Do you like to read stories about epic happenings that must be solved at all costs? Then keep reading because you’re about to be treated to installment one of Mystery Monday with Harry Sheets, Undercover Cat!
I think you all know that I love to write, but it’s mostly in a journalistic sense, as you can tell from my blog. This is my first attempt at publishing my fiction. I feel that the cat fiction demographic is terribly underserved, so I write about topics of importance to cats to help bridge that gap. So, without further ado, I present to you Mystery Number One: “The Shoe.”
It was a warm night, but not too warm, nor was it too cold. It was just the right temperature to be comfortable. A shaft of sunlight poured through the window, making a rectangle of warmth on the floorboards, within which lay four kitties of various colors. All were sleeping, their breathing barely visible, making it look as though there’d been a massacre and kitties had been methodically strewn in a box of light. The bedroom door opened and out came a woman, dressed as though she were leaving the house.
“Alright, kitties, have a good day, ok? I’ll be home later,” she said as she walked to the closet door. As she passed the sleeping cats, she bent down and stroked the black cat on the head. He nuzzled her hand and purred. “Harry!” she said in a squealing voice as she stroked his chin. As she continued on her quest to the closet, Isosceles, the large tabby to the left, looked at Harry Sheets and muttered “brown nose.” It was known to all the cats that Harry always did his best to impress their mother. He was the only one that was allowed to sleep on her pillow during the night, while the rest of them had to sleep on the couch.
“My nose is black, yours is brown,” Harry replied.
“That’s because I’m a tabby,” said Isosceles.
“No, it’s because you’re incontinent.”
Isosceles lifted his paw and smacked Harry on the nose, but Harry returned his blows with a volley of his own. Isosceles recoiled when Harry landed a paw right on his face.
“You two stop that,” their mother called from the hallway. “I can’t watch you all day, I’m going to be late.”
With that, she pulled her shoes out of the closet and slid her foot into the first one.
“I’ll get you later,” Isosceles said to Harry.
“Maybe when I’m sleeping, but since I sleep with mom and you don’t, you lose.”
“That’s it, I-”
But Isosceles’ sentence was cut off by a shrill cry from their mother.
“Ugh! Who puked in my shoe?” she yelled. “This is disgusting.”
She ran to the kitchen and lifted her foot into the sink to rinse it off.
“Why in my shoe? Why?”
Harry ran to her.
“Are you ok, Mom? Are you ok?” he whined.
Isosceles got up and sauntered over to the scene. Peabody, the tortie, stretched and yawned, and Pancakes, another small tabby with a missing foot, continued to snooze.
Harry ran around in circles by his mother’s feet as she frantically tried to clean herself off.
“Mom! I’ll find out! I’ll find out who puked in your shoe!” Harry cried.
Droplets of water from his mom’s spirited rinsing landed on his head, glistening on his glossy black fur. He jumped aside as his mom pulled her leg from the sink and ran back to the closet to get a new pair of shoes.
“You guys are- I don’t know. Why in my shoes?! WHY?” she yelled, slipping on a clean pair of shoes and running for the door, but not before looking inside each shoe to make sure it was clear.
The door slammed behind her, waking Pancakes from her nap. It was her fifth one of the morning.
“Hey! What happened?” Pancakes yelled, jumping awake.
“Someone puked in mom’s shoe, and I’m going to find out who!” Harry Sheets replied.
“That’s because you’re a suck up,” said Isosceles.
“No, Isosceles. No. It’s because I believe in justice,” Harry said. Squaring his shoulders and looking at the others defiantly, Harry strutted off towards the bedroom.
“Where are you going?” Pancakes asked.
“To start my search. I will find out who puked in mom’s shoe!”
And with that, he marched off.
Harry Sheets stood in the bedroom looking around. He needed to find out who had puked in Mom’s shoe. But where was the best place to start?
“I know, I’ll start at the scene of the crime,” he said to himself.
Harry walked out into the living room. Isosceles had already made himself cozy on the top of the couch. Peabody was nowhere to be found. Pancakes, however, was ready for action.
