The Case of the Disappearing Cats

By Saanvi in Junior Kalam
Updated 22:51 IST Jul 13, 2018

Chapter 1

“Jack, Peter, I’m getting bored. Let’s go and play in the park,” Nora said one Sunday morning. Jack got up from his chair and started walking up and down. “I think the park will be closed today as it’s a Sunday. Why don’t we go for a walk instead?” he replied. Nora groaned. “It’s okay, Nora. A walk is almost like playing in the park,” Peter consoled her.”Fine!!” Nora said, getting up from her chair.”I’ll go and get Steffi.” She ran down to bring the dog out of the kennel. Soon, everyone ran out of the door of Jack and Nora’s house. “Where should we go for the walk?” Jack asked.”Near Miss Grayling’s house. There is a walking path with benches. Let’s go there,” Peter said. Everyone agreed. “Time for walkie-walkie, Steffi,” Nora said happily.

They all started towards the path. They had just reached there when they heard a sob. Jack looked around and saw a young girl crying. Nora went to her and asked her, “What happened? Are you lost or are you hungry? What happened?” The girl sniffed and said, “I am Anne and I am 11 years old. I came for a walk with my cat, Jilly. I met my classmate and started talking to her. After about ten minutes, I felt a tug at Jilly’s leash but I didn’t bother to see what had happened. I came and sat down at a bench after my classmate left and saw that Jilly had disappeared. I looked around for her but could not find her. An elderly woman told me she had seen a man take Jilly away. It’s all my fault. (Sob, sob) I should have seen what happened when I felt a tug at Jilly’s leash.”

A tear ran down her cheek. Peter looked at Jack and Nora. “Another mystery is here for us – The Terrific Three – And Dog!” he grinned. Steffi barked. Nora smiled. She was so happy to have another mystery coming up.

Chapter 2

After this speech, Anne took a deep breath. “Ok now…don’t you worry Anne. We will look for Jilly and bring her back soon,” assured Peter. Anne nodded.”I am sure you all will help me in looking for Jilly,” she said. The trio said goodbye to her and continued their walk.

After a few minutes, Nora heard someone calling a name – Amy. “Amy! Amy! Amy! Where are you? Will you just meow to tell me where you are? Amy!” Nora looked around and saw a lady looking below a bench. “Excuse me, what are you looking for? Is it your daughter?” Peter asked her.

”It is not my daughter; it’s my cat, Amy. She was here a minute ago. I don’t know where she has gone”, she said. “That’s strange! We just met a girl who had lost her cat too”, Nora said. “Oh really! Well would you help me look for Amy? My name is Edna”.

”Of course, we will help you look for Amy”, Nora said. “Steffi, will you help us look for Jilly and Amy?” Peter asked Steffi. Steffi barked happily.

Soon everyone including Anne (who had come to see what had happened) were searching for the cats. Suddenly, Anne cried out,” Hey! Look here everyone! These look like Jilly’s paw prints!” Everyone crowded around to see them.” And these look like Amy’s paw prints!” Edna, the lady said happily. “Where are they going to?”  Jack asked. Peter told Steffi to follow the paw prints. Steffi followed them and soon went in to a forest - like area. After five to ten minutes, she returned back.

”Steffi, did you find anything? Are the cats over there?” Anne asked.

Steffi nodded happily and started barking. “It sounds like she is saying I have found something,” Peter said thinking. Steffi nodded again. Edna looked at her watch and said, “It’s time for lunch. I better go home. You kids go too; your mothers must be waiting for you.” All the kids nodded and rushed home.

After lunch Jack and Nora went to the playroom. “I think we should go to the forest like area tomorrow. Let’s call up Peter, Anne and Edna and tell them to meet us tomorrow at 9 am at the walking path,” Jack said. Nora nodded. So Peter, Anne and Edna were called up that afternoon and told about the plan. Edna said she could not come as she had some work. So the next day, the five of them (including Steffi, of course) met at the path. Steffi was to lead them all. They started off. There didn’t seem to be a lot of thicket in the beginning but later they all had to walk in a single line. Why? Because there seemed to be so many trees and prickly bushes, that if you didn’t walk in a line, you would surely get pricked badly. Jack kept on groaning the entire path because he always forgot to walk in a single line and so kept getting pricked. Suddenly, Steffi stopped. Peter went ahead to see why. He peeked from behind a bush and the sight he saw shocked him. He called the others and showed them what he saw. There, sitting on the grass, were two men eating their breakfast. Next to them was a big cage. In it were lots and lots of cats and kittens.

