Previously on Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries…Org Chart Angst.
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?”
And now…The Trojan Horse Mystery
It was Dad who fed us breakfast. Highly unusual. Typically he’s in charge of cleaning the litter boxes in the morning, but today he also divvied up the kibble and placed the bowls in the wrong spots. I like to eat by myself on the cushy rug in front of the sink, but instead the bowls were lined up like a barnyard feeding trough in front of the kitchen fireplace.
Not realizing there had been an unexpected change of command, I was the last to arrive and almost didn’t get to eat because Jack on the end had wolfed his food like a starving…um, wolf, and then moved on to eat from Opie’s bowl next to him. Opie then moved on to eat from Peaches’ bowl, who was forced to eat from Dori’s bowl, who was forced to eat from Frank’s bowl…etc. etc. I arrived just as Jack finished Opie’s bowl and was heading for mine. I slapped my bowl aside and glared at him before turning my back to eat in semi-peace.
“Where’s Mom?” I asked Dori after I finished and was washing up.
“In her room. Dad says she’s sick.”
I stopped washing my paws. My heart thudded with panic. My mom isn’t a drama mama. She caters to my needs no matter what kind of storm pounds at our door. “What kind of sick?”
She shrugged. “Rabies, maybe?”
I zoomed up the kitchen stairs to my pawrent’s room where I saw Mom lying in bed. My heart pounded so hard, I felt faint. What if she was dying? Who would feed me? Who would brush me? Who would…tweet for me? “Dori says you have rabies.”
She spoke without opening her eyes. “I think I have a virus. I feel puny.”
“What does puny feel like?”
“I have chills, a sore throat, and I’m achy all over.”What if Mom was dying? Who would tweet for me? Click To Tweet
“Where did you find a virus?”
“No idea. It’s a mystery.”
My ears perked up. “A mystery? Can I solve it for you? My phone hasn’t rung since we’ve been here. I need a job.”
She sighed. “Then sleuth away.”
I excused myself to scamper back to my office where I grabbed a notebook and a purrple crayon. Then I headed back to my client. She didn’t move when I perched on her chest, but she made a soft moany sound.
“I need to interrogate you,” I told her. “What time did you first notice you were feeling puny?”
She swallowed hard. “Last night around nine-thirty.”
“What were the symptoms?”
“I felt tired. And queasy.”
I wrote in my notebook. “Where were you prior to feeling puny?”
She reached for her water bottle and drank before answering. “I went to a book signing and then out to dinner.”
“Did you go alone?”
“No. I went with friends.”
“We’ve been here only a couple days. When did you have time to make friends?”
“You sound like your father. I’m a writer. I’m a blogger. I tweet. I have friends everywhere. It so happened three of them live in the area. They arranged for me to do a book signing to introduce me to the town, and then took me out to dinner.”
“Are these writer friends?”
“Yes.” She drank more water.
“Have they published books?”
She coughed to the side, and drank more water. “I don’t know. Why?”
“Try to think, Mom. This could be important.”
She closed her eyes. For a moment I thought maybe she’d fallen asleep. Then she said, “Jennifer two books. Mark two books. Laura three books.”
I wrote in my notebook. “Are they nice writers?”
“Appearances can be deceiving.”
She opened her eyes. “What is your point?”
“What kind of books do they write?”
“Please answer the questions, Mom. I’m the hardboiled detective with grit in my blood. Where did you go for the book signing?”
“What time did you arrive?”
“Were you the first to arrive?”
“No. They were already there.”
“Waiting for you.”
“I suppose.”Please answer the questions, Mom. I'm the hardboiled detective with grit in my blood. Click To Tweet
“Did they greet you when you walked in, or were they huddled together, talking in whispurrs?”
The corner’s of Mom’s mouth quirked. “Are you suggesting one of them poisoned me?”
I hugged my notebook. “It’s possible. You’re new in town. You’re competition! Maybe they want to do you in before you usurp their local fame.”
She smiled. “Usurp?”
“Santa Paws brung me a Word of the Day calendar.”
“My friends didn’t poison me.” She put a hand over her brow. “I’ve got a fever. This is definitely a virus. But how did I catch a virus?”
“Did you eat at some back alley greasy spoon? Maybe it’s food poisoning.”
“I’ve had food poisoning three times and this isn’t it. It’s a virus. But where did I pick up a virus?”
“Yeah. People don’t wash their hands. It’s disgusting. I scrub down my grocery cart and everything I buy from the store before putting the items in the cupboards. I use my elbow to open doors. I kick the commode levers on public toilets to flush. I never go anywhere without hand gel sanitizer. I’m a walking germaphobe, so I’m conscious of what I touch. I can’t imagine where I picked up this bug.”
I scanned my notes. “You book signed at the library. Did you sign in the entry hall, or someplace else?”
She grabbed her water bottle. “They set me up in a room with a small stage.”
“What else was there?”
She thought about it as she drank. “They had a giant book on the floor. And a giant pink eraser. And a rack of hand puppets.” She frowned.
I gasped. “You were in the—”
“Kid’s library!” we said in unison.
She groaned. “I should have known. The library’s a Trojan horse for kiddie crud.”
I patted her arm. “I’ll ask Dad to bring you chicken soup and aspurrin.”
“And hot tea. And…a hot water bottle. I’m cold.”
“I’m glad I was able to solve your mystery for you.” I held out my paws.
“Treats are in the kitchen, Herms. Ask your dad.”
“No, Mom. Not treats. Huge quarters. I solved your case.”
She looked at me through feverish eyes. “You want me to pay you for figuring out I got slimed by kiddie library crud?”
I lowered my paws. “I solved your case.”
“Yes, you did. Thank you. But I’m not paying you huge quarters.”
“Because you get free room and board with three meals a day, seven days a week. Plus free medical and a generous 401K. You owe me.”
I nodded as I stuffed my paws into my pockets. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Mom. I wasn’t thinking clearly. It’s just that my phone hasn’t rung since we moved here, and I’m feeling like a washed-up has-been.”
“Herms, your phone hasn’t rung because it’s not hooked up. You aren’t washed-up. Don’t worry. You’ll get a case soon. But in the meantime…” She pulled the covers around her. “Do you suppose I could hire you to be my hot water bottle? I’m freezing!”
I scampered under the covers and wrapped my paws and floofy tail around her. “No charge, Mom. I’m here for you. Always will be.”
I peeked over Mom to see Frank at the door, looking glum as usual. “I’m busy. Whatcha need?”
“Sorry to bother you, but… I need you to adjust the color of my box on the org chart. It looks more pink than salmon.”
I ducked back under the covers. I may not be a washed-up has-been detective, but I was definitely doomed.
“And where’s the fweakin tartar sauce, Herms? You agreed to add tartar sauce to my box on the org chart.”
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 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!!!