When the cat returns, he waves through the streets of Pin and Lisbon, for it is now definitely established that the Major was not devoured by rats, and there is no reason to believe that he was carried away. by them. On the contrary, he is known to have had an international agreement with the Rat Tribe of the Savings Bank bloc that he should enjoy life at the expense of peace with them, provided that in case he is called to plug a trap full of them, he must politely but firmly decline.
The first indication that such a treaty existed was when the drug dealer and a dozen bloodthirsty men gathered in a back room recently and let out six large rats in the presence of the cat. The major recognized them with a sniffle and, turning around, headed for the door in a stately manner. They had to call in a rat-killing dog to complete the slaughter.
The Major disappeared last Monday night and no one has seen him since. They saw him come out the door and they stayed in the store for an hour after closing time just to let him in when he returned.
But he never came back.
Nevertheless, there are those who claim that the cat will return.
The only reasonable theory is that he joined the Mysterious Disappearance Syndicate which counts among its victims the young, the old, the learned and the ignorant, the healthy and the sick. No cause can be given for his disappearance. He had not engaged in political bets, his list of acquaintances did not include an enemy. On the other hand, everyone was his friend.
Tuesday morning, when the store was open, people came in and as the long-faced clerks put on medicine looked around for the familiar figure of the major, and not finding him, they asked. Some sighed, others teared, some argued frankly with the man who would dare to pose a violent finger on a hair of the tail of the famous cat. As the day progressed, the atmosphere of the pharmacy took on a denser color. The employees didn’t have the cheerful smiles that make Wiggin a nice place to hang out. Doctors came in and waited in pained silence as their files were filled out.
If the major returned, he could wander at will with muddy feet on the barely polished counters, or lie for a long time on the bag of catnip under the counter. If he knocked over a vase of the best perfumes of the Orient or destroyed the priceless herbs and roots of distant India, no one would mention it. One by one the clerks and doctors slipped through the front door on one pretext or another, and quietly and carelessly walked down Pine Street to the back alley, hurrying among the ash barrels and the broken glass in a way and with a show of interest. it would have made them blush if anyone had seen them.
Dr. Aurelia Springer and Dr. Alice Leader conducted an investigation in the former’s back office and decided the tiger cat wasn’t dead, shouldn’t be dead. An occupant of the building mentally composed a poetic ode to Major’s memory and said he hoped he didn’t have to say it. Lawyers with offices at the front of the building went about the preparations for tonight’s celebration unenthusiastically.
MDP Moulton wrote a twenty-five cent ad for the Journal and said too many words and should have paid 50 cents if it wasn’t for a popular cause. You will find his ad in the Lost section.
Today the suspense becomes truly unbearable, and Savings Bank Block will not be half lit tonight. But the public will understand. Cooms, Gibbs & Wilkinson have offered to design an elaborate grave if the cat does not return alive, they will design a wonderful gold necklace, which will be forged from a sterling gold eagle.
A typical report in the Lewiston Weekly Journal in 1886