Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next case hits a little too close to home. Because someone has been breaking into houses and stealing all the Christmas presents! And the first two robberies even took place in their very own neighborhood. Holy Catnip! Of course, the boys leap in on all fours to investigate right away. Then it isn't long before they realize they are dealing with some real criminal masterminds, since these burglars know exactly how to cover their tracks. Plus, the crooks have the whole town of St. Gertrude on edge and they're threatening to ruin Christmas for everyone.
But figuring out the identity of the Christmas Crooks isn't the only mystery around. After all, Buckley had just been adopted from the cat shelter this year, and this was the first he'd ever heard about Christmas. And he quickly finds out there is a lot to learn! From Christmas trees to Santa Claus, and jingle bells to the birth of baby Jesus, the real meaning of Christmas is a mystery to him. But he and Bogey can't really enjoy any of it until the Christmas Crooks are caught. That's because it becomes very clear, very quick — these Christmas Crooks have set their sights on the boys' house, too! And the burglars are headed straight for their door. Holy Mackerel!
Welcome, Buckley and Bogey! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourselves and how you came to live with your humans?
Buckley: Thank you, Miss Mudpie, for having us here today. As two working cats to another, we want you to know, we sure appreciate all that you do! You’ve done a lot to promote the rescue, adoption, and care of cats. Bogey and I are both former shelter cats, and well, we can’t even begin to tell you how much your work means to us. Thanks to the efforts of you and your Mom, guys like us end up with a very happy home!
Bogey: That’s right. You’re a swell dame, Miss Mudpie. You’ve got both beauty and brains. My kinda gal. Anyway, to answer your question, I’ll get the ball rolling since I’m older and got here first. Years back, our Mom and Dad saw me at the Humane Society Shelter on the last day in October when they could legally adopt a black cat. I won’t even go into “why” shelters can’t adopt out black cats later in October. That’s a very bad business. Anyway, I came from a litter of six brothers; all of us boys were black kittens and raised to have good manners. My human Mom and Dad named me Bogart, after Humphrey Bogart. They call me Bogey for short. If you ask me, I think it’s a pretty good name. At the shelter, I was born in a cage and lived my first few months in a cage. I didn’t know anything different until my new Mom and Dad stopped by and adopted me. But the minute we got in the car, I saw what I’d been missing. Who knew there was a whole big world out there? I was so excited I couldn’t stop looking at everything. Then, when I got set up in what my Mom calls “the kitten introduction room” at home, away from the other cats, well, I started running and running and running. I’d never seen so much space before in my life! I ran from my Mom to my Dad and back again. It was so much fun I couldn’t stop running. Not till I was good and worn out.
Later that night, one of the older cats, Lil Bits, came by and sniffed under the door. We had a long chat and she told me all about being a cat detective. Well, I knew right then and there that I wanted to be a cat detective more than anything. So I studied and practiced and worked hard to be at the top of my field. The only problem was, Lil wanted to retire, and the other girl cats in the house didn’t care about detective work. Yet most great cat detectives have a partner, someone to back them up when a situation gets hairy. And here I was, all by my lonesome. So I started bugging my Mom about adding a little brother to the family. Someone who could help me start an agency. You want to take it from here, kid?
Buckley (nodding): I got it. Here’s my part of the story. My first human Mom, whom I don’t even remember since I was so little, gave me up because of the bad economy. And I was barely more than a kitten! To make things worse, she took me to a kill shelter, and there I sat, for weeks and weeks, until I was finally on Death Row. Not because I was a bad kitty, but because nobody wanted me. Holy Catnip! It was such a sad time in my life and makes me nervous to even talk about it now. Thankfully, just in the nick of time, a wonderful rescue agency showed up and put me in a foster home. I can’t even tell you how grateful I was! Those good people saved my life! A few weeks later, that same group put me in the adoption center at a Petco. I was only there for a couple of days when my soon-to-be Mom walked by. And let me tell you, I knew she was the one for me and vice versa. So she asked the attendant if she could spend some time with me. Just as soon as my Mom came in, I went running up to her, and reached up and gave her a kiss on the nose. She held me so tight and I didn’t want her to let me go. Then my soon-to-be Dad came in, too. Since he wasn’t sure about adopting another cat, I had to work extra hard on him. So I kissed and kissed and kissed him. And it worked. I went home with them that day. It was the happiest day of my life. (My Mom says it was one of her happiest days, too!)
