“And the turkey, it were just gone, just like that!” said the fat cat relaying his story to Purrlock in the sitting room at 221B Baker St. “The bowl was full of fresh, delicious turkey one minute, then licked clean the next. Third time this week. I’m at me wit’s end!”
Purrlock plucked a discordant note on his cello and shifted in his seat.
“It’s all perfectly obvious then, isn’t it?”
The pudgy cat looked hopeful, his primordial pouch jiggling as he leaned forward.
“Indeed. Your roommate Socks is known for fastidious grooming, yet he had a Klingon on his rear two hours after the turkey went missing, which means someone was using the litterbox more frequently and Socks was far less careful than normal in his haste to exit the befouled box. From the abundance of tracked litter outside the box we can deduce that another cat made use of it on several more occasions between the time it was last cleaned at 10 pm the previous evening and 10 am this morning.
“In addition, only two of the three bowls — yours and Socks’ — were licked clean, with several morsels of beef pate still left in Oreo’s bowl. Thus we can deduce Oreo ate your turkey and most of his beef pate, necessitating twice his usual trips to the litter box, accounting for the larger-than-usual mess inside, Socks’ unfortunate Klingon, and the extra tracked litter. Ergo, Oreo was your turkey thief. Next!”
Mr. Fuzzy stood up as Purrlock returned to plucking his cello.
“That were amazing, that was!” Fuzzy said to Watson as he shuffled out of the sitting room. “Now it’s time for me to have a little talk with me mate Oreo. Good day, Mr. Holmes, Mr. Watson!”
Watson waited until Fuzzy had descended the steps leading out from 221B Baker Street before clearing his throat.
“Forty six seconds,” he said, managing to sound impressed. “Might be a new record.”
Purrlock didn’t look up from his cello.
“Please. London’s criminals are becoming tediously predictable, Watson. If a criminal mastermind doesn’t emerge soon, I’ll have to go and rob a tin cannery myself just to alleviate this dreadful boredom!”
“Your brother Meowcroft phoned earlier. Said he had a case of national importance.”
Purrlock sighed. “Boring!”
Watson jumped onto his desk, pawing through a pile of letters and documents.
“How about this then, Purrlock? From this morning’s paper: ‘Mistmoor Gentlecat Found Dead, Witnesses ID ‘Spectral Hound’ As Culprit.'”
Purrlock played arpeggios.
“Yokels convincing themselves they saw ghostly Beagles? We can do better than that, my dear Watson.”
Tires screeched and a car horn blasted in the street below, followed by obscenities in at least three languages.
“That’s too bad,” Watson meowed, feigning disinterest. “Mistmoor’s home to one of the nation’s largest turkey farms, you know.”
Purrlock’s ears pricked up and swiveled.
“Did you say turkey? My dear Watson, when there’s turkey involved, always lead with that!”
He put down his cello and reached for his coat and hat.
“What are we waiting for, Watson? The game is apaw!”
To be continued…