My name is Sherlock Herms. It is my business to know what others don’t know. At least that’s what I hoped for once I got my paws wet as a private investigator. It was my first day on the job. The Wonderpurr Detective Agency had been open for business all of twenty minutes, but my phone hadn’t rung once. I flicked my floofy tail with impatience. How long would I have to wait before someone hired me to solve a caper?
It all began when my author mom and I watched a documentary on famous detectives. She had decided to write mysteries. That made me nervous. I’m her mews, you see. I inspire her when she writes novels. But how could I inspire her when I know nothing about solving mysteries? If I fell down on the job, she might ask my arch-nemesis to be her mews. He’s a chunky orange tabby named Opie. He’s also my brother.
With that in mind I paid close attention to the documentary. My favorites were Spade and Marlowe for their hardboiled detective lingo, and Sherlock Holmes for his use of logical reason to solve cases. Plus I liked his hat. Mom had just published two books in one year and was taking a much-needed break to grow more brain cells. I needed experience solving capers. Now. Before she started plotting her first mystery. But what if no one hired me? Ever! I’d be a washed-up has-been before the sun set on my first day as a hardboiled detective. I’d also be out of a job as a professional mews.
I heard a knock. A thrill skittered through me. My first client had arrived! I opened the door to see my little sister. “What do you want, Dori?” “Mommy said I can play detective, too.” The fur bristled under my collar. “I’m not playing detective. I’m a hardboiled private investigator with grit in my blood. And no. You can’t play— I mean, be a detective, too.” I watched her eyes narrow. I’d seen that look before—right before I got a headache. She claims she can give migraines just by thinking one into your head and I believe her. But then her eyes filled with tears. Oh no. I’d rather have a migraine. “Mommy,” she yowled. “Hwermie won’t let me play detective.” “Let her play, Herms,” Mom called from her desk. “Please? I’m plotting.” Plotting! Oh no! Had she started mystery-writing without me?
Meet Herman, a wise old floofy-tailed Turkish Angora, and his quirky tabby-kitten sister, Dori. When their first client hires them to solve a mystery in another town, they aren’t allowed to leave the backyard. No problem. Using a kitty play tunnel as a magical portal, Herman and Dori travel out of their yard—and out of this century—to take on their first big caper.
Today was supposed to be my Pwince Honeysmoochies birthday. You know him as Wills @HRMeownessWills. But he was called Over the Rainbow Bridge way too soon. I can’t send him pawsents anymore, but instead I wrote him a poem. I hope he likes it.
“Maybe yoo just need to stop twying so hard to be like Shewlock Homes,” Dori said. “Stop twying to be someone yoo awen’t. And stop being so humorless. We are Finalists for Blogpaws Best Pet Humor Blog. Our furends aren’t stopping by on Fridays to soak in yoor melodwama. They got enough of that at home. They visit us to laugh. Yoo used to be fun before yoo became a detective, Hwermie. Yoo need to be fun again.”
I nodded. “Okay. I guess maybe I’m putting unnecessary pressure on myself.”
“Ya think? I’m pwetty sure Shewlock Homes didn’t sit around on Baker Stweet bending Watson’s ear about his fear of failing or how he feels inadequate.”
“I just don’t want to fail, Dori.”
“Hwermie, failure is a bwuise, not a tattoo.”
“And yoo gotta stop growling at me when I don’t measure up to yoor high expectations. Blowing out my candle doesn’t make yoors shine any bwighter.”
I sat back, stunned by her articulate reprimand.
“Don’t blame me for disappointing yoo, Hwermie. Blame yoorself for expecting too much.”
“Dori, I’m so sorry. I had no idea you felt this way.”
“Don’t apologize yet. I’m not done.” She moved to look beneath her paws. There I saw Mom’s phone with the screen filled with motivational memes. She read, “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how its supposed to be.”
I pointed to the next meme. “I like that one.”
“Yoo need to go back to being funner, Hwermie. Sewriously, yoo stawting to get fwrown lines.”
“Sounds like the formula to a great detective team, Dori.” I crawled onto the bench and lay with my head on her tail.
As the moon rose high in the night sky, I released the last of my self doubts. Life is too short to live in fear of making mistakes. Or getting frown lines.
You can quote me.
When I awoke the next morning I found Dori snuggled against me, using my floofy tail for her pillow. After spending an hour exploring motivational memes on our mom’s phone, she had fallen into a deep sleep, but I hadn’t closed my eyes for more than what seemed like a minute. I was worried about solving a case.
Two ghost ladies who hung out on our house rooftop had asked me to tell their granddaughter that she was dead cuz she was in Denial. But Violet and Isobel couldn’t give me details about their granddaughter’s death because they were under a G.A.G. Order.
“What does G.A.G. stand for?” I’d asked them.
“Alas, we are gagged by the G.A.G.,” Violet said, “unable to discuss such specifics.”
Dori had then opened her book, Ghost Hunters Do It… and read, “G.A.G. stands for Ghost Authorization Guidelines. Number three prohibits spirits from discussing specific details of another spirit’s life and death.”
Dori had then wanted to play 20 Questions with the ghost ladies to ascertain (my Word of the Day on my Word of the Day calendar) details of their granddaughter’s death, but then I kinda sorta got my floofy tail all knotted up with self-importance and growled at her. And hurt her feelings. Read More
My beautiful wife, Belle @Frankencat1, and I were meowied on June 22, 2013. We enjoyed a wonderpurr three years together before she went Over the Rainbow Bridge unexpectedly on August 1, 2016. Today would have been Belle’s birthday. I know she still visits me as an angel, but I miss her still, and I wrote a poem for her.