Once I got home, I was settled into that “introduction” room, too. But my new big brother was there right away, sticking his paw under the door. Of course, I made a beeline for my side of the door to meet him. That night we had a big talk about me becoming a cat detective, and of course, I agreed. The next day, our Mom let Bogey in with me, and five minutes later, we were best friends and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Right away he took me under his paw and taught me everything he knows about the cat detective business. I could hardly believe how blessed I was. In a matter of a few months, I’d gone from being on Death Row to having a home and a family and a job. And most importantly, my big brother, Bogey.
Bogey: Well, once we started the BBCDA, the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency, and advertised it on the Internet, the cases started pouring in. Seems there weren’t enough cat detectives out there for all the cases that needed to be solved. Business was pretty good, and we helped lots of other cats who were in trouble. But we had plenty of situations that involved humans, too, which was sort of funny, considering the humans had no idea we were even on the job. Though some of those closest to us started to pick up on a few things. Eventually, Buckley got the idea to write some of these cases down. While he may be a rookie when it comes to being a cat detective, it turns out he’s a pretty good writer. So that’s how the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers got started. So far he’s put four of our most interesting mysteries to paper. You want to take it from here, kid?
Buckley: (Nodding.) Sure thing. I started with our first big case, The Case of the Cat Show Princess. That one was a real doozie! Bogey and I had to go undercover at a cat show to rescue another cat and catch a couple of crooks. Bogey entered the “Agility Competition” and I landed in the “Cutest Family Pet” category. Boy, oh boy, I sure hope we never have to do something like that again!
Bogey: You and me both, kid. You and me both. Next came our Christmas story, The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks, on blog tour now. That was the case where some burglars were breaking into houses and stealing Christmas presents. All around our little town of St. Gertrude.
Buckley: Holy Mackerel, was that ever scary! Especially when they came right to our door! After that book, we put out the Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues. I’m still sort of dazzled by all the sparkly gems we saw on that case. But we also learned about Danby Daunton and a 150-year-old mystery. On top of that, we ran into some really nasty bad guys.
Bogey: And a dame or two. But our last case was probably our most difficult ever. The Case of the Clever Secret Code. It really had us on our paws. Between handling a Hollywood movie star who suddenly showed up in St. Gertrude, to solving an old secret code, and learning lots and lots about the Declaration of Independence, well . . . let me just say that I needed more than a few bags of cat treats to get through that one.
Buckley: Uh-huh. Especially after we drove that exercise wheel down the street to rescue a cat who’d been cat-napped. But we did get to ride on a float in the Fourth of July parade. That was fun.
Bogey: Good times, kid. Good times. Anyway, Miss Mudpie and her audience can probably see why we wanted to put our adventures down for others to read. Because we’ve had some good ones!
What's life like as crime-solving kitties?
Bogey: It’s great. Every day is a new adventure. You just never know where a new case is going to take us. We always have to think on our paws, and a guy can’t beat that. And sure, we come across some pretty nasty specimens at times, but we always outsmart them. And dames really dig a guy with cat detective credentials.
Buckley: Uh-huh, it’s great, all right. But it can be very, very scary. And I do mean scary! It doesn’t help that I’m still a rookie. Thankfully, Bogey is the pro. But we also have a cat in our house that we call “The Wise One.” This cat is so old you might even say she’s ancient. Because she’s so old, she’s seen it all and she knows lots of things about, well . . . pretty much everything. So whenever we hit a rough spot, we like to go to her for advice. And by saying “we,” I guess I mostly mean “I.” Still, I sure hope to be as wise as she is someday. Plus I hope I can be as good a cat detective as Bogey is.
Bogey: Don’t sweat it, kid. Have a couple of cat treats. This’ll calm your nerves. Remember, everyone’s got to start somewhere. And look how far you’ve come in the years since we opened the BBCDA. You’ve learned tons. And sure, we’ve been in some tight spots. But remember, cats are better at solving crimes than humans. After all, we can see in the dark, sniff out the bad guys, and we’re aces on the computer at night.
