Original Publication Date: 1989
Mary Anne leaves her kitten, Tigger, playing on her front lawn when she leaves for a BSC meeting. When she comes back, he's gone. She doesn't really worry until he still hasn't shown up the next morning. She and the rest of the BSC end up papering her neighborhood with posters. All that comes of it is a fake ransom note, sent by a kid who wanted to make a quick $100. We never find out his identity, but does anyone else have money on Mel Tucker or Sean Addison?
At the same time, Logan is acting distant and has a short fuse. Mary Anne is confused by this, especially when she's sitting at the Bruno's and Logan's younger brother shows her why his allergies have been acting up: his sister Kerry is hiding Tigger in her closet. Mary Anne's worried that Logan knew and didn't tell her. Logan had no idea, of course; he's under a lot of pressure from his baseball coach and took it out on Mary Anne. The Brunos do punish Kerry, but also decide she can have a hairless pet. We don't find out what. Hey, maybe she'll get a hairless cat. They don't even have eyelashes (and consequently get eye infections all the time).
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Fritos, Doritos, Heath bars, Double Stuf Oreos, and M&Ms under her bed,
When Tigger knocks his cat toys behind the fridge, Mary Anne buys him new ones. She should get a whatchamacallit (we never used the proper name) like my parents have: http://www.hometech.com/hts/googlebase.html?item=EC-902225
Mary Anne hates being called "miss."
Mary Anne still loves getting the mail, even after the last book she narrated (Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery). She even gets excited when she receives a mystery letter (the ransom note).
Apparently, Logan's baseball coach schedules practices randomly. I've coached middle school (cross country) and the parents and kids had a schedule from the start of practices and meets.
Claudia and Dawn like to sleep in late, like Kristy.
Claudia worries that Tigger might be dead, and is sad because even though Mary Anne doesn't remember her mom's death, Tigger would still be another death in the family. I think that's sweet, in a way, that Claudia would be worried like that, for that reason. There's also a touch of foreshadowing about Mimi.
Mary Anne's dad is dating Dawn's mom again.
Mary Anne's dad doesn't like to ask for favors. I can understand that.
Logan's brother, Hunter, is allergic to just about everything in the world, and probably things in outer space as well. He has a pretty Spartan room, with no curtains...or bedspread. I don't get that; won't he get cold in the winter?
When Mary Anne is describing her dad, she mentions that he's still somewhat strict, and one of her examples is that Logan can't come in the house if she's home alone. I think that's perfectly reasonable.
Tigger's claws are "as sharp as pine needles." I've played with two nine-week-old kittens in the past week, and they can already draw blood (I didn't get scratched, but just when they walked over me, I could feel it). Maybe Tigger has a calcium deficiency or something.
Tigger is fifteen inches long, with tail. I'm going to grab a measuring tape...my husband's cat, Eddie, is 32 inches long from nose to tail (he'll be 12 in July). Both are American short hair cats.
Tigger doesn't wear a collar. Neither does Eddie, but that's because he's not allowed outside anymore (he picks too many fights). When he was allowed out, he always wore his tags.
Jessi gives Squirt a cheese sandwich instead of the grilled cheese sandwiches she and Becca eat, because her brother's so young. But if you let the grilled cheese cool down, wouldn't that be easier? The cheese would stay between the bread.
Squirt does fake sneezes. My younger brother used to do that, too, pretty realistically.
The BSC starts sitting for Logan's family.
Foul! Jessi says Charlotte doesn't have a pet, but her family has had Carrot the Schnauzer since the second book.
Dawn schedules an appointment, because Mary Anne is too upset over the ransom note.
Mary Anne reminds us that the Mancusi's snake got loose while Jessi was pet-sitting, but fails to mention that she herself is the one who let him escape.
Mrs. Barrett is awesome for reminding Dawn when she'll be back. I've babysat and nannied several times when the parents aren't sure how long they'll be gone.
The BSC remembers to take down the "Lost or Strayed" posters after they find Tigger. Hooray!
SMS: Nothing new
Yes, Mary Anne is right: milk usually isn't so great for cats. Most can't digest it well. On a similar note, hedgehogs are always lactose intolerant. Presumably, hedgehog milk is fine for them. Speaking of tiny animal milk...if you found yourself lost or stuck somewhere and there was no food, only rats, you'd be better off drinking their milk than eating them. Lots of protein.
You should cut up grapes before giving them to babies; they're just the right size and shape to be a choking hazard.
When my husband's cat disappears, I look for him the same way Mary Anne looks for Tigger: thorough search of one room, close the door, move on to the next. Last time, I found him on top of the fridge.
Lucy Newton wears lavender overalls in this book. For some reason, that has always stuck in my memory.
Buddy Barrett is worried that his basset hound, Pow, will be kidnapped like he thinks Tigger was, because, he explains, sometimes people steal dogs and cats and sell them to people in other towns. He's read ahead to Mystery #7, Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs.
What did Kerry do with Tigger's waste?
Fish aren't pets. I like having them, but it's not like you can play with them. They're a decoration, somewhere between a pet and a plant.
Starting 8th grade: 1
Halloweens in 8th grade: 1
BSC Fights: 5
SMS Staff: 13 (2 6th grade, 3 7th grade, 4 8th grade, 2 elective, 1 vice-principal, 1 secretary)
Students: 32 8th graders, six sixth-graders
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 35 (bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, Cheese Doodles, a chocolate bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers, cupcakes, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, gumdrops, Fritos, Gummi Bears, Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, marshmallows, mini candy bars, Oreos (Double Stuf), popcorn, pretzels, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies)
Crushes: Claudia-3 (Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Trevor Sandbourne), Dawn-1 (Parker Harris), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-4 (Toby, Pete Black, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor)