As you may or may not have read on Friday, Isis (Zeus' sister) penned a letter to me, requesting my assistance in uncovering the animal/person responsible for some horrific destruction at their house.
Inspired by one of my favorite television shows, I traveled to Texas to begin my own Crime Scene Investigation.
When I arrived, Isis' human pet greeted me at the door. Since I had been delivered in a travel crate on their front stoop, I was quite embarrassed and concerned my credibility as a forensic scientist had been compromised.
"Why Brach," she squealed, "I didn't expect you this weekend, but I'm so glad you came to Houston for your vacation!"
"I am not here for pleasure, Human Pet. Can I call you Human or would you prefer Ms. Pet?"
"Human Pet is fine, Brach."
"Thank you, Ms. Pet," I continued, "I am here to investigate the horrific destruction that has plagued your home."
"Oh...alright...I guess..." she stammered.
Isis, timidly hiding behind Human Pet's legs, looked quite relieved to see me and, after bathing myself thoroughly per her germicidal request, took me to the first crime scene.
"I am so glad you're here, Brach! I've been so scared lately! Whatever mad-man is destroying our home is bound to come after me at some point! Please help me!" Realizing her voice had risen over a whisper and fearing she would attract attention from the vandal, she crouched with her paws over her eyes.
After reassuring her that I would take care of everything, I launched my investigation by exploring Crime Scene #1--THE GARAGE. The first thing I noticed was an extraordinary amount of hair amidst the extremely nerdy collection of Lord of the Rings action figures. I pulled two pair of rubber gloves over all four of my paws, removed my tweezers from my Evidence Collection Kit and gingerly collected hair samples.
"Excuse me, Brach," Human Pet interjected, "I hate to interrupt, but I'm pretty sure this investigation is pointless. I already know who did this and..."
Although frustrated with her apparent need to meddle, I responded in my most firm and authoritative voice. "Ma'am, are you a scientist?"
"Then please leave allow me to do my work without your interference."
Using my magnifying glass, I examined the hair samples. By the thickness and density of the strands, I was able to discern it was fur and not human hair; however, the white, orange and gray hairs told me nothing. In fact, they didn't even rule me out as a suspect!
Positive I would find saliva residue on the edge of the box from a bit of face rubbing, I took a cotton swab and ran it back and forth on the cardboard. Carefully placing the swab into the plastic receptacle, I turned to Isis and said, "Please lead me to the Crime Scene #2--THE GUEST BEDROOM."
As we walked down the hallway, I encountered Zeus for the first time.
"Are you investigating our home?"
"Can I help?"
"Are you a scientist?"
"Then you can be my apprentice. You can document the evidence I collect, but if you touch anything, I'm going to have to swat you with my super-sharp claws."
The hair bristling on his back, he said, "Are you talking to me? You can't talk to me like that in my own home!"
"Ok...," I sighed. "I guess someone won't be taking notes for me, then!"
Isis led us into the guest bedroom and I shuddered when I saw the carnage.
"Oh. My. Gawd!" I gasped. "I have never..." My voice trailed off as I drank in the gruesome sight. Suddenly remembering I was an extraordinary forensic scientist, I gathered myself and turned to Zeus. "Are you ready to get dirty? Let's get to it."
Even though Zeus was only going to be documenting our progress--from a distance, Isis insisted he wear rubber gloves. In fact, due to her paranoia, she even wore gloves. And wore a gas mask from her own collection of personal protective equipment.
Examining the claw marks on the mattress I determined I would need to collect scratch samples from anyone who had been in the house during the last 30 days. Even though the hair collected at Crime Scene #1 had ruled out Human Pet as a suspect, it was quite possible she (or one of her ragamuffin guests) had been responsible for Crime Scene #2.
"Human Pet," I called out. "Can you please scratch this piece of fabric?"
"Brach. Really. I don't think this is necess..."
"Ma'am. I've been hired to do a job. I flew 1228.28 miles to help my friend Isis. What I need from you now is cooperation--not attitude."
She scratched the fabric.
"Again, please. Really shred it up."
After she ran her fingernails over the fabric a few more times, I looked her dead in the eye and said, "Ms. Pet. Please make a list of every guest--human or animal--that has been in your domicile during the last 30 days. I will need scratching sample from all of them."
"That's where I draw the line, Brach. Keep in mind, you may be in charge of this investigation, but I am in charge of cat treats. If you insist upon ordering me around, expect to go without snacks while you are here."
"Touché, Human Pet...touché! You are free to go."
I held the Human Pet swatch next to the mattress. "Clearly, this is no match. While she has a lovely manicure, I am confident her nails did not...could not cause this damage."
Turning to Zeus, I held out a fresh piece of fabric. "Your turn."
"What?! But I'm your apprentice, not a suspect!"
Angry with me, Zeus scratched the fabric enthusiastically. In fact, I had to wrestle the swatch away from him.
Holding the Zeus swatch to the mattress, I compared the specimen to the evidence with my magnifying glass. "I'm afraid this is not a match, either."
"Told you so!" exclaimed Zeus, with conviction.
"I don't think documenting requires speaking, Zeus."
As I turned back to the mattress, something caught my eye. It was something embedded in the mattress. Grabbing my magnifying glass, I leaned closer. "Eureka! It's a dead sheath of a claw that sloughed off into the mattress!" I glanced at Isis and smiled at her wide-eyed face. "We are close to cracking this case, Isis!" I grabbed tweezers, plucked the evidence from the mattress and placed it in a plastic receptacle.
Confident I had the evidence I needed to reveal the culprit, something caught my eye. I noticed a paw print in the carpet. Deep and distinct, I could not ignore it.
Without removing my eyes from the indentation, I called to Zeus. "Please get the Plaster of Paris from my evidence kit. I need to take an impression of this paw print.
After mixing the plaster, pouring it into the carpet, and waiting the recommended 20 minute curing time (during which we all napped), I removed the cast and placed it into my kit. Noticing plaster residue in the carpet, I carefully covered it with Human Pet's scratching sample so I would not get in trouble. She could lead the plaster cast investigation once I was safely back in Michigan.
Removing the gloves from my four paws I said, "Let's blow this popsicle stand! How about we look out the window and chirp at the birds! I'll look at this evidence later."
I am sure if I had noticed the pink coloration of the paw print impression at that moment, I may not have been so eager to play with "certain members" of the feline gang...