off, leaving the thief with a false sense of security. As soon as Cat's Eye was in range he would jump out and catch them in the act.
There's no doubt about it Cat's he thought. This time I will arrest you for sure!
Just then he heard a commotion coming from the other side of the false wall. There were dull thuds, loud cracks and cries of pain. Toshio hesitated but decided he couldn't just stand there while his fellow police officers were under attack. He sprang out from his hiding place yelling, "Cat's! This time I've got you!"
The gallery was dark but he had anticipated that possibility and had brought a torch with him. He turned it on and the beam illuminated the scene before him.
All of the guards, including Asatani, were unconscious on the floor. Standing over them was a woman wearing a purple jumpsuit with bicep-length black gloves and thigh-length black boots. The jumpsuit extended up into a mask that covered the upper half of her face, leaving only her green eyes visible. A mane of curly black hair extended from under her mask and her lips were painted bright red. In her right hand was a black bullwhip. Strangest of all, her mask sported a pair of cat ears. Unlike the elegant unitards that the members of Cat's Eye wore, the entire costume looked utterly ridiculous.
"What, cat got your tongue?" she said coyly.
"Is that you Cat's Eye?" Toshio asked in disbelief.
Her seductive smile instantly became an angry scowl as she yelled, "I'm Catwoman!"
She cracked the whip out at him and he howled in pain as the tip struck his hand causing him to drop the torch. Catwoman pulled back her whip and then cast it out again. This time it coiled around his neck making him choke and gag. She yanked hard, pulling him off-balance and sending him stumbling towards her.
"Hear me roar" she said contemptuously. With that she lifted him up and hurled him through the air. He crashed through a huge window and began the fall to the ground…
And came to an abrupt halt as hands closed around his ankles. Toshio was then hauled back through the broken window and deposited on the floor. Before he could react there was a low hissing sound and he lost consciousness.
Hitomi and Ai arrived just in time to see Toshio being thrown towards a window. Without hesitation Hitomi sprinted forwards and caught his ankles before he could fall. She pulled him back inside and hastily took out a small canister. Before he could turn around she sprayed him in the face with knockout gas. He slumped to the floor, sound asleep.
Hitomi breathed a sigh of relief and then turned to face the woman in the silly costume. Ai hurried up and stood beside her.
"Who are you?" Hitomi asked.
"And what' s with that outfit?" Ai added. "Are you pretending to be Cat's Eye?"
A look of utter rage appeared on the woman's face. "I'm Catwoman!" She angrily swung her whip in a series of rapid strikes, but Hitomi and Ai nimbly dodged each one. As Catwoman cast her whip back for another strike Hitomi threw a Cat's Card. It sliced easily through the braided leather and the severed whip dropped to the floor.
"I'll claw your eyes out" Catwoman hissed. She flexed her fingers and metal claws extended from the tips of her gloves.
"Geez, she really is taking this copying us thing too far" Ai mused.
"Ai, you get the "Snowstorm." I'll keep her busy" said Hitomi.
"Looks like I won't get my chance to shine today" Ai complained. But she did as told and ran over to the painting while her sister faced off against their opponent.
Catwoman pounced and slashed with her metal claws. She was fast but Hitomi expertly evaded each attack. Her foe feinted a high roundhouse kick and then drove her claws at her face. Hitomi blocked the attack, deflecting it harmlessly upwards, and then landed a reverse punch to the torso that staggered Catwoman.
She back-flipped away to get some breathing room, then snatched up a vase and threw it at her. Hitomi caught the vase and put it down, appalled that anyone would show such utter disregard for a work of art. Catwoman charged at her, hoping to attack while she was distracted, but Hitomi leaped into the air and somersaulted over her head. She landed on her feet and drove a kick into Catwoman's back that sent her sprawling to the floor.
Catwoman sprang back to her feet and leaped at her, bringing her claws down in an overhead slash that she narrowly sidestepped. Catwoman again swiped at her head but she ducked under it and then delivered an uppercut to her solar plexus that drove the air from her lungs. She collapsed to her knees and Hitomi finished her off with a knife hand strike to the back of her neck. Catwoman slumped to the floor, out cold.
Hitomi looked down at her beaten foe. "So much for the fake" she said casually. She smiled as she added, "still at least Toshi will get a consolation prize."
She took a moment to secure Catwoman with Toshio's handcuffs and then leaped through the broken window, landing gracefully in the branches of a nearby tree, and set off to re-join Ai and Rui.
"I still can't believe I didn't get to play a part" Ai muttered as they arrived back at the café.
"What are you complaining about? You got to take Papa's painting to safety didn't you?" Hitomi pointed out.
"That doesn't count. It…" She fell silent as they heard a faint meowing coming from upstairs.
"Tiger!" Ai raced up to her room where she found the kitten on her bed where they had left him. She sat down and began stroking his fur.
"There, there Tiger. It's okay, I'm here now" she said. He stopped meowing and started purring contentedly. Hitomi and Rui smiled as they watched from the doorway.
"Well it seems Tiger definitely appreciates you Ai" said Rui. "Does that make you feel better?"
"Yep" she replied.
The next day Hitomi and Rui were behind the counter and Ai was sitting in a booth fussing Tiger. She had asked her sisters if there was anything she could do to help and they had assured her that for now they could handle it.
"You just keep an eye on Tiger and make sure he's fine" Rui had told her. Ai was more than happy to oblige.
"Welcome" Hitomi said as the doorbell rang. "Ah Toshi."
"Hi" he said as he sat at the counter. "Hey, what happened to Tiger?"
"He was hit by a car yesterday" she explained. "The vet says he'll be fully recovered in about five weeks."
"I'm glad" he replied. "Wow, a lot of stuff happened yesterday then."
"You mean with Cat's Eye?"
"Yes but there was something else as well."
The three sisters had to keep themselves from exchanging knowing looks as Toshio told them what had happened at the gallery last night.
"Chief Stupid and Plain Jane were sure we had caught Cat's Eye and were jumping around like kids at Christmas" he scoffed. "Then we confirmed she only arrived in Tokyo a few days ago and their faces fell."
"That's too bad. If it had been Cat's Eye then you could marry Hitomi-onee" Ai teased as she walked over to the counter, still holding Tiger.
"I know" he sighed.
"Cheer up Toshi. At least you arrested a criminal" Hitomi encouraged him.
"That's true." He grinned broadly as he added, "and to celebrate…"
He closed his eyes, puckered his lips and leaned towards Hitomi. With an impish smile she took Tiger from Ai and held him up in front of her.
Toshio opened his eyes and realised what had just happened. His eyes bulged and he recoiled so hard that he fell off his stool and hit the floor.
The three sisters giggled mirthfully.