When Mosey had that fight with Fergus and zoomed without me back to the future, he’d broken our connection, inadvertently erasing my presence in 2017. Like I’d never existed! But me and my mom have a soulmate connection and she’d found me. She’d appeared to me looking like a red laser light, and said Jack and Opie were busy working to reconnect me to Mosey. But until they did… I would remain in 1894.
In order to distract me from totally fweaking out, I’d asked Fergus to teach me how to solve cases like Doyle wrote for Sherlock Holmes. Fergus was a Bedlington Whippet cross. He’s also the real brains behind the Sherlock Holmes detective mysteries. (I know, I’m as shocked as you that my hero is a legend of fiction and not a living breathing detective).
I didn’t know if I had the attention span, much less the desire to learn about the detective biz, but I was despurrrate to keep my mind busy on something other than the fact that I might never see my Mom or Dori ever again.
“A detective of Sherlock Holmes’ caliber continuously analyzes the details and looks for clues to possible solutions,” Fergus told me. “When Holmes goes about the business of searching for clues, he treats them like a puzzle with a missing piece, going to great lengths to find that missing piece so he can then move on to the next level of success.”
“Not at all. I can break it down into simple steps for you.”
We moved to Doyle’s office with the door closed so Mrs. Gray wouldn’t disturb us while Fergus recited the “simple” steps Doyle used to make Sherlock Holmes a Master Detective.
“Pay attention to the details, especially what might first appear to be insignificant,” Fergus was saying. “When you begin a case, start with the basics of what you already know to be certain, without question or exaggeration. Be alert when you’re talking to someone, yet behave in a passive manner so as not to influence the subject into elaboration.”
I know this was important stuff he was telling me, but his flat, Ben Stein-like monotone made it hard for me to keep my eyes open. Clearly he found it as boring to say as it was for me to hear.
“Give yourself distance from the case. Do not allow it to monopolize your every waking thought because invariably you will lose focus. Talk out loud when you’re putting the puzzle pieces together. It helps for someone else to hear your thoughts as they may be able to point out a discrepancy or dispute a train of thought. Take time to quiet your thoughts. It is amazing how clarity comes with rest. Manage your energy—”
I held up a paw. “Wait. Fergus. This is all too much for me to absorb. It’s… boring!”
“Of course it is,” Fergus said. “It’s how humans think. Why do you want to detect like a human? They’re inferior compared to us.”
“Inferior? In what way?”
“We have superior instincts. Superior senses. Super sight, smell, hearing, feeling. We can smell the suspect. Can see in the dark. Before you said any thing I could tell by the number and length of your yawns that you thought the method Doyle used to write Sherlock Holmes was boring. I told Doyle to give Holmes animal instincts, but he said our readers would never believe a super human detective. I strongly advise that you’ll be far more successful as a detective if you be yourself. Not a lesser than of someone else.”
“That sounds logical, but I haven’t been doing too good as a detective using my own senses.”
“I strongly urge you to reconsider trying to detect like a human, Herman. If it wasn’t for me encouraging Doyle to supply Holmes with superior senses, I dare say the master detective would never have reached the fame he found.”
This is when I asked for paper and a purrple crayon. Fergus didn’t know what a crayon was, so I used a pencil instead to take notes.
“Holmes used all of his senses in a way that no living breathing human ever does. But we four-legs always do. Holmes could tell the scent of white jessamine from seventy-five other perfumes, said to be necessary for a criminal expert to be able to distingue from each other. While you don’t need to go and memorize the smell of seventy-five perfumes, be aware that our senses will always come into play when we are on a case. Before you use hearsay and human logic when fitting the pieces of a puzzle together, first rely your animal instincts. We can smell differences, see differences, hear differences that humans cannot. If Doyle had gone with my original idea of making Sherlock Holmes a Bedlington Whippet cross, I dare say the detective would have been famous for at least ten more years.”
“Ten years? Fergus, he’s still the world’s most famous detective in 2017.”
“They’ve made movies about him, and TV shows. Hoomons dress up like him for Halloween. He’s still a big deal.”
“I have no idea what TV or movies are, or Halloween. But if you tell me they’re honoring my detective one hundred and twenty three years into the future, then I am very happy. You say you’ve been struggling. Tell me about your last case.”
“Well…after our home in the south got infested with demons, we’d moved north to a town called Welcome Home. There I met a pretty ghost named Dottie Kiss who loved to wear polka dots and had been murdered by her sister, Patty who buried her in a grave with their grandmother, Violet. When confronted with proof Patty retaliated by setting our new home on fire. Everyone blamed me!
“’This is your fault, Sherlock,’ Dad yelled. ‘If you hadn’t poked your pink nose into Patty Kiss’s business, our home wouldn’t be on fire. You’re responsible for this.’ And then my sisfur Peaches said, ‘You took playing detective too far. What a failure you are, Herman.’
