Tuesday, 7 August 2012

United Friends Challenge #270: Sherlock Holmes and "The Cat"

Bonnymom's Challenge
Shakespeare? Hemmingway? Agatha Christie? A.A.Milne?
Your challenge is to imitate the style of a writer of your choice, in a piece of not less than 500 words
Sherlock Holmes always referred to her as “The Cat“. I remember the first day she appeared, perched on the ledge outside of the window. She was a divine creature; a tabby cat, slender and graceful in her movements. It was the time when Homes had solved a difficult case and needed peace and quiet. He had filled his Calabash pipe with a mixture of tobacco and certain leaves of a plant known to many as having the gift of dampening the spirits of the partaker. As a doctor I disapproved of this measure, but it seemed that Holmes enjoyed its properties and he was fully in possession of his faculties when the time called.

He slept for awhile and when he awoke he took his violin in his hand and began to play a soothing melody. It was then that “The Cat” seemed to spring to life and began to scratch on the window pane, meowing to the tune that Holmes was playing. He immediately stopped and placed the bow and violin on his desk.

“Watson, what is that charismatic voice accompanying the rhythm of my violin.”

Holmes was now fully awake, he eyes searching in the room for the noise of “The Cat”.

“I believe it belongs to the feline standing on the ledge outside the window Holmes” I answered.

“Ah yes Watson, I perceive the luminescence of a cats eyes. I believe the feline must appreciate the mellow tone of the instrument. Open the window and allow our audience to enter.”

I opened the window and “The Cat” entered at once with a welcoming meow. “The Cat” settled on the floor besides Holmes` chair and gazed upwards towards Holmes and the violin.

“What do you think Dr. Watson? Does “The Cat” wish for more music?”

“I am certain Holmes” was my answer “and as a reward perhaps a saucer of milk would be welcome.”

“Oh Watson, I perceive from your answer that you have no experience of felines and their needs.”

“I am sorry Holmes, but it is a known fact that cats like to drink milk.”

“Yes Watson, that is true, all animals like to partake in the liquid known from our younger days as babies. It remains buried in the cells of our brain. But tell me Watson, would you like a glass of milk?”

“It is not my favourite drink Holmes, but yes, a glass of milk is known to be healthy and nutritious.”

“Good Watson, then I will pour you a glass of cat milk.”

“Cat milk, do we have any? And that is not according to my human taste buds.”

“Then tell me Watson, do you think that our milk would be appetising for a cat.”

“You mean, a cat would prefer cat milk.”

“Of course Watson, and we have none. I would suggest a glass of water would be more helpful. This cat has found its way to our window and is probably most thirsty.”

I then poured a saucer of water for “The Cat” and it lapped until it was satisfied. Holmes began again to play a soothing melody on the violin and slowly “The Cat” fell asleep, curled in a ball besides Holmes’ feet.

It was soon lunch time and Mrs- Hudson, our housekeeper, knocked on the door and entered carrying a tray with our lunch. She had made one of her famous meat pies and the aroma of the broth soon surrounded us. The table was laid for two and Holmes and I sat down to eat. It was then that “The Cat” made itself conspicuous with a meowing sound as if to say “What about me”.

“Mrs. Hudson” called Holmes, I think we need an extra plate. Cats are particularly fond of meat dishes.”

“Oh, Mr. Holmes, you now have a cat. I did not realise that you were so fond of cats-“

“Mrs. Hudson, I think it is the cat that is fond of us.” said Holmes.

and Mrs. Hudson fetched a further plate and put a portion of meat on the plate. “The Cat” ate until the plate was empty and returned to its sleeping position.

“Well Watson” said Holmes “I think our feline friend is here to stay.”

“The Cat” remained with us for a long time. She seemed to observe all our movements in the apartment, but Holmes knew why. One day she disappeared, as quickly as she arrived. She was just not there anymore.

“Holmes, have you seen “The Cat”?. This morning she was eating some morsels of meat when I left for my doctor’s practice and since returning, she seems to have disappeared.”

“Oh Watson, of course she has. “The cat” has fulfilled her purpose in our lodgings.”

“What do you mean Holmes?”

“Watson if you powers of deduction were as good as mine, you would have noticed the “M” pattern on the fur on the head, meaning that “The Cat” was a spy sent from Professor Moriarty, but luckily I noticed this from the beginning and kept all records of my fight against the dark powers of Moriarty locked away in the safe at the bank on the corner of Baker Street. You may have noticed that I made no mention of the cases I had been working on during the months “The Cat” was here concerning the evil doings of Moriarty.”

“You mean it was all a sly plan from Moriarty to discover our secrets of deduction.”

“MY secrets of deduction Watson” Holmes said. “And furthermore Watson, “The Cat” was last seen boarding a boat for a cross channel journey. My Baker Street Irregulars informed me of its intentions, and my continental connections, known as “Les égouts parisienes” tell me that “The Cat” is at this moment licking the hand of the hated Professor Moriarty and both are now on their way to Switzerland. My deductions tell me that we will meet again at the Reichenbach Falls.”

“Holmes, I will accompany you on your perilous journey.”

“No Watson, you will be of more help if you remain in Baker Street. I will depart tomorrow on the channel crossing. We will see each other one day again. In the meanwhile, please do not believe everything you hear. The proof of the matter lays in the logic.”

That was one of the last conversations I had with Holmes for some time. The next morning he departed with the ferry to Calais. He was seen from time to time playing his violin on the boulevards of Paris for an audience of cats. They seemed to love the tones of his instrument.

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