Nora gasped. “Poor cats! Hey guys, I think I can see Jilly in the cage,” Anne said excited and worried at the same time. “Where is Jilly?” Nora asked.

Anne showed her. “When should we free them?” Jack asked Peter. “Let’s see, I think we should go and talk to those men”, he replied.

Jack stared at him. “You think we can talk to those strong men, huh? Come on, show us, go!” he said.

“I think we should all go and talk to them,” Nora interrupted. All of them agreed. So they all went to talk to the men. Peter cleared his throat and said, “Excuse-me, I didn’t mean to interrupt your meal, but will you please tell me why you have imprisoned the cats?”

One of the men looked up and said, “Oh, so you kids want to know why we have imprisoned these cats, huh? Well, let me tell you this, it’s none of your cheek, ok!! So just go away from here,” he roared.

“We are not going from here. If you feel we are getting scared by your threats, we are not!!”  Jack said boldly. Both the men looked at each other. One of the men whistled. Suddenly, four huge and strong dogs came running and surrounded the four children and their dog. Steffi growled a little but it was nothing compared to the growls of the four dogs. “Let’s see if you get scared by these dogs,” one of the men said in a challenging tone. The kids gulped. This was going to be a tough battle. The dogs seemed so ferocious. Suddenly, Anne whispered something to Peter. Peter nodded and whispered in Jack’s ears, “We have a plan to escape. Anne, Steffi and I are going to run and make the dogs chase us, while you and Nora will run. We will join you later, ok? We are going, bye!”

And suddenly he, Anne and Steffi ran off with the dogs chasing them. Nora, of course didn’t know the plan so she got scared. “Where are the others going, Jack? Where are they?” she asked Jack. Jack looked at her and said,”They have run away. They are saving us. Come on, we need to run without the men seeing us ok”.

So without making any noise, Nora and Jack slowly crept away into the forest like area. They somehow found their way out and then decided to wait on a bench for the others. After about half an hour, Jack got up and started looking for the others. Suddenly, they heard a voice. “Jack, help us! Jack!!”

Jack turned around and saw Anne, Steffi and Peter coming running. “There you are!” Jack said, “But why are you running?” And suddenly he saw an answer to his question. There, behind the kids were the four dogs. “Jack, the dogs didn’t get tired. We thought that if we ran a lot, they will get tired and stop chasing us. But we have got tired and looks like they haven’t. Help us, please!” Anne panted.

“I have an idea,” shouted Jack. “Let’s all run. We will run back to our house and slam the door on these dogs. Come on.”

The four of them started running and when they came to the bench where Nora was sitting, they pulled her. “What happened, where are we going? Are we late for lunch?” Nora asked.

“Just look behind!” Peter replied.

Nora looked behind and saw the four dogs chasing them. “Aaaahhhhhh!” she screamed and left Jack’s hand and started running faster.

They all finally reached Jack and Nora’s house and went inside safely. “The dogs are still chasing us,” Peter said. Suddenly, there was a voice, “Jack, Nora..is that you? Is Peter there with you?” It was Jack’s mother.

“Yes, Peter is there too. And there is someone else too,” Jack answered.

“Of course…It must be Steffi,” said his mother coming down from the stairs.

“No, it isn’t Steffi. We have got a girl called Anne here who has lost her cat and we are trying to help her find it,” Nora replied. “We are going upstairs to the playroom to discuss what needs to be done, bye Mom!” Jack said.

They all ran upstairs to the playroom and got a chair and sat down. “Ok, lets think about how can we free those cats,” Peter said to everyone. “I have an idea!” Nora said. “We can do what we just did again.”