“I’ll help you, Harry! Just tell me what to do!”
Isosceles rolled his eyes at the eagerness of the young cat. Then he shut them and dozed off.
“Alright, kid,” Harry said. “Come with me. We’re going to the crime scene.”
Harry walked down the hall and stopped in front of the closet. Pancakes skidded to a stop, her head running into Harry’s rump. He turned around to look at her and noticed her wearing a small hat.
“Where’d you get that hat?” he asked.
“I thought all sidekicks wore hats.”
“Yeah, but where did you get it?”
“Mom’s closet, off her old Cabbage Patch doll.”
“Didn’t she tell you not to go in there?”
“Yeah, but she didn’t mean it.”
Harry shook his head.
“Nevermind, just help me get this door open.”
Harry and Pancakes pushed the door with their paws. It didn’t budge. Harry pulled out his claws and hooked them on the underside of the door. He pulled and it opened a bit.
“Put your paw in there and push,” he said to Pancakes.
She did as she was told and the door swung open.
“The vacuum!” Pancakes yelled when she saw it behind the closet door.
“The vacuum?!” Harry squealed. They both ran into the kitchen.
Breathing hard, they hid next to the refrigerator, around the corner from the vacuum.
“It’s ok, it’s ok,” Harry panted, trying to calm himself down. “It’s didn’t get us. It’s ok.”
“What do we do now? The vacuum is next to the evidence!” Pancakes cried.
“There’s only one way,” Harry said. “We have to be brave and face the vacuum.”
“Oh, I hate the vacuum! I hate it, I hate it! It sucks!” Pancakes yelled.
“Keep it together, kid! We have no choice.”
“You go. I’ll watch from here.”
Harry looked at Pancakes and shook his head.
“Fine, you watch, I’ll go. If you see that vacuum so much as look at me, you let me know.”
“Ok,” Pancakes said. She settled back against the refrigerator, with one eye and one ear visible as she peered around the corner.
Harry Sheets moved towards the closet, slowly, step by step, centimeter by centimeter, until he was close enough to touch the vacuum. He stood still, moving only his paw, slowly, slowly towards the closet. The shoe was there, next to the evil beast of a cleaning device. Carefully, he slipped his paw in. His nails touched the edge of the shoe. It moved a little and he hooked it with his claw. He slid it forward, towards himself. He almost had it -
“Harry! It’s looking at you! The vacuum is looking at you!” Pancakes screamed!
Harry pulled his paw back with lightning quick reflexes and started scrambling back to the kitchen.
“Run, Harry! Get away!” Pancakes yelled.
Harry’s paws slipped on the slick floors and he scrambled for grip. He flattened himself against the floor, his tail fluffed out, and slid back to the kitchen, breathing hard.
“You made it back! It didn’t get you!” Pancakes cried.
Harry tried to catch his breath. “What do you mean it was looking at me?” he puffed.
“Well, you said to tell you it if it was looking at you!”
“It was an expression. Vacuums don’t have eyes!” Harry yelled.
“I was only doing what you told me to do!”
“You scared me half to death!” Harry said.
“But you said -”
“I said to let me know -”
“If the vacuum so much as looked at you!”
“Vacuums don’t have eyes!”
“Vacuums are from the devil! They don’t NEED eyes!” Pancakes screamed.
“I was so close!” Harry said.
“Oh, why can’t Mom just use a broom?!” Pancakes fell to the floor, crying.
Harry thought for a moment. How was he going to get the shoe?
His eyes lit up.
“I have an idea” he said, dashing off towards the bathroom.
“Don’t leave me here!” Pancakes yelled. She eyed the closet, keeping her attention focused on the vacuum. “Ok, you can do this, Pancakes. You can do this.”
She took a deep breath.
“One, two, three!” she yelled, and dashed across the hall and into the bathroom to find Harry.
Well, what did you think of installment one? Do you want to know more about what happens to Harry Sheets? Stay tuned for another episode of Mystery Monday!