Previously on Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries…A Room with a Mew.
Now that I was calm I noticed the huge painting over the fireplace of a ship sailing a stormy sea. Charley saw me looking at it and said, “That’s the Mishipeshu. It was on it’s way home when it disappeared, never to be heard from again. This house belonged to it’s captain. In fact, he used this room as his office.” He placed me on top of the desk. “But, now it’s your office.”
“It’s nice. Mom and I will get a lot of books written here.”
“Your mom’s office is in another room. This is all yours.”
I gazed at the huge room, wondering why I needed so much space. But then I saw how the sunlight puddled on the rug, and I thought maybe I could get a big couch to go there, and a desk for Dori. And Mosey, my stroller, would need a spot…
I felt a light touch brush my ears and realized I was alone. I turned to look up the photograph of me, Dori and Charley. There I saw him wink at me. “Everything happens for a reason, my friend. You are where you are supposed to be. Welcome Home, Sherlock Herms. Welcome Home.”
And now…Org Chart Angst
“You’re in the way. Get out,” Dad told us with his usual blunt honesty.
Mom dressed up the request to make ourselves scarce by saying, “The moving truck arrives this morning and chaos will reign. I think today would be a good one for you to teach the others about purranormal investigating. If you will keep them in your office while the movers are here, I will provide refreshments.”
I shuffled my notes with nervous paws. I hadn’t expected to teach a class on ghost hunting until I got settled in my office and had time to gather my thoughts, but here I was with only my desk in place and a comfy chair in the turret warmed by brilliant sunshine. I also had a podium to hold my notes while I lectured.
Lounging on my office floor atop scattered pillows like college hippies from the 1960s, the Wonderpurr Detective Agency’s investigators-in-training waited for me to begin. I’d heard rumors of concern regarding the organizational chart Dori had made. I didn’t think there would be issues with their duties, except for Gidget who Dori had assigned the job of Beck and Fetch Grrrl, along with providing refreshments. For now I kept the pink org chart with the flowers out of sight.
I cleared my throat. “As you know, the movers are bringing our stuff today and Mom and Dad want us out of the way. So I thought—”
“I’m not bringing no one no refreshments!” Gidget howled. She pulled out a pirated copy of the org chart and shook it with angry paws. “I’m nobody’s Beck and Fetch Grrrl. You gimme a real job, or I’m not gonna play detective with you.”
The fur bristled under my collar. “We aren’t playing detective, Gidget. This is a professional agency. If you don’t believe me…” I retrieved my smiling piggy bank from my desk and shook it. The sound of my hard-earned huge quarters clinking against the piggy’s insides was mewsic to my ears. “That’s the sound of hard work and success. Not playing. And if you don’t want to play— I mean, work for my agency, then you can go back to being an ordinary housecat.”
I didn’t mean to be harsh, but there is nothing that sets my floofy tail on fire than someone belittling my Wonderpurr Detective Agency. I’d been to hell and back as a detective—literally!—and I was proud of my accomplishments.
I took a deep breath. “As for your title…” I glanced at Dori who had designed the chart without first consulting me. She gazed back with wide eyes, clearly befuddled as to why Gidget had thrown a hissy fit. “I think you all should decide what you want to call your positions with my agency.” I taped the pink org chart decorated with flowers to the front of the podium. “Why don’t you take a few minutes to look at the chart, and then decide what—”
“Awww mouse poop on toast,” Frank growled. “It’s pink! I don’t wanna work for no pink agency. I’m a guy cat. I want guy colors like brown and black and tan.”
“Tabby colors,” Jack supplied with a nod.
“What’s wrong with pink?” Chauncie Marie asked. “I’m a tabby, but I like pink.”
“It’s a girl color,” Frank told her. “I’m not a girl.”
“The chart will be white,” I told them.
“But I want a pink box,” Dori howled. Fat tears rolled down her cheeks.
I held up my paws to end the drama. “Let’s start with job assignments. Jack and Opie are already expert ghost hunting gadget designers. I thought Nik and Jesse could be in charge of keeping the gadgets running. Fix if something gets broken. Show everyone how to use the stuff. Troubleshoot if something has problems.”
Jesse raised his paw. “Do we have to actually go on ghost hunts?”
“It’s a behind-the-scenes job. You’ll be on the property, but not actually involved in the hunt.”
