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Investigating a strange disappearance

It is the senior moment equivalent of “The dog ate my homework.”

The cat ate my driver’s license.

While I am not 100% sure of that, our resident feline, Finian, is the current perp under suspicion, and he is without an alibi. I asked him over and over, “What did you do with it?” Not even an ear twitch or a tail swish. He is very blithe and unassuming about his apparent guilt. (I have to say apparent because he is, currently, without legal counsel.)

Then Dear Richard tried. I was surprised at Finian’s nonchalance, thinking he would respond to Richard honestly. After all, his is the hand that feeds him. Apparently, Finian doesn’t know which side of the Fancy Feast can his bread is buttered on. The license was still missing. It had been over two weeks.

Finian was the prime suspect because he is the only other being in the house. Certainly Dear Richard had nothing to do with my license’s disappearance. And I am pretty sure it wasn’t me. I only lose keys, glasses, and checkbooks. And tax bills. And earrings.

A few weeks ago, I went out in the evening and did not want to haul my big daytime purse. I removed my driver’s license, two charge cards, a $20 bill, Kleenex, and a lipstick, and tucked them into a small evening bag. No problem.

The next day, I emptied the little purse. I put the credit cards back in my wallet then reached for the $20 and my license. But no license. I hadn’t used it the night before – just carried it. Huh?????

Richard’s reply was short and to the point, “I know nothing.” I believed him because he hadn’t been with me the previous evening, nor was he there when I dumped the little purse. His alibi was intact and verifiable.

We began the futile search with forensic precision. After all the usual surfaces, we checked seat cushions, sofa cushions, and top drawers. I checked the kitchen, the bathroom, the laundry room. I looked inside wastebaskets, shoes and the entire interior of my car – twice.

Finian watched us turn the house upside down from his viewing perch in the kitchen or his chair in the den. He feigned indifference when questioned. “I really can’t be bothered with this…” was his prevailing attitude. “Please keep the hysteria and profanity down, I’m trying to nap here.”

For two weeks, I held fast to the preposterous idea that I would find the license any minute. It would turn up in some inappropriate place, but it would turn up. And then I got pushed over the edge.

I made flight reservations for a trip to Little Rock in three weeks, and realized that I must have legal identification. At first, I thought, surely, I’ll find it. But if I don’t, I’ll take my passport.

Fuggedaboudit. My passport is expired, and I have just reapplied. With the Covid delays and the backlog, I figure I will receive my new one by Thanksgiving – of 2022.

So. If I didn’t find the license, I couldn’t go to Arkansas. With our local license bureau open only two days a week, I hustled. IronicaIly, I had no problem finding an expired license to take to the facility.

Replacement was painless. Sort of. I walked in, took a number, and was called to the inner sanctum before I could sit down. Present my expired license. Smile at the nice man. Write the check for $31.50. This cat is getting more expensive all the time.

So, I’m all set for “Welcome aboard” once again. The license and the other critical document, my vaccination card, are under tight surveillance. They will not be transferred to a smaller handbag between now and departure next month.

Meanwhile, Dear Richard has checked the case of Fancy Feast and the area around Finian’s dishes and water fountain. Nada. We both checked under all the pillows Finian lounges on, and in all the small spaces where he tucks himself. No sign of the evidence.

I was tempted to ask the vet to x-ray him for the missing document, but that would probably cost another $31.50.

I suppose it’s POSSIBLE that I lost the license. If it ever reappears, I will do the right thing. I will apologize to Finian for incriminating him and slandering his reputation. In the meantime, he is predictably aloof to my plight, and I know he knows more than he is saying. Because he looks like the cat that ate the canary. Go figure.

Marcy O’Brien lives in Warren, Pa., with her husband, Richard, and Finian, their felonious Maine Coon. Marcy can be reached at Moby.32@hotmail.com .

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