Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Case of the Missing Frog

On Thursday morning, the Daddy had stayed around the house for a while after breakfast playing with the Peep. He’d thrown balls for her, wrestled with her, and played with her favorite toy, the blue crinkly frog. The frog was so much fun, it didn’t really look like the bullfrog out by the pond, but it was obviously meant to be a frog. It was squishy soft, but it also had something crinkly inside, so whenever Peep pounced on it, or dug her claws into it, it made a fascinating sound.

After the Daddy had left for work, Peep had settled down with her frog for a small nap. It had been an exhausting workout, playing with the Daddy, and she just needed a few minutes of rest. Three hours later, Peep awoke with a start. She thought she’d heard a noise, but everything was quiet now. What woke her up like that? Well, she didn’t know.

Peep stretched and yawned slowly. What a pleasure that was. All your joints and muscles loosen up and you feel so good, you almost want to go back to sleep. As Peep tried to decide whether to return to sleep or continue waking up, she looked around. Something wasn’t right. Something was missing. The furniture was all there, the television, the rugs, lamps, what was missing? She stretched out her left paw, and it hit her. Where was the frog? It had been right under her left paw when she went to sleep.

Peep jumped up, no longer thinking of leisurely naps. Had she rolled over and lain on the frog, or pushed it under a chair in her sleep? She carefully looked around the rug where she’d fallen asleep, but there was no frog. Using her keen nose, she sniffed the rug and the air around her for scents of intruders. The air smelled the same as always. The rug – well, maybe the Daddy needed to clean the rug. It didn’t smell that good, and actually it smelled so bad that it probably covered the scent of any stranger who’d come to steal her froggie. It was that rug the Daddy had brought home with him a little while ago – the really long one that was fun to bunch up.

A full house search was in order. She combed the house, looking either for the frog or clues to who might have taken it. She went through the living room, kitchen, office, bedroom, spare room, bathroom, and hallway. No froggie. Nothing else seemed out of place or missing, so it wasn’t a general burglary.

Next Peep decided to inventory her cat toys. She found her balls, her furry mouse and other assorted odd toys the Mommy had bought for her. She didn’t even know what some of them were, but she played with them just enough to show the Mommy that she was grateful for them, even when they weren’t all that entertaining. Nothing else was missing. She got distracted by the furry mouse for a bit, growling at it and worrying the fur with her teeth. Then she remembered what she was doing, and put the mouse back in the line of toys.

She went to the cat door and sniffed it for scents of intruders. Nope, just Miss Rudy and LT. She sniffed the back door, just the scent of the Daddy. Perhaps she’d gotten up in her sleep and done something with the frog? Had she dreamt of frogs? She didn’t think so. Just in case, she decided to see if maybe she’d taken the toy frog outside.

After making sure the yard was Fuzzy-free, Peep ventured outside and sniffed around - literally and figuratively. No frog on the deck, no toy frog near the pond. The real frog was there, and she wished she could talk to him. He could tell her if she’d done something stupid like tossing her toy frog into the lily pond. She hoped she hadn’t. She didn’t smell her own scent anywhere around the pond, so she didn’t think she’d been out here any time this morning.

She worked her way around the house, sniffing for other cats and even her own scent. There were faint traces of Fuzzy, none of Ginger, and lots for LT and Miss Rudy. The only time she found her own scent was when she crossed a path she’d just walked on. There were no dog scents, and no traces of raccoons, opossum or even mice. Boring day.

Going back inside, Peep considered the case, as she now thought of it. She was Peep, Cat Detective, on the job. Fact one – the froggie was missing. Fact two – there was no trace of intruders. Fact three – nothing else appeared to have been taken.

What conclusion could she draw from these important facts? She wished LT or Rudy were around so she could talk to them about this. Wait a minute. LT and Rudy weren’t around. Why weren’t they around? Was it because they had guilty consciences? Facts one, two and three all pointed to only one conclusion. LT and/or Rudy had taken her froggie. Now detective Peep needed to
confront the perpetrators.


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