My name is Marco Polo, and the surname of my humans is Holmes. I've never been in Doctor Watson's stories, not really, but I solved a case once. No, really. They didn't give me any credit for it, but then what else can you expect from a human?
I don't hate humans, don't misunderstand me. My mistress is the sweetest being, human or otherwise, in this whole city, and I suppose even the master has his good moments (the mistress seems to like him despite the fact that they were a planned mating). But all in all, humans simply can't appreciate the subtlety of felinity, the dominate intelligence we possess.
I wasn't all that old when I solved this case; my kitten fur was not entirely gone to the smooth cream-coloured coat we Siamese cherish, though the stitches from my Procedure had long been removed and the wounds from them healed.
Some former toms despise it when humans submit them to a Procedure. Myself, I've seen the way toms act when their brain shuts down and other parts take over, and I am glad for dignity at the miniscule cost of sterility. But I digress.
My master's sibling is famous about the city, one Sherlock Holmes. He and the master are not littermates, but from the way they talk I believe the same tom and queen sired them. Both are highly intelligent (for humans), the elder serving the country as a whole and the younger serving the country individual by individual. Sherlock seems to have something against my mistress for not being nearly as intelligent as they are (though I must add she's far more of a joy to be around), and as such the two are not the best of companions.
The elder brother is the smartest (as they usually tend to be), and so Sherlock all too often comes into the household for assistance. When he is not home, this means my mistress being forced to put up with him. On this particular occasion, she was in the midst of planning a dinner party and was not at all sympathetic.
"That's a pillow, Sherlock," she stated plainly as I slunk into the room to observe the happenings. "A sofa pillow. That's not even big enough to properly smother a person with."
"Since when are you an expert on smothering?" Sherlock replied, folded into the chair I had wanted for myself, mentioned pillow tossed onto the settee. "I'm not suggesting the man was smothered, he was obviously strangled, but something distracted the cats!"
The blonde girl blinked, a pencil jutting from behind her ear, a sheaf of papers hanged limply in a nearly clenched hand. "Cats? You think a still pillow distracted cats? … Why? Why do these cats need to have been distracted?"
He gave a snort as if it were the most elementary of things to know. "The victim had a pair of Siamese brutes. Not," he added, scowling down at innocent I who was now leaping up to the end table to nudge my mistress's hand, "unlike your own little beast. They were rather savage animals to all but the victim, yet there was no blood in the room despite the cats being present. They would have attacked anyone bringing harm to their master under a usual circumstance."
"Why the pillow?" she insisted, scowling and hoisting me into her grasp. "And he is not a beast, he is a perfect little kitten. … Except when he's not…"
"I removed the pillow from the room to inspect it. It smells strongly of lavender, as even you must have observed by now. When it had been absent, the cats, previously nearly comatose, sprung to life and nearly took out one of Inspector Bradstreet's eyes. There were no traces of food to suggest they had been slipped drugged food, and no markings suggesting a dart."
"Ah. I suppose that is a good reason…"
I leapt from Mistress's arms, padding over to jump onto the settee. Perhaps I could lend a paw, being inherently smarter than these two-legged "beasts" (honestly, I'm a Siamese, not some common dock tabby).
It did smell strongly of lavender, but there was something else under it, something humans with their large yet clumsy noses could not detect. It was a sweet smell… Almost sickly sweet, but inviting nevertheless. Very inviting.
"Sherlock, Mycroft has a career, in case you haven't noticed!" my mistress spoke, though I barely heard. "He doesn't exist to give you hints whenever you need them."
"He had far more leisure time before he decided to take up a hobby wife."
"A hobby! He's happy, and you can't be pleased for him because it interferes with your cases once in a while. He's fond of me, Sherlock. I'd like to believe he loves me, even."
"And I'd like to believe he's far too intelligent to get himself yoked with a girl like you, but see what happens when one puts too many chips on faith?"
So much shouting… Why on earth did humans feel the need to shout so often? Especially when there was such a wonderful pillow in the vicinity…
Purring, I rubbed up against it. There was something so delightful about it. It had no tassels to bat, so that was not it, nor was its texture particularly intriguing, and yet all I wanted to do was rub onto it. Extending my claws, I scratched at the stitching, seeing if I might investigate what kind of magic this object was containing.
"You're a distraction, you know that? A skinny blonde distraction!"
"Better than a gangly brooding child!"
There was no need for them to fight. There was never a need to fight. Everything was exactly perfect the way it was now.
The threads finally gave way to my claws. I saw something green, and then the most wonderful smell I had ever encountered flooded my nostrils, knocking me over. Literally.
"Sherlock Émile Holmes, you have to be the most insufferable, pig-headed…" Ann Marie paused when Marco Polo swayed several times like a disoriented cobra and then fell off of the settee with a solid thunk, disproving the old saying about felines forever landing right side up. "Marco!"
Holmes cringed at the high-pitched shriek, scowling furiously at the hole the animal had torn in his evidence. Then he blinked, striding over to widen the hole, examining its contents while the girl tended to the limp animal in her arms. "That's it…"
"You poisoned my cat!" The blonde did not look at all amused, shaking the pet as gently as she could but only evoking a content meow.
"He's not poisoned, girl. Calm down."
"His eyes are glazing over!"
"I've solved the case!" He held up the pillow gingerly by the corner, displaying the torn section. "It's stuffed with catnip and lavender, the latter to mask the scent of the former. Catnip makes felines rather… languid. Your own animal just whiffed in quite a bit."
Ann Marie poked the creature, currently fidgeting and purring over nothing. "Is he alright?"
"Oh, I dare say he's better than either of us are right now. He'll likely have a hard time coming down, however…"
I woke up with my head in the flour bin for some reason. Mistress was worried for me beyond measure. Master was angry because apparently I had been sick in his study. I could not walk in a straight line for some time after; all four legs kept wanting to cross with one another.
I learned later that my sharp wits had solved the case, but I willingly gave the credit to Mr. Sherlock Holmes and decided that detective work was to be left to less intelligent beings.