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“Mort, what happened to your hair? I noticed it was sticking up when you came upstairs.” Dottie asked.
“Fluffy has some sort of strong electrical charge that caused my hair to stand up. It is pretty strong. It even magnetized some of my tools.”
Gordo, finally realizing he was face down on the filthy stained floor, quickly jumped up. He wiped his hands on his jeans and wished he had some sanitizing lotion,
“Why isn’t our hair standing up?” Dottie asked Mort.
“I guess you didn’t have that much contact with her. You didn’t open the shoebox did you?” Mort replied.
“No, we didn’t. Come to think of it, Suzy’s hair was really sticking up at the funeral. And it looked like it was glowing white.”
Dottie pulled a wet napkin from her pocket and handed it to Gordo who gladly took and opened it. She wasn’t afraid of getting dirty, but she knew Gordo hated filth of any kind.
“I imagine when she found Fluffy, the electrical charge was a lot higher. I am surprised it didn’t hurt her. I can already tell it is beginning to wear off.” Mort responded.
“Well I guess we should try to dry off Fluffy and get her to Suzy’s house. Do you have some towels or a hair dryer?” Dottie knelt down as she asked and began picking up the broken glass on the floor.
“Don’t worry about the glass, Dottie. I will clean it up. I don’t want you getting those chemicals on your hands. I have special gloves that will protect me. No telling what those mixed chemicals will do.” Mort picked up a pair of black heavy rubber gloves and a towel.
“Where is Fluffy?” Gordo asked.
Mort and Dottie stopped and looked first at Gordo and then at the floor where the cat was only moments before.
“She has to be here somewhere, look under that desk.” Said Dottie.
Mort moved some of the furniture that had been knocked over in the scuffle with Dottie and looked for the missing cat with no success.
“Gordo, is it possible that you accidentally kicked the cat when you got up?” Mort asked.
Gordo thought about it. He had jumped up suddenly but he didn’t have any chemicals on him. If he had come in contact with Fluffy he would have.
“I don’t think so.” Gordo responded. This was a true nightmare. He wished he was back home, tucked into his nice warm bed instead of in this madhouse looking for a soggy stuffed cat.
They all looked at Mort’s pet owl perched on the edge of a bookshelf. It looked back at them with big unblinking eyes.
“You don’t think…”Gordo began.
“I thought you fed your stupid bird, Mort!” Dottie yelled.
“Dottie, calm down. There is no way that he could have or would have eaten your cat.” Mort said firmly.
“Then TELL me where is she? We have searched all over this lab and SHE IS NOT HERE! Your bird had to eat her because she sure didn’t walk out of here on her own!!!”
Gordo grabbed her forearm firmly. She tried to shake free but could not. It seemed like his grip only got tighter.
Dottie tore her gaze from Mort and looked at Gordo. She was not prepared for the look of sheer terror on Gordo’s face. He raised his hand and pointed to an area of the floor near the edge of the puddle of chemicals.
She couldn’t see what he was pointing at. It was hard to focus in the poor light and she was looking for something more obvious.
“Footprints” Gordo wheezed.
Then she saw them. But they weren’t footprints. Leading out of the puddle of chemicals were perfectly shaped cat sized paw prints.
Next week: The Long Road Home
Words and Pictures Copyright 2016 SF Varney