Monday, August 4, 2008

You're cut off!

On Monday morning Peep went looking for Rudy. They might be in trouble, and she wanted Rudy to know about it, not that it would help. Rudy, as usual, was sunning in the yard. “Rudy, I heard the Daddy talking last night about a charge he didn’t know about on his PayPal. He asked the Mommy if she’d bought anything from Main Street Seed and Supply Company. Then he said that he was going to have to call them and get the charge taken off of his card. He didn’t seem angry about the amount. He even said that it was barely worth it for four dollars, but he wanted to make sure that it wasn’t identity theft. Do you know what identity theft is, Rudy?”

Rudy put her head down on her paws. They were goners, criminals. They’d be locked up in jail for years. “Yeah, Peep. I know what identity theft is, and we kind of did it, although it was closer to credit card fraud.”
“Fraud! Do you mean we’re criminals? You didn’t say anything about this when we made the purchase. We just said the Daddy might be mad we used his cards. Will we have to go to jail? Do they have jail for cats? Would they send us to the pound? I don’t want to live in a little cage just because we wanted the Mommy to stay home!” Peep started pacing nervously.

“Relax, Peep. There’s no way they could figure out we did it. The police would never believe that cats could make internet purchases. We’re in the clear, but I bet the Daddy is going to get very aggravated before this is done.”

Rudy was right. At that moment, Jay was on the phone with Main Street Seed and Supply, who confirmed that an order had been placed on Tuesday, July 29th for one package of turnip seeds, using his PayPal account. The package had been shipped that same day and the US Postal Service had noted that the package had been delivered on Friday. He verified that it had been sent to his address and not somewhere else. He thanked them and hung up. Jay sat there and tried to make sense of it. Would someone have played a practical joke on him and ordered the seeds in his name? But they would have needed his PayPal information.

Jay checked the computer and found that it had been saved to the hard drive, so that anyone using the computer could automatically use his account. He shook his head and found the option to delete all password information on the computer, and made sure that all passwords were gone. He just hoped he knew them all, or he’d been in the soup next time he needed to use some website. It was better than unknown purchases, though.

While he was in the internet tools menu, he remembered he could review the history of websites visited, and decided that since it was less than a week ago, he could probably still find out if his machine had been used to order the seeds. Jay was so engrossed in this he didn’t notice he had an audience of two rather guilty looking cats.

Peep and Rudy had come in at the end of the phone conversation with the seed company. He knew that the seeds had been sent here. So what? He couldn’t pin it on them. They had an airtight alibi – they were cats for goodness sake! Cats can’t use the internet, and what would they want with turnip seeds anyway. Rudy did think that it might become a little clearer when full grown turnips were discovered in the garden, but that wasn’t for almost two months, and Daddy would probably have forgotten by then.

As he perused the browser history, he did indeed find a visit to the Main Street Seed and Supply Company on the 29th. He checked the time to make sure that he hadn’t somehow forgotten that he’d purchased seeds, but it was definitely while he was working. He’d had a repair that had taken all afternoon, and the history said the only to the site had been early in the afternoon.

The phone rang and Jay answered. “Oh, thank you for calling back. Really? Ah, yes, that is one of my email addresses. Yeah, it’s funny, but those are the names of my cats. Thank you, I can take it from here.” Jay hung up the phone and sat staring at the screen. Did his cats have email? Was he going crazy? Jay shook his head and got up. He needed to do something physical and then maybe it would all make sense.

As soon as the cats had heard the Daddy say their email address they ran out of the room as fast as their paws would take them. They burst through the cat door and headed for the trees, Peep close behind Miss Rudy. “We just need to act innocent, that’s it, Peep. Innocent. What could Daddy do to us anyway? Cut up our charge cards?” Rudy giggled nervously.

So they spent some time outside, worrying and wondering. Cat fugitives, that’s what they were. As the morning wore on, Peep fell asleep, but Rudy kept an eye out for the Daddy. He’d probably go to work soon, and then they could take it easy for a while.

Finally the Daddy came out the back door and began looking around the yard – probably for them. After a few minutes, he began to call their names. Rudy nudged Peep saying, “We might as well face the music, Peep.”

“Music, huh? I don’t feel like dancing, Rudy.”

Peep was still mostly asleep.
Rudy gave her a shove and Peep finally woke up. She heard Daddy calling, so the two of them walked over to him. They didn’t exactly crawl over, but they sure didn’t hurry.

“Okay, I know this is a bit crazy, but if you two or LT used my PayPal account to buy turnip seeds, I need to tell you that you can’t do that. It’s my account, not yours, and besides, you have to be human to shop online.” He looked at the two cats, not really expecting an answer.

Neither of them would look the Daddy in the eye. Finally Peep said, “We’re sorry Daddy. We’ll never do it again. Please don’t send us to jail!”

Jay didn’t know what to make of this. His cats usually were glad to see him. They acted as if they knew they’d done something wrong. He reached down and ruffled their fur, first Peep and then Rudy. “I love you guys, but you’re driving me nuts!” He threw up his hands, got in his truck and drove off.

“I think we’re off the hook, Peep. At least until those turnips are ready to harvest.” Rudy headed back to the woods, and Peep went back inside to finish her interrupted nap. Too much excitement. Cats aren’t made for a life of crime.

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