“I’d buried my face in my paws while all around me were the sounds of my life going up in flames. ‘I never meant for this to happen,’ I told my family. ‘I didn’t want to be a purranormal detective, but everyone said I had to help Dottie.’ But my brofur Frank growled at me. He said, ‘You’re a failure. Because of you we are now homeless!’
“And then my sisfur Dori cried, ‘We are homeless. All because of yoo, Hwermie. All because of yoo!’
“But the worst part was hearing my mom say, ‘All because of you, Herman.’ Hearing her voice heavy with grief hurt me the mostest. Sobbing my little heart out, I then ran to Charley Feeble. He’s my Guardian Angel and mentor. I remember sobbing, ‘The h-house is b-burning and everyone blames me. I didn’t know Patty would b-burn the house down. I didn’t know.’ I’d pawed away my tears to look into his eyes, but what I saw wasn’t the kind squinty Charley eyes I’d come to know and love. Now his eyes were hard and angry. ‘It is your fault,’ he told me. ‘You messed up. You put your family in danger.’
“’But I didn’t mean to,’ I yowled, heartbroken that my mentor had also turned on me. ‘Oh Charley. Not you too. Everyone is mad at me. Nobody loves me any more.’ I remembered as my family and Charley surrounded me with mad faces, I’d hid my face in my paws, crying, ‘This is a nightmare! A horrible, horrible nightmare!’ I felt a kick to my shins and with a gasp I stared into the squinty eyes of my sweet little sister, Dori. ‘Just like hoomons…you dissy-point me,’ she said as she kicked me again, and punched my arm. ‘Yoo did a bad thing, Hwermie. Bad, Hwermie!’
“She started to kick me again, but then I fell backwards into a deep dark pit. There I lay looking up at the stormy sky at the top of the pit with the faces of my family crowded around the opening, and I realized I was not alone. I was inside the grave with Violet and Dottie, and both were wearing mad faces.
“Violet said, ‘You are a failure as a hardboiled detective. There is no grit in your blood.’ And Dottie agreed. She said, ‘You are a bad kitty. You let me down. Now I will never find the Light.’
“‘I’m sorry,” I told them all. ‘I didn’t mean to hurt anybody!’ But then Dori kicked dirt down into the pit on top of me. ‘Bad bad, Hwermie!’ she growled, breaking my heart. ‘I didn’t want to be a purranormal detective’ I sobbed as my family joined Dori in kicking dirt on top of me. ‘I want to go home. I want my old life back. I want my old life back!'”
By now I was sobbing hard into my paws. I didn’t care that I cried in front of Fergus. I still didn’t understand why my family had turned on me. I didn’t know Patty Kiss was going to set our home on fire. That I was now stuck in the past because Mosey left this century without me, and that I might never be able to go home again made me sob even harder. I’d never get the chance to apologize to my family. I’d never get to understand why they blamed me for what Patty did.
I felt gentle hands lift me from the floor. I don’t like being picked up, but Mrs. Gray held me against her bosom and rocked me. My mom used to do the same thing when I was upset. I wrapped my paws around Mrs. Gray’s neck, and buried my face against her chest, just like I always did with Mom. Finally, when I was all cried out, she carried me downstairs with Fergus trotting beside her. She put me on his bed, and patted my head saying she would make us both a nice cuppa—whatever that was.
Then Fergus settled beside me, and awkwardly licked tears from my face. “You’ve been through a great tragedy, being abandoned by your family. I dare say it’s a good thing you are now here, away from them. They sound horrible!”
“Oh! No, not horrible at all. They’re a wonderpurr family. Except maybe for Opie, but he and I have been getting along better since I asked him to join my Wonderpurr Detective Agency. He’s always been jealous of me. No. I miss my family very much.”
“I don’t understand, Herman. They blamed you for something you had no control over. We four-legs are superior in all ways, but even we cannot understand the peculiar complexities that is the human mind.”
Mrs. Gray brought in a tray with the fancy rose-painted china bowls filled with lukewarm tea, and a plate of what she called biscuits. They were good. They reminded me of cookies.
While we ate Fergus said, “Your cries when your family kicked dirt on top of you bother me.”
I licked sugar sprinkles off my cookie. “Yeah, they bothered me too.”
“No. I mean, what you said. You didn’t want to be a purranormal detective. You wanted to go home. You wanted your old life back.”
I stopped licking. “Yeah. And that kinda happened.” I told Fergus about how I woke up back in my office in our old home, and thought everything I’d been through had been a dream. And about how Dori and the others were trying to make it seem like I was back to where I’d been before my first case, waiting for the phone to ring. Like I’d dreamed everything. “Except… Dori started singing her Purrrple Underpants song, and right then I realized they were trying to fool me. Dori never sang that song until my Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost case.”