Buckley: (munching) Thanks. Whew . . . I needed those. I do have to say, I really like helping people and cats who need us. That feels pretty nice to me. There’s nothing like rescuing a cat from a bad situation, or catching some mean crooks so they can’t cause trouble for someone else. And we also help homeless cats find homes. So, all in all, I really like being a cat detective. Even if this job can be scary. Very scary.
Bogey: The humans in the family tell me I need to lay off the cat treats a little, that I might be overdoing it a little. So I just keep cat treats stashed all over the house, in our Mom’s car, at her antique store, and well, pretty much everywhere I can think of. I find a few cat treats helps me think, and calms me down when I’m under pressure.
Buckley: I like cat treats, too. But I usually rely on Bogey to give me some. They really are a great pick-me-up. Sometimes I even have dreams about cat treats.
Bogey: As for toys and beds, well, we have beds at home and at our Mom’s antique store. But as cat detectives, we don’t get time for as many naps as we’d like. So we try to grab a little shuteye when we can. Mostly though, us working cats have always gotta work!
Buckley: Holy Catnip! You can say that again. We usually run surveillance rounds at night. Plus we also have some cat towers that give us a great view of a couple of rooms and are perfect for surveillance. It’s a tough job, but we’re up for it!
The book we're featuring today is a Christmas mystery. What's your favorite part of the holiday season?
Buckley: Holy Mackerel! I think I’ll take this one. At first I was really scared when our Mom started dragging out all those decorations. But then Bogey explained everything to me, and I actually started to enjoy Christmas. Now, I have to say, there are just so many things I like about the holiday. The trees, the lights, the decorations. And all the food. Wow, it’s almost more than a cat can take in.
Not to mention, I was pretty excited at first when I heard we were going to get presents. After all, a boy can’t have too many toys, can he? But then I realized the cats at the shelter weren’t going to be getting any presents at all, and I thought that was pretty sad. So Bogey and I found a way to take all our old toys to them, and give them a real Christmas. The funny thing was, that’s what made me the happiest. Getting presents myself was nice, but it was giving to others that really touched me. Bogey said it was the “Christmas Spirit” that I was feeling. It’s kind of funny how that works. Then finally, what I liked the very, very best of all about Christmas, was having friends and family and all our cats around me. That made it special.
Lastly, what advice would you give to cats who would like to be a detective just like you?
Buckley: I’m going to let my big brother handle this one. Since he took me under his paw and taught me everything he knows, when it comes to the cat detective business.
Bogey: Thanks, kid. I’ve been in this business for a while now, and I’ve seen things I never thought I’d see. Some things that weren’t pretty, and other things that were so wonderful they could melt a guy’s heart. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that every cat has their own gifts and talents. Humans, too. And whatever the good Lord gave you is what you’ve gotta use. Develop it and work on it, until you become a pro like me. And if you figure out that being a cat detective is your line of work, well, then give it all you’ve got. Keep learning and working until you get to be really good at it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Buckley: Me, either. And now, we’d like to thank you again, Miss Mudpie, for having us here today. It’s been lots of fun to talk to you, and we count you as one of our friends. Keep up the good work, and give your Mom a hug and kiss from us! Merry Christmas in August!! Holy Catnip!
It seems impossible for Buckley and Bogey to be any more adorable, but add in the Christmas theme and this story is pure purr-fection for mystery lovers of all ages.
Buckley's first Christmas is coming up, and it's a whole new world of wonder opening up for the little guy. All is not well in St. Gertrude, though. A Grinch is stealing Christmas for the boys' neighbors, and it's only a matter of time before their home gets hit. What else is there for cat detectives to do but catch the bad guys and save the town's Christmas?
I loved the way the boys manage to venture from home to conduct their investigations, even accompanying young Gracie to the annual craft fair, leading to still more fun adventures. Each cat has his own unique personality and quirks, from Buckley's pure innocence (and ongoing battle with his huge paws) to Bogey's confidence (and stash of hidden cat treats everywhere) - they are just too cute for words. The final chapter, as Buckley learns the true meaning of Christmas, is one of the most beautiful I've ever read. I shed happy tears all the way through.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book as part of the Singing Librarian Books blog tour.
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