In my last post (which I recommend reading before you read further on this one), I had made a rather disheartening discovery one morning of a toy Mousie laying in a sad, wet puddle in my kitchen. A few days later, I was confronted with the felt-eyed stare of another victim.
My current theory was that they had been Waterbowled.
Since my dogs were with me all night, they had....ahem...watertight alibis. So I figured the culprit was one of the cats or kittens. But Dawn, Athena, Calvin and Elsa Clair were all innocence and whiskers, and nobody came forward as a witness, or to confess.
With two dunked Mousies, I wondered if perhaps the perpetrator was making a game out of it, and feared this may be just the start of a trend.
And then, a few days after I encountered the first two victims, my fears were realized, as yet another bedraggled and sogged cat toy lay just a few inches from the water bowl.
|Victim #3: Another Pink Mousie|
I had to face the facts; we now had on our hands--or paws--a Serial Dunker.
And it only got worse from there.
Every few days I would discover a new twist on the crime:
Three Dunked Mousies:
|Floating like ex-goldfish.|
Dunked Crinkle Balls:
|Jasper is on the case.|
It looked like our perp was getting creative.
Once again, I tried to interrogate our four suspects. The following are excerpts from our interviews. I've provided translations for those who don't speak Cat.
Me: Dawn, where were you last night?
Dawn: Merp. Merp. Mowl. [Translation: I was sleeping. Or something. Where's my Noms?]
Me: Athena, were you responsible for this wet Mousie?
Athena: Mew. Ew. Ew. [Translation: Yuck! I wouldn't touch that thing. It's wet.]
Me: Calvin, do you know who waterbowled this Mousie?
Calvin: Mrow! Eerow. Purr. Purr. Purr. [Translation: Mousie! I want to play with it.]
Me: Elsa Clair, what do you know about these Dunked Mousies?
Elsa Clair: Meeoow? Marow wow. Purr. [Translation: Dunked Mousies? I don't know anything. Gotta run, got stuff to do.]
In short, I was getting nowhere fast.
And I was running out of Mousies.
And thus, I felt lucky when the next weekend I got a break in the case.
Or maybe luck had nothing to do with it. I was home and therefore was able to keep a closer eye on Things. Like Cats.
I had decided to try an experiment; I didn't clean up the Dunked Mousies immediately after discovering them. I left them out, to see who might play with them; maybe I'd catch our little Dunker in the act.
Sure enough, Calvin came by. Started pawing at the wet Mousies. Batting at them. Sniffing at them. But that's all he did. And it didn't prove anything other than the fact that Calvin found waterlogged fake fur intriguing enough to play with.
|These Mousies are wet!|
|Calvin toys with one of his...toys.|
The next day, yet another sad little Mousie floated in the waterbowl. Even though it seemed wrong somehow, I left it there for awhile.
Once again, Calvin took interest. He sniffed at and then gently touched the bobbing blue toy. A few times. Then he walked away. And that was that. Which only showed that my little black and white kitty liked to poke things in the water. It just wasn't enough.
|What's in the waterbowl, Calvin?|
|Mousie smells kinda watery.|
And then...it stopped. As suddenly as it started.
The toys were still found in various places around the house.
But not in or near the waterbowl. And not drenched.
Weeks went by. I guess Someone got bored. Or wet. Or cautious.
No more bodies. No more floating Mousies.
Calm settled over the household. I began to walk barefoot again. I would look in the waterbowl and find only water.
Until, one day in late winter, while my husband was sitting at the kitchen table, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with his requisite glass of Ovaltine, he saw it.
From across the table he could see Calvin facing the waterbowl with his back to Brian. With a flick of his paw, Calvin fished a Mousie out of the water. And then picked it up in his mouth and plunked it back in. Flicked it out. Dunked it in. Flicked it out.
Perhaps feeling Brian's accusatory gaze, Calvin froze and turned around. He looked at Brian, calmly turned around and walked away, tail held high.
Of course that doesn't really prove anything about the original crimes. Perhaps Calvin had been the culprit all along. Maybe he learned from the real mastermind, who has since given up the habit.
But that was the last of it. Months later and there have been no additional victims.
The Mousies in our house can rest easy.
Or is it?
|And so it begins...|