Last time, we left Harry Sheets and his sidekick Pancakes trying to discover the mystery of who puked in mom’s shoe. Harry had just run off into the bathroom to find a solution to getting past the dreaded vacuum in the closet, the foe that prevented them from examining the evidence! Let’s see what happens next…
The Shoe, Part Deux
“Harry?” she called.
There was no answer. Against her better judgement, Pancakes took another step through the door. Shush. Shush. The sound came again.
“Harry? Are you in here?”
Pancakes saw that the door to the bathroom closet was ajar. Shush, Shush. She swallowed hard as she walked towards the door.
“Harry?” her voice barely a whisper. She heard her heart beating in her chest against the sound from the closet. Thump thump, Shush.
Stopping before the door, Pancakes put her paw out. It shook as she gathered courage to pull the door wider. The sound was coming from inside.
Holding her breath, Pancakes extended her claws and grasped the edge of the door. She pulled, and it swung open, the light from the windows flooding into the closet and exposing the sound of the noise.
“Harry!” she yelled, half in relief, and half in surprise. “What are you doing?”
Inside the closet, Harry Sheets was lying on his side, holding the bristles of the broom betwixt his paws, and rubbing his face rhythmically against them. Shush, shush.
When the light hit him, his pupils closed into slits and he looked up at Pancakes.
“I was getting the broom,” he said.
“Why do we need the broom?”
“Well, when you asked why Mom didn’t use a broom instead of the vacuum, it hit me.”
“The vacuum hit you?!” Pancakes yelped.
“No, the idea. The idea that we could use the broom to fish the shoe out from inside the closet, so we don’t have to get within the dangerous reach of the vacuum.”
“Oh, yeah that sounds reasonable. So what are you doing now?” Pancakes asked.
“I’m getting the broom,” Harry said, still lying on his side.
“That’s not what it looks like…”
“Well, I was just making sure it was um, in order.”
Pancakes stared at Harry.
“Alright fine, it feels good on my face, ok? The broom feels good when I rub it on my face.”
“Ok…” Pancakes said.
“Don’t you judge me.”
The two cats stared at each other for a moment, Pancakes with a confused look of surprised, Harry with a challenging stare.
“I mean, I’m not going to tell anyone-” Pancakes started, but was cut off mid sentence.
“Yeah, you’d better not because I’ve seen what you do with those dish towels you steal from the kitchen.”
“You… you’ve seen that?”
“Yeah, so, if you don’t say anything, I don’t say anything. I do it in the closet for a reason.”
“My lips are sealed, Harry.”
“Alright, help me get the broom out of here.”
Harry reached up for the broom handle and pulled it down onto the floor. It made a loud clack as it hit the tile. Harry grabbed the top edge of the handle in his teeth and started it sliding it across the floor. He dragged it out into the living room. Isosceles was still fast asleep on the couch. Pancakes scampered behind Harry.
“Ok, so what now?”
“Now, we fish the shoe out.”
“But we can’t lift the broom, so how do we get it into the shoe?”
Harry thought for a moment. She had a good point.
“Alright, find me a paper clip.”
“What’s a paper clip?”
Harry sighed. “A color bug.”
“Oh, a color bug!” Pancakes said. “Great idea.” Pancakes often played with color bugs. They were hard to resist. She found them in the little drawer in the desk. They came in purple, pink, blue, green, and yellow. She loved to touch them with her paw. She ran off to get one.
From inside the office, she shouted to Harry.
“What color do you want?”
“It doesn’t matter, just pick one,” he replied.
“Well, the purple ones are faster than the green ones,” she said.
“I said,” she shouted, “the purple ones are -”
“I heard you. Fine! Purple. Bring purple.”
Pancakes trotted back out with a purple color bug in her mouth. She dropped it in front of Harry.
Harry grabbed it with his teeth and started to untwist it, using his claws to help him unfold the metal.
“Harry! No! You’re killing it!”
“It’s a paper clip.”
Harry shook his head. “Color bugs aren’t alive!”
“What?!” Pancakes screamed.
Harry rubbed his face with his paws and closed his eyes. He was thinking about the ad he was going to have to run on the internet in search of a new sidekick. For now, though, he had to make the best of this.
“Ok, listen, Pancakes. I will do my best not to hurt the color bug. When we’re finished, we’ll bend it back into shape. Think of it as color bug yoga, ok?”
“Oh, I like yoga.”
“Great, so does the color bug. Feel better?”
Harry shook his head and continued bending the color bug to fit his need. He laced it through the hole on the top of the broom handle and closed it into a loop. The top half he bent into a hook.
“There. Now we can slide the broom to the shoe, attach the hook, and pull it out but sliding the broom backwards.”
“But who’s going to attach the hook?” Pancakes asked.
“Well, I think as the apprentice, you should give it a try.”
“Not me! You’re the brave one.”
“I’m trying to help you get more brave,” Harry said.
“No, I’m good,” Pancakes replied.
Harry thought for a minute. He’d already faced the vacuum once today. He didn’t know if he wanted to do it again.
“I’ll rock paper scissors you for it,” he said. “Mom and dad do that all the time to settle things.”
Both cats held out their paws.
“One…two…three!” Harry counted.
The cats put their paws out.
“I win!” Harry said.
“No, I win.”
“I have rock. You have scissors.”
“That’s not scissors, that’s paper.”
“It looks like scissors to me,” Harry said.
“How can it be scissors? I can’t stretch my toes that far.”
“Well, then your paper looks just like rock.”
“Your rock looks like paper!”
“One…two…three!” the cats pumped their paws and tried again.
“Ok, you have rock,” Harry said.
“No, I have paper!”
“This isn’t working!”
“Well, why do you think the people do it?”
Harry thought for a moment. Could it be that this game only worked if one had fingers?
“Alright, forget it. I’m the detective here, I’ll do it. I’ll attach the hook.”
“Told you I had paper,” Pancakes said.
“Never mind!” Harry shouted. “You get the broom. Slide it towards me and when I get there, I’ll hook it over the shoe.”
Harry crept up on the closet and looked inside. The vacuum waited there, like a sleeping sentinel, waiting to pounce. He took a deep breath and readied himself for the task at hand.
Ohh!! Boy, that Harry Sheets is really brave! What do you think? Are you looking forward to finding out what happens next?