Jesse and Nik put their heads together, then both gave me two dewclaws up.“Awww mouse poop on toast,” Frank growled. “It’s pink! I don’t wanna work for no pink agency. Click To Tweet
To Peaches I said, “I’d like you to take the hiss-torical research position. It requires you to examine the haunting claims and the property hiss-tory, plus intermew witnesses.”
“Is it full-time with benefits?” she asked. “I need a two hour lunch break. And I don’t work before noon. I like to sleep in.”
I felt emotional heat warm my ears to the color of Dori’s pretty org chart. “I like to sleep in as much as anyone, but—”
“Ghost hunting is a night job,” Dori told her, “ but you’re expected to work Caturdays.”
Peaches nodded. “That’s fine. If I’m free.”
I next addressed Frank and Chauncie Marie. “I’d like you to team up to work the audio visuals.”
Frank blinked at me without comprehension while Chauncie’s eyes watered with disappointment. “I want a fun job,” she moaned.
“It’s fun,” Dori reassured. “Yoo record ghost conversations and photograph them doing stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“Walking through walls, moving stuff on tables… Pulling Hwermie’s tail.”
“You document the ghost hunt,” I clarified with crisp professionalism. “Since we work in the dark, you will operate night-vision cameras, and then scan the footage for signs of purranormal activity. You will also listen to our digital recordings for spooky voices. It’s a very important job. Not just anyone can do it. But if you don’t want it…”
Chauncie said to Frank, “I want it.”
The corners of Frank’s mouth turned down. “Are we required to wear black tee shirts with W.A.D. on it? Like they do on them ghost hunter tee vee shows?”
I scrunched my nose. “W.A.D.?”
“Wonderpurr Detective Agency.”
My patience was wearing thinner than canned tuna juice. Was this a preview of what I would be dealing with when they joined my detective agency? “No, Frank. You aren’t required to wear a black tee shirt. You can wear your own fur.”
“I want a W.A.D. tee shirt,” Dori meowed. “A pink one!”
“There are no W.A.D. tee shirts,” I hissed. “And even if there were, it would be…W.D.A.—not W.A.D.”
Dori blinked. “I’m confoozed.”
And I was about to have a stroke if I didn’t cool off. I took a deep breath. Very deep. Then I said to Candy, “You were amazing when you performed the séance to bring back Charley during my Heaven Can Wait case. Are you okay with being the psychic on our team?”
Candy nodded. “Thank you for asking me. I’m happy to accept the job.”
“Well, I’m not happy,” Gidget snarled.
“What’s my job? I’m not a Golden Retriever. I’m not fetching nuthin for no one.”“Are we required to wear black tee shirts with W.A.D. on it? Like they do on ghost hunter TV shows?” Click To Tweet
I consulted my list of jobs for ghost hunting team members. Gidget would push me into Stroke City if I handled her wrong. I studied the list, looking for something that sounded important. “Wait! I know what we need. We need a manager who coordinates the cases. Someone who filters the ghost hunting leads and does the initial research as to whether this is an investigation we should pursue.”
“A secretary,” Dori told her.
Gidget practically turned inside out. I’m pretty sure I saw the color of her internal organs.
“No!” I yowled before she exploded all over my nice new office. “Not a secretary. An agency coordinator and spokes-purrson. Someone who deals with the public and the media. It’s a valuable position. Highly visible. We can’t be a team without this position.”
I noticed Gidget now sat at attention, her green eyes wide with excitement. “I could do that. What’s my job title?”
I thought about it. “How about Case Manager?”
Her eyes narrowed, and she flicked her tail. “Borr-ring! I want a better title. How about…President of Miscellaneous Stuff.”
I bit the inside of my cheek. “Sounds professional.”
“I don’t want my box on the org chart at the bottom,” Gidget told me. “I’m the President, so my box should be at the top.”
“But I’m at the top.”
I blinked. “I’m the Lead Investigator. It’s my detective agency.”
Gidget rolled her eyes. “Whatev-ver!”
“If Gidget gets to pick her job title, so do I,” Peaches told me. “I want my title to be Director of Hiss-torical Exploration. And I want my org chart box to be peach-colored.”
“I want my box to be yellow so everybody sees it first,” Gidget yowled.
Nikolas and Jesse raised their paws at the same time. “We want a title change, too,” Nik said. “Spooky Equipment Coordinators.”
“And we want our org chart box to be black to match our fur,” Jesse added.
I pictured the box on the org chart. “But if your box is black, no one can read your names and job title.”
“Make the letters white,” Candy suggested.
Frank raised his paw. “We want our job title changed to Senior Optical Buzz Specialists.”
