Crime scene: Do not cross
Investigating Unit: Feline Decoration Unit of Protection (F'D UP), a division of the NJ Pet Police
At about 0600 hours on December 16, 2008, Mark Gav of Morris County, NJ walked into his living room to discover it was the scene of a horrific crime.
Upon investigation, officers confirmed the victim was an approximately seven-foot-tall Norway spruce. The victim was lying at about a 30-degree angle, face down against the back of the couch.
The victim was still screwed into its supporting stand, but numerous ornaments were broken and the garland and lights were hanging off of it. The carnage was disturbing even to veteran investigative officers.
(Note, the following photos are rather graphic and not for the faint of heart.)
At approximately 0700 hours, with officers’ consent, homeowners Mark and Kimberly Gav decided to move the victim to the floor fearing their young daughters may try to sit on the victim or use it as a slide if it was left at an angle.
Both homeowners confirmed that the victim was observed to be fully upright when they went to sleep at approximately 2300 hours on December 15, 2008. Homeowners said they did not hear anything during the evening, leading the investigating officer to believe this is an inside job.
They also confirmed that both their pre-school daughters were asleep. The mother checked on one, who was sick, several times throughout the night, while the other spent most of the night in her parent’s bed kicking them and flailing about.
Upon further questioning, it was revealed that the whereabouts of the household’s four cats could not be confirmed at various times during 2300 hours on December 15 and 0600 hours on December 16.
Therefore, all four were brought in for questioning.
Suspect one: BadCat
A black female with white chest and gold eyes, approximately 10-years-old.
Whereabouts during time of crime: Asleep on the homeowner’s bed until approximately 0400 hours.
Past record: In all the years BadCat has lived with homeowners, she has never shown interest in the Christmas tree or its ornaments.
Possible motives: Cat is still extremely pissed off at homeowners for acquiring three cats in March 2008.
Verdict: Possible suspect, but not likely given past record of good behavior.
Suspect two: Janey
An Abyssian-mix with green eyes, approximately 3 years old.
Whereabouts during time of crime: Unknown
Past record: Undetermined, though homeowners feel cat is too fat and lazy to scale a Christmas tree.
Possible motives: May have thought glass bird 2/3 of the way up tree was actual food.
Verdict: Possible, though suspect’s physical size and shape makes it unlikely.
Suspect three: Ben
A striped gray male with brown eyes, approximately 18 months old.
Whereabouts during time of crime: Observed sleeping on sick child’s bed most of the evening and then in homeowner’s bed around 0500 hours.
Past behavior: Unknown history, but has not paid much attention to the tree since it was erected on December 7, 2008.
Possible motives: Fun and adventure, has close ties to Molly, prime suspect in the case
Verdict: Ben remains a likely suspect, possibly an accomplice, but until further evidence can be obtained, is free on bail.
Suspect four: Molly
A striped orange female with gold eyes, approximately 21 months old.
Whereabouts during time of crime: Unknown for entire period under question.
Past behavior: Suspect has shown mild interest in the Christmas tree, crawling under it and batting lightly at low-hanging ornaments, but homeowners did not feel behavior was anything to worry about.
Possible motives: Fun and adventure
Verdict: Remains prime suspect both in plotting and execution, but evidence too circumstantial to formally prosecute. Will remain under close observation by undercover officers from the Feline Decoration Unit of Protection (aka F’D UP).
Officers have already observed Molly returning to the scene of the crime, a classic indicator of guilt. They are especially disturbed with perpetrator’s boldness, staring at them defiantly.
Homeowner has re-decorated tree and tied it to the bolted-in curtain rods behind it, but remains concerned that the perpetrator will come up with new and more creative ways to torture the victim.
As a further preventative tactic, homeowner is now deciding whether cat would make nice mittens or earmuffs and is looking for input. Thoughts?