Max paced the rain-slicked pavement, deep in concentration, oblivious to the others hurriedly going about their duties, all while keeping a wary eye on him.
The grizzly scene before him posed an intriguing tableau of events that had played out only what could have been a few hours earlier; an incident of carnage and horror in the dark hours of the night.
Two mangled victims, their bodies torn apart, were barely recognizable as having been living, breathing beings a short while ago. Entrails and body parts lay heaped in a dark pool of blood that Max now circled around; taking in all the information laid bare for anyone who knew what to look for could read and interpret.
A gruff grunt beside him broke is concentration as he realized he had almost trod upon the Constable.
"Well?" Constable Bruno grumbled. "Your 'sharp eyes' see anything of use, detective?"
Barely taking his eyes from the victims on the ground, Max looked sideways at the bulldog and scratched behind his ear.
"There is plenty 'of use', Constable." He answered in his plain, matter-of-fact tone. "Even with your hounds trampling through the scene like boorish oafs, I can still differentiate them from whatever creature has perpetrated this heinous affair."
The other officers around them growled and snarled at his insult, some even lunged at Max as he deftly leapt out of their range.
Constable Bruno barked deeply as he moved between his officers and Max to quell their aggression.
"Now listen here, you mangy fop." Bruno advised with controlled rage in his voice, "I only allowed you to come down here as a courtesy, seeing as this has effected both our peoples. But I won't think twice about chomping you in two if you keep up that smarmy attitude of yours and insulting my boys."
Max looked at his front claws nonchalantly, ignoring the jostling pack behind the bulldog police constable.
"My apologies, old chap." Max said cheerily, "no offence intended. Sorry, boys; doing a bang up job." He managed not to roll his eyes as he said the last.
The rest of the police dogs snorted and started to go back to sweeping the scene at Bruno's nod.
"Alright," Bruno turned his attention back to Max. "You said a 'creature' did this? You don't think it was someone from either your camp or ours?"
Max regarded the stocky constable with slightly less disparagement than he had before, "You are quicker than I gave you credit for, Constable."
Hopping around the piles of butchery on the ground of the alleyway, Max knelt down to take a closer inspection.
"Let me ask you, Constable Bruno," he quarried as he looked over the bloody mess. "You have heard of the phrase, 'Occam's Razor', have you not? The simplest solution to a problem, however seemingly improbable, must be the correct one?"
"Yes of course." Bruno replied indignantly, adjusting his bowler hat so it sat slightly askew atop his massive head.
"Well then," Max continued. "I have followed these cases of mysterious mutilations around the city for the past few months. The different victims from both of our respective communities, the locations, all seemingly unconnected save for the manner in which they were killed.
"And now, seeing an actual display of the crime first hand, I have to conclude that, though they do suggest a certain, how would you say, method, not dissimilar to that of either community, I do not believe either cat, or dog were involved. Indeed, I might go further to suggest that all the victims found so far, were attacked by a felis lupus."
Bruno pushed back his hat and rumpled his already wrinkly brow in confusion,
Max straighten up and looked around at the other officers who had gathered around once again, but this time very intent with curiosity at what Max was saying; a lone cat amongst a pack of dogs.
He cleared his throat,
"A felis lupus; half-cat, half-wolf." He paused for a moment then finished their thought.
"In other words, a werecat."
Thunder rumbled and the rain started to fall upon the waking city once again; the full moon dipping below the skyline and out of sight.