Haunted Scavenger Hunt

There was an afternoon, shortly after Dan & I purchased this property, that Dan came home from work, having just cashed his paycheck, and placed $300.00 in an empty sugar bowl that was on the kitchen table. This was mortgage money and he did not want to carry it on him while he ran some errands. So he put it in the sugar bowl, placing the lid over the bowl, for safe keeping until he returned.

A short while later, Dan returned from his errands. He had one more. That was to make a deposit of the cash he’d placed in the sugar bowl. He walked in the house, walked over to the kitchen table and lifted the lid on the sugar bowl. It was empty! What the –?

Of course, anyone’s reaction would initially be panic. The table sat in front of a large picture window. Did someone see him “hiding” the money through that window? His first reaction was that we’d been robbed…even though the doors were locked and none of the windows showed signs of having been jimmied open. Eh, we’re not living in Mayberry anymore; crooks are getting craftier by the minute. But before Dan could call the police to report it, Woody, our gray tabby, came running around the corner with a $20 bill in his mouth. Phew! Relax. Breathe. The cats were simply into mischief…

and somehow managed to take the lid off of a sugar bowl, remove fifteen $20 dollar bills, and place the lid back on the sugar bowl as snugly as Dan had initially left it? Somehow, Dan just couldn’t wrap his mind around this one but there wasn’t any other answer. Thus, began his scavenger hunt for the other fourteen $20 bills.

The first few that he found fit the story of the kitties being responsible. Two or three were wadded up and “rolled” under the couch, a chair, even the bed upstairs. However, the rest were inexplicable–unless you have a few restless ghosts roaming around the house. One $20 bill was peeking out from between the mattress and box spring, perhaps an ode to a common, antiquated practice of hiding your savings under your mattress. Another was peeking out of a dresser drawer. Still another peeked out between the cushions of the sofa. He found one in a jacket pocket–and, as these were crisp, new bills, we were both fairly confident that this wasn’t a forgotten bill from another time. The strangest one, and one that couldn’t be easily explained whether from kitty capers or otherwise, was found folded lengthwise over the rod in our bedroom closet, held in place by a couple of hangers.

Dan had just found the last one when I came home from work. Needless to say, he was quite flustered due to all of the strange places he found the money, places that no cat–even were any gifted with a pair of thumbs–could accomplish. Trying to wrap our minds around it, we considered the teenage boys we’d seen up on the hill the day the cats were found out-of-doors. But would teenage boys create a scavenger hunt? More than likely, if they were gifted enough to break and enter without detection in broad daylight, in the middle of a commercial district on a major interstate, they would likely have pocketed the $300.00. And what would be the point of the scavenger hunt? None would be able to watch and laugh at their joke…unless thieves and pickpockets from another era had played such a plank.

Whoever, whatever it was, I am simply grateful the money was found. But, as any “mother” will tell you, even her “fur” babies are a cut above the rest. Maybe Paz, Woody and Ariel played a practical joke after all.

May God bless you & keep you!

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