“And on the org chart,” Chauncie chimed in, “we want a pink box.”
“No!” Frank howled. “I didn’t agree to a pink box. No pink boxes!”
Chauncie’s eyes watered. “But I like pink.”
“No. Pink. Box. Or I won’t play detective.”
I growled, “We aren’t playing—”
“Rose?” Chauncie offered. “Can it be a rose-colored box?”
Frank’s eyes narrowed. “What color of rose?”
As Frank stood up to leave, Candy grabbed his tail. “How about Salmon-colored? You like to eat salmon, don’t you Frankie?”
He nodded. “With tartar sauce.”
“Then your box color will be salmon with tartar sauce.”
Frank sat. “Okay.”
I felt my eyes crossing. Exactly what color was salmon with tartar sauce? I didn’t have time to ask as my purranormal gadget designers raised their paws.
“We came up with a cool job title,” Jack told me.
“W.I.D.G.E.T. Wizards,” Opie announced.
“What’s a widget?” Dori wanted to know.
Jack said, “It’s an acronym for Wild Ideas, Doohickey Gizmos and Experimental Thingamabobs.”
The room fell silent while we all wrapped our brains around that one. Finally I asked, “What box color?”
“Blue,” they responded in unison.
I turned my gaze to Candy, our newest little sister. She sat quietly on her pillow, watching the interaction between her more boisterous siblings. “Do you want a job title change, sweetie?”
Her vivid green eyes lit up her pretty calico face. “Oh, I’m fine with what you gave me. I’m just happy to be here.”
“And we are very happy to have you,” I told her. “What color box would you like?”
She shrugged. “Whatever color you think I should have.”
“I want a pink box,” Dori told me. “With flowers. And I want my title to say Purranormal Investigator-slash-Pwincess. Like it already says on the org chart.”
“I had no intentions of changing a word,” I reassured her.I felt my eyes crossing. Exactly what color was salmon with tartar sauce? Click To Tweet
“What title do you want, Herman?” Candy asked.
I rolled a few ideas around in my head, but in my heart of hearts there was only one job title I identified with. “I want my title to read ‘Hardboiled Detective with Grit in his Blood. And… I want my box to be green.”
“If I can’t have my box at the top,” Gidget said, “then I want it to be second from the top.”
“That’s my place,” Dori growled.
“I’m President,” Gidget snarled. “I’m above you.”
Dori gasped. “You are so not!”
As Dori hurled herself at Gidget with claws flailing and teeth chomping, everyone scattered to avoid being caught in the cat fight. We have a No Fighting rule in our house. Wrassling is allowed, but without claws and blood.
“Hisssst!” Peaches ran to break up the fight. “Mom’s coming. Quick! Everyone back to your seats.”
As they flung themselves at their pillows, I scampered back to the podium where I pretended to be winding up my lecture on ghost hunting. “And so…I’d like to end by saying…ghost hunting can be fun and exciting, but it’s also hard detective work.” I turned and pretended to be surprised to see our mom standing in the door with a tray of refreshments. “Look! It’s our Beck and Fetch Grrrl.”
She laughed. “That sums up my position in this house purrrfectly. Everything okay? I thought I heard howling and yowling up here.”
“We were having a lively discussion on…on… Hey! That smells good. Whatcha got on that tray, Mom?”
Wearing angelic expressions on their pusses, my W.A.D. employees formed a single file to retrieve their treats from the tray. Then as Mom closed the door behind her, my investigators stretched out on their pillows to eat and nap for the duration of the afternoon.
I dragged the cushion from the chair in the sunny turret and joined them. “I think we had a rousingly successful first meeting. What do you think?”
They all nodded sleepily, clearly not in the mood for further discussion.
Then Candy said, “We didn’t appoint a secretary. Did anybody write down all those job titles?”
Welcome to Season Two of Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries starring me, Herman @TattleCat and my lil sisfur, Dori @Adorapurr on Twitter. You can also find us on Facebook as Herman.TattleCat. And on Instagram as Wonderpurr_Life.
If you’re new to us, Welcome! You’ll find my Case Files to Season One located in my Case Note Archives . You can also Subscribe to this Wonderpurr blog by email. See the side column. Go on, I’ll wait while you look.
A new episode posts every Friday. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s story, and if you did, let me know in the Comments below. And pleeeeze tell your friends. All of them. Even the ones you don’t like. Until next Friday…
Have a Wonderpurr Week! Herman!!!
Read the next episode: Sherlock Herms in The Trojan Horse Mystery.