Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Mystery of the Bad Cat

The fragrant Mrs Gandalf says I should alternate giving free consultancy to the Coalition with lightening up. "Do something about fluffy bunnies", she commands.

How about
this tail:

A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County, was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.

Michelle Sand, a spokeswoman at the Iron River hospital, said Stanton was treated there before being transferred to Marquette General Hospital for further treatment. But Marcie Miller, a representative of the Marquette facility, said there was no record of the hospital receiving a patient by that name.

State police said he was cooking at his stove when the cat knocked the loaded gun off the kitchen counter behind him.

I have highlighted the information that is key to solving this mystery.


First, some additional information. A 9MM bullet is no joke - it's worth at least 2 Italian Secret Service agents. And guns don't off when you drop them (excepting the Brit Army SA-80, hat tip Giles). And people don't usually vanish from hospitals.

Here is Gandalf's masterly resolution of this fiendish crime.

Motive
The cat was related to the young Ms Gandalfette's monsters:

Killer

A typical cat, it will stop at nothing to get its
Super Premium Cat Treat.

Means
Two monsters co-operate to take the safety off - one firmly bites the gun while the other uses all paws for leverage. As cats do when you give them a friendly stroke and they wrap round your arm trying to bite it off.

Opportunity
The owner is selfishly cooking his own food. So a third cat distracts the owner's attention by jumping onto the hob and looking cute. Think
Puss In Boots. The other two, having run the tensor transforms to calculate direction and force, push the gun off the surface and plug the owner - painfully but non-fatally.

FollowUp
Absent the owner in hospital, there is No Cat Food. Disaster! So the monsters, pawsing only to check that he is recovered enough to open a Treat, catnap him from the Marquette General Hospital and take him home

QED