Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Detective Story - part 2

If you have not already done so, please read part 1 of the detective story in order to familiarize yourself with the scene of the crime. 

And now, let us turn our attention toward the suspects. 

Remi - Great Dane
Motive: Remi has recently been put on a diet.  Perhaps he decided to supplement his food with drywall? 
Means: Remi has long nails, but they are probably too thick to do this kind of damage. 
Opportunity: Never crated, and allowed run of the house even when everyone is asleep and no one is home - Remi had plenty of opportunity
Detective Notes:  While I do not believe that Remi was capable of this crime, he was most likely present - lying on the couch nearby - when the crime was committed.  Unfortunately, this eye-witness refuses to testify.

Merlin - Orange Cat
Motive: Boredom. Merlin often complains that I don't spend enough time playing with him. He may have become a vandal in retaliation.
Means: Merlin has claws. Very sharp claws which I'm in the process of trying to get clipped. So far he is not cooperating.
Opportunity: Merlin is the only cat that constantly hangs out in the living room regardless of what dogs are around. He had plenty of opportunity to vandalize without fear of any dogs coming by.
Detective Notes: It doesn't look good for Merlin - he has motive, means and opportunity. But Merlin has been living in the home for many months now, and has no previous known history of vandalism. 

Noelle - American Pit Bull Terrier
Motive: Noelle seems to enjoy being naughty, so it is no stretch to believe that she realized this would be naughty and jumped at the chance.
Means:  Noelle has nails that are definitely capable of scratching up a wall. 
Opportunity: Noelle is usually not left alone due to her tendency to be naughty at times, but she may have managed to sneak away for a short time without someone noticing.
Detective Notes: Dave claims that Noelle is not capable of such destruction, but since it is a well known fact that Dave has a blind spot when it comes to this dog, I am not ready to rule out Noelle as a suspect.

Babette - Persian Cat
Motive: Just look at her glare at me.  I think her obvious dislike for me is excellent motive.
Means: Babette has sharp claws. 
Opportunity: None.  Because she also glares at the other cats (and hisses at them too!) she is in solitary confinement. 
Detective Notes:  I am confident in ruling out Babette as a suspect due to the lack of opportunity she had to commit the crime. 

Duke - Beagle/Coonhound mix
Motive: Duke always wants to hide his bones, and could easily have decided to dig up the wall in order to make a new hiding spot.
Means:  Duke has shown to be a good digger, as evidenced by the holes in the back yard.  He is definitely capable of this crime.
Opportunity:  Duke has been crated when I am not watching him, so he has not had much opporunity to commit this crime. 
Detective Notes: Since either Dave or myself are responsible for constantly watching Duke, and Dave claims he did not fail in his supervision, I am inclined to believe that Duke is innocent.  Otherwise I would have to take responsibility for his failed supervision, and I'm not prepared to do that at this time. 

Scribbles - Tortoiseshell Cat
Motive:  Revenge.  It's been a year since I brought this dog-hating cat home as a foster cat, and I believe she has been plotting her revenge all this time.
Means:  Sharp claws.  Very sharp - this I have learned the hard way.
Opportunity: Limited.  Since the living room is the dogs' domain, Scribbles rarely ventures into their area. 
Detective Notes:  If the damage had been done to the wall in the spare bedroom, Scribbles would be a prime suspect. But since the damage was in the living room, it's highly unlikely that she is the culprit.

Ziggy - American Pit Bull Terrier
Motive:  Enjoys chewing up things.  Has been known to enjoy chewing rocks, limbs (the kind from trees and the kind on people), paper, and many other non-food items.
Means: Ziggy has had a lot of practice chewing and digging.  He is believed to be very capable of this crime.
Opportunity: Due to not being 100% house-trained yet, Ziggy is watched very closely.  For that reason, it is highly doubtful that he had the opportunity to commit this crime.
Detective Notes: If not for the lack of opportunity, Ziggy would be my prime suspect.  Therefore, I am keeping an open mind in case it is determined that there was a lack of supervision that has not yet been discovered.

