Sherlock Chester Holmes
Let’s say you’re a homicide detective called to a crime scene in someone’s home. You see the victim lying on the floor but an initial exam of the area appears to lack any evidence about what took place. No weapon, footprints, hairs, fibers, body fluids, finger prints or DNA from someone other than the deceased.
Fortunately for you, the killer made a big mistake. He/she loves cats and couldn’t resist petting the dearly departed’s furball.
You take the cat to another room and give it your best detective voice and start asking Mittens what happened. Unlike our cat Chester, Mittens doesn’t speak human but he does have the evidence to lead to the slayer. You just have to know where to look.
A study by researchers at Flinders University in Australia think they have the answer. The academicians have found that human DNA can transfer to the fur of a cat. These felines could be both receptors and vectors for DNA from a potential suspect. Detectable DNA levels were found in 80% of the samples that could be linked to a person of interest which came from 70% of the cats tested.
“Now that we know that human DNA is readily detectable on companion animals such as cats, it is important to fill in the gaps in the knowledge available to date,” said Heidi Monkman, who is working on her PhD.
So today you don’t need the help from cat sleuths Koko and Yum Yum to solve a crime, any kitty can be a Sherlock Holmes. Just have them rub against the perpetrator or roll on their back for some belly rubs and collect that DNA evidence.
Once you’ve cracked the case, the DA takes it from here.
A few months later, the trial ends quickly and so does the time the jury takes to reach a verdict.
“We the jury find the defendant guilty of murder and also of being infatuated with cats,” the foreman announces.
The judge sentences the guilty one to 35 years in prison for murder, but reduces the sentence by 10 years for being a cat lover. Justice is served.
You get your name and picture splashed around the world plus you give a few humble quotes while anticipating a promotion to lieutenant.
Meanwhile, Mittens, the real hero, is besieged by a media hoard seeking every morsal of information about her private life. Outside the courthouse accompanied by a cat interpreter and hiding behind a pair of Ray-Bans, Mittens spins a woe me story that lands her on every major talk show. Mittens parlays her fame to become one of social media’s top influencers hawking DNA testing kits.
Moral of the story; don’t commit a crime in a home with cats.
I conveyed my tale to our cat Chester. It was like reading Where the Wild Things Are to a bunch of awestruck kids.
“I want to be a cat detective,” our tabby exclaimed.
“Fine,” I countered. “Now all you need is for a crime to be committed in this home since you’re too afraid to go outside.”
“Sounds good to me,” said Chester. “How about we start with you getting murdered. I’ve never met an assassin before. I’ll just bat my pretty little kitty eyes and rub up against the unsuspecting villain to collect all that DNA stuff. Then, voila! Guilty as charged!”
“What are you going to do if the guy that bumps me off also likes doing the same to cats,” I asked.
“I wonder how much reward kibble I would get? What? No one said this person is going to take me out,” cried Chester. “Killing you would be justified homicide but me? That’s an unconscionable crime. ”
“I appreciate your lack of concern for my wellbeing,” I said. “It would be sad if the criminal didn’t touch me and only focused on your demise. Too bad I couldn’t rub up against him and collect DNA to solve your murder. I guess the only thing I could do is get another cat.”
“Over my dead body,” shouted Chester.
“That’s right,” I said.
“I have a better idea,” Chester said. “Let’s just buy more locks for the doors, get bars for the windows and several tigers to patrol the perimeter. “
“Why not dogs for the perimeter,” I asked innocently, knowing I would set off the trip wire in Chester’s brain. “A few German Shepherds or maybe some Boerboels would work.”
“Dogs! Are you out of your mind,” Chester yelled in disbelief. “A sleeping tiger is a thousand times better than having a bunch of stupid dogs running around. As soon as the bad guy showed up, they’d all play dead and dead is what would happen to me and you.”
“The more I think of it, the better I like the idea of getting a dog, a big dog,” I said as our dark furred cat turned white with fear at the heresy of such a thought.
“Do that smart guy and they’ll be grabbing lots of DNA of the killer from me,” Chester sneered. “And do you know whose DNA they’ll find? Mine, only mine!”
The way Chester said that really worried me that he might just try to pull off the perfect homicide and I wanted no part of that.
“Point well taken,” I said, trying to talk Chester off the ledge. “No dog, no new cat. We keep things the way they are. You’re the de facto king of this house and we your humble servants bow to your greatness.”
“That’s better,” Chester said in a much calmer voice. “And since I rule this land, fetch me some kibble for the trauma you’ve caused me.”
“Yes, your highness,” I said exhaling all of my anxiety that this would be my last day alive.
“And don’t put any of that DNA crap on my food, peasant,” Chester said, clearly returning to the usual annoying creature that he is.
I left the room to fix his vittles, making sure never to turn my back to Chester on my way out.
God save the king.
One thought on “Cat Detective”
Back to the natural order of things. 🙂