So... in his own words, Here's the story from the beginning.
In fictional land, my name was Max, too. My food human, I fondly call her HH (for Her Highness) and I moved to North Carolina just a few days before this story begins. We had lived in Virginia all of my life, but HH's Uncle Herbert died and left HH this wonderful old, two-story, brick building and a little pile of cast to go with it.
HH had had enough of the stress of the rat race and decided this was the purrfect opportunity to follow her dream of opening Writer's Creative Studio. To move things along, suffice it to say that I hated the moving part of the change, but as soon as I saw our new digs, I fell in love.
The downstairs of the building used to be Uncle Herbert's hardware store and the upstairs is a one-bedroom apartment. I have a sweet deal here. At night, we go upstairs to our home life. During the day, I get to go to work (downstairs) with HH.
Didn't take me but a day to find my purrfect daytime spot. There's a big show window that used to be where Uncle Herbert would put his special deals. Well pals, now I'm the special deal. I just find a sun puddle in that window and I'm good for most of the day. Oh, I do wake up occasionally when folks tap on the window to tell my how cute I am...who wouldn't? Anyway I digress... back to the story...
Since we just moved in a few days ago, Writer's Creative Studio is not quite open for business, but HH does have one client already and this story starts with him. His name was Fred Newton and HH met him yesterday for coffee at The Percolator, a coffee shop just a few doors down from Writer's Creative Studio. Fred gave HH the manuscript of his memoir, complete with more than 50 prints of the pictures he was thinking of using to illustrate it.
The following night, I was upstairs. That's where I go when HH goes out. She locks me out of the downstairs for some reason -- it might be because there was that one time when I was feeling frisky and ran across the room, landed on her desk and skidded from one side of it to the other, clearing the surface in the process. What does a guy have to do to live down a botched landing?
Anyhooooooo... on this particular night, I thought I heard noises downstairs. I would have investigated, but the door to the first floor was locked. So, I sat by the door and logged in everything I heard.
I know that before HH left to meet new friends for dinner, she had let Fred in downstairs. He wanted to sort through the pictures to his memoir one more time before HH started editing. So, at first, I thought that I was just hearing him talking to himself, but then I heard"OH NO!" and a loud BANG followed by a thud.
When I heard the downstairs back door slam, I ran to the second floor back door and crashed full force against the cat door. Drat! HH must have locked it so I wouldn't get out while she was away.
Ignoring the pain, I jumped to the counter and craned my neck to see out the kitchen window. There... there ... running around the corner toward the alley between our building and Mrs. Kittle's quilt shop was a dark figure wearing a hat and a long trench coat. He turned and looked my way just before he disappeared down the alley....