Harley - Himalayan cat
Motive: Unknown
Means:  Harley is a four-paw declawed cat.
Opportunity: Limited.  Harley prefers to stay away from the area of the house where the dogs hang out.
Detective Notes:  I feel confident in ruling out Harley as a suspect. Even if he wasn't declawed, he's much too sweet to do something like this.

Simon and Sampson - Domestic Short Hair cats
Motive: Simon's vision is impaired, so perhaps he thought he saw a bug or a shadow and was trying to destroy it. 
Means: Both Simon and Sampson have front claws and are capable of commiting the crime.
Opporunity: These are two sneaky cats.  Sampson has always taken care of Simon, and is always watching his back.  As evidenced in the photo of them together. 
Detective Notes:
These two kitties had the motive, means and opportunity.  Also the fact that there are two separate spots of damage located next to each other is suspicious to me.  I'm definitely keeping my eye on these two.

Conclusion: Prime suspects are Duke, Ziggy, Merlin, and Simon/Sampson.  Interviews with the suspects themselves produced nothing more than blank stares, tail wags, licks and purrs - not helpful at all.  The crime scene was dusted for paw prints with no luck.  All suspects nails and claws were inspected for evidence of drywall, but it is believed the perpetrator cleaned up after leaving the scene of the crime, so nothing was found. 

The decision has been made to enforce a lock-down of the suspects when the primary caregiver is not supervising, in order to set a trap in case the perpetrator returns to the scene of the crime.  This will be done by giving one suspect freedom while the rest are sequestered overnight.  If the damage reoccurs, the responsible party can be identified by process of elimination. 

The suspects do not appear to be pleased with this decision, but the primary caregiver is unrelenting.  Further updates will be made as the investigation progresses.

<Click here to learn of the culprit>


Marg said...

This is a wonderful mystery. At least you have it narrowed down to four of them. We have things chewed up here too. We have taken the paper off the walls in our hallway, but we all participate in that. And we all have the opportunity and very sharp claws. Can't wait to hear the next chapter. And thanks for visiting our blog.

hero said...

Tough case to solve, Sherlock... looks like the job was done by professional, huh! Hope the elimination process yields some results.

Licks, hero

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Ok, I am behind but have caught up and took a look at the picture - I hate to say it because it will look biased, but I don't think that a cat could do that kind of wide scratches around the bare spot. They would be narrow and deep (from my experience at least). Now, I love doggies, but I have to say that to me, those look more dog like.

Kari in WeHo said...

i say it was the cats :) still!

Tucker said...

It's Simon and Sampson I just know it! The seem like my evil kitty brothers! Do you know my oldest evil kitty brother pooped near my food the week after Momma and Dad brought me home? Yeah he's that evil!!!

woof -Tucker

Schwang said...

So many suspects! Due to bias, I would like Ziggy to be in the clear; however, he sounds a bit sneaky like our Miss M.

Bobby said...

I think its Merlin, but I like the look of him so I hope he gets away with it.

BerniceK said...

Since I know and love all these animals, Im going to have to say its Ziggy. No way Remi or Noelle would do it and I just don't think cats would leave the area in a circle pattern! Has to be one of the dogs.

kissa-bull said...

well as cute pibbles ourselves i say the are exonerated from any cwimes due to their cuteness
the houston pittie pack

JulieB said...

No way could it be any of those sweet little felines... well, except for maybe Scribbles. ;) My bet is on Ziggy, he's mischievous enough to do it but cute enough to think he can get away with it with those floppy ears and big puppy eyes. Great detective skills, keep up the good hunt for the criminal at large! My new name for you is Sherlock Dog Mom.

Life With Dogs said...

Always blame the cats. ;)

Casper said...

they all have such innocent faces, it's hard to suspect them. hahaha!

brooke said...

I love that picture of Simon and Sampson! I thought there were 4 kitties in that picture at first and it took a second look to realize it was only 2 cats! Good luck on your detective work!