“What did we do?” Anne asked her.

“We will distract those men again,” Nora replied.

“Like how?” Jack asked.

 “I don’t know the answer to that, but let’s just distract their attention.”

“Hey, I know of a way to distract them. Let’s all disguise ourselves,” Peter said. “Then we may be able to fool them. Let’s think of what can we be in the disguise. I will be an old man and Anne, you be an old woman.”

So the next day morning, all the children met at Peter’s house as he had all the material needed for their disguise. He had false teeth and a wig with white hair. He handed the disguises to everyone. They wore them.

“Listen, we need to get out of the house without my mother seeing us. I have an idea. My mother is going to our neighbour’s house for a minute. Let’s slip out that time,” Peter said. So, when his mother wasn’t there, the children slipped out of the house. They soon reached the walking path and looked for the forest like area. Steffi took them to the men.

Slowly, Peter and Anne walked to the men. “Oh sons, will you help us walk back to our house?”Peter asked, in a weak and feeble voice, just like old people talk.

At first, the men didn’t care about Peter and Anne, but when they saw how old they were, they decided to help them. So, when they were distracted, Nora, Jack and Steffi ran to the cage. They knew they had to do it fast because Anne and Peter had nowhere to take the men to.

And luckily, the key was in the lock! But now, the problem was that the key wouldn’t turn! Nora started panicking and started jumping up and down.”Jack, Jack, please do it fast! Everyone will soon be here!” she said to Jack, who was trying to open the lock. Suddenly, he screamed so loudly that Nora jumped.”What happened? You nearly made me scream, too!” she said.

“It openedddddd !” he squealed. Nora heaved a sigh of relief. “Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s open it!” she said. So, the cage was opened. All the cats and kittens came running out.”Catch hold of them, quick! They might run away! Quick! ” Jack cried, pouncing on a cat to catch it. “We can’t take them home, so let’s wait for the others,” Jack said.

Soon, an old man and woman came. And behind them was Steffi! ”Steffi!” Jack and Nora said together, surprised. Steffi came running to them, her tail wagging. “Steffi, who were those people you were running behind?” Jack asked.

“Oh Jack and Nora, don’t you recognize us?” the old asked. And he started removing his clothes! “Peter! Anne! Is that you?” Nora asked delightedly. Peter and Anne chuckled. “Fooled you, hahaha!” Anne said. Everyone laughed. Suddenly, Anne screamed. “Jilly!” she said, running to a little golden-brown kitten. Jilly leapt at Anne and started purring and meowing. The others came to see her.

Suddenly they heard a voice. “Amy, is that you? Amy!” Everyone looked behind and saw Edna. She ran to a white cat and hugged her tightly. “You know what, I have got an idea. We can put an advertisement in the newspaper about these cats,” Nora said. Everyone nodded.

A few days later, the bell rang at Peter’s house. There was a man standing at the door. “Do you have the missing cats?” he asked Peter. Peter nodded and led the man inside his house. There, sitting inside were lots of people with their cats. That man at the door now ran to a black and white cat and hugged her. After a few minutes, Jack said getting up from his chair, “May I have your attention, please? We have found your cats. We are going to call the police now and tell them about the kidnappers.” Everyone nodded. Peter went to the telephone and dialled the number of the police station. “Hello, this is Peter Williams,” he said. “Hello, Peter. How may I help you, what happened?” the voice of an Inspector said at the other end. Peter narrated the entire story to the inspector. The Inspector agreed to help. Peter ended the call and informed everyone of his conversation with the police. All the people then left for their homes.

Three days later, there was an article in the newspaper that read – “Missing Cats – Kidnappers arrested on Thursday. The kidnappers were found and arrested by the police. The Inspector said that the credit should be given to someone else. Three kids, their dog and their friend did the real work of finding the cats, he said.”

Everyone read it and congratulated the children. The next Saturday morning, the Terrific Three and their Dog met at Nora’s house. “Let us name this mystery – The Case of Disappearing Cats,” Nora said. And everyone smiled to agree!

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