Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #3: Mallory and the Ghost Cat

The Craine family randomly pops up when their daughters’ aunt/babysitter breaks her leg. Mallory takes on a sitting job for them, probably because she’s the only one available. The first day that she’s there, she hears a cat crying but the girls tell her that they don’t have a cat. Mallory mentions it to Mrs. Craine and gets the same response.

After hearing the crying a second time, she decides to track down the noise. She and the girls find a white cat in the attic. Since the cat is so pale, they start calling it Ghost Cat. The family decides to keep him, but they put an ad in the newspaper first in case someone is missing him.

The family keeps him locked in the laundry room because he keeps running away. When they open the door to show him to Mallory, he runs off. They search the entire house, and Mallory finds a stack of letters in the attic. She reads the letters from Kelsey Graham to the girls and learns that he had a cat that looked exactly like Ghost Cat. The cat died one day and he never recovered. Suddenly, the girls start thinking that maybe their cat is the same one and that it’s actually a ghost.

Mallory invites Dawn over to the house, and Dawn does a bunch of experiments. She finds out that the cat is real because it breaks a string, doesn’t photograph weird