“The case called Heaven Can Wait is where we lost our home cuz Dori let a fakey type TV celebrity ghost hunter called Ghost Guy into our house, and he infested it with demons.”
“Brilliant!” Fergus howled.
“You wouldn’t think so if you’d been dragged down inside an Ouija board.”
Fergus’s long pink tongue lapped soppily to one side. “My master will be so excited to meet you. He’s a believer in the spirit world.”
“He can have it,” I growled. “I wasn’t too good at it. Dori was, however. I think ghosts were attracted to her, and because she’s my partner, that’s why we got purranormal cases to solve.”
Fergus finished his biscuit, and then his cuppa. “You didn’t want to be a purranormal detective. You wanted to go home. You wanted your old life back. And that’s what happened. You got what you wished for. You were returned to your old life, before you received your first purranormal case. Some would say that was a Miracle.”
“But, look what’s happened to me now!”
“Why did you time travel here? Especially if you wanted your old life back?”
I opened my mouth to reply, but then had to think about it. “I… I guess I got caught up in the idea of having a second chance to be successful. I didn’t like that I’d failed. Was a failure as a detective. I wanted to find my hero, Sherlock Holmes, and have him teach me his secrets so I could start over and this time be a success.”
“Do you have any opinions on how you were able to have your old life back?”
“I’m thinking Charley, my Guardian Angel, had something to do with it. He always wanted me to be a success. But he also knew I was struggling. Maybe he got purrrmission to send me back to the beginning. Before I started to fail.”
“It would require a lot of energy to send—not only you, but your entire family back to the beginning.”
“Oh, there was a lot of emotion going on that last night. Seeing your home on fire, and fearing for someone to die will do that to you.”
“I’m sure that’s why your family was so upset. Especially your mom. They yelled because they were frightened.”
“But they blamed me for Patty Kiss torching our house!”
Fergus shrugged. “Maybe the emotion had to be directed at you, in order for you to return to the beginning. But your mom found you here with me when Mosey’s connection to you was broken. That tells me she isn’t upset with you any more.”
I hadn’t thought of that. Everything Fergus said made sense. Charley had found a way to take me back to the beginning before my first case. And then I got it in my head that I wanted a second chance, which led me to being stuck here in the past. Maybe forever!
I was just about ready for another good cry when Fergus sat up with his ears perked and his head quirked to one side. A low growl rumbled in his chest as he trotted to the door and looked into the front hall. There he woofed, making me hurry to join him.
I gasped at what I saw.
“Hwermie! It’s me. Dori!”
I wept as she scampered into my arms, and I held her tight. Over her shoulder I saw Mosey roll back to the front door, away from Fergus. Just to make sure Dori didn’t get her connection to Mosey severed as well, I said to the dog, “Sit! Stay!” And he obeyed.
“I’ve been so worried about yoo,” Dori wept. “Chawley couldn’t find yoo. And then Mom said she found you, but couldn’t bwing yoo home cuz Mosey bwoke yoor connection.” She glared at my Gen7Pets ride and hissed, “Bad Mosey! Bad! Bad!”
As Mosey swiveled to push his nose into the corner, I said, “Don’t blame him, Dori. It wasn’t his fault. He was just scared.” I went to wrap my arms around my beloved Ride. He moved out of my reach. “I’m not going to hurt you, Mosey. Stand still. I want to hug you.” Mosey again lurched forward. I tried again and again, literally chasing him all over the front hall, with Mosey always out of my reach.
I finally looked at Dori. “Opie and Jack didn’t find a way to reconnect me to Mosey, did they?”
Her eyes brimmed with tears. “The sectors are damaged. There is no way to wepair yoor connection. Yoo have to be back home in order for yoo to weconnect to Mosey.”
I heard my Ride whimpering like a puppy. I was frightened, but I didn’t blame him and told him so. Then another thought came to me. “You’ve come to say goodbye to me, like Mom did.”
“Good bye? Never! I’ve come to wescue yoo.”
“If I can’t go near Mosey, how do you think I’m going to return to 2017?”
“Don’t worry, Hwermie. Leave it up to me. I’ve got it all figgered out.” She scampered over to Mosey to push him into the drawing room.
“You look worried,” Fergus whispered in my ear.
My sigh reached all the way down to my soul. “You don’t know her like I do.”
His laughter sounded like a hoarse cough. “She’s barely out of kittenhood. How much trouble could she cause?”
A loud crash in the drawing room made me cringe. I then covered my ears as Mrs. Gray arrived to shriek over a precious 17th century blown glass vase.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Pals! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries will be on holiday for the next two weeks, but we’ll be back on December 1st.
In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving filled with lots of turkey noms and yummy punkin pie. I feel extremely thankful to have furends like you to support me, through thick and thin… I’m so blessed to know all of you.
And now…here’s Dori with her Thanksgiving Song:
If you like what you’re reading, here are more stories by Kimberley Koz and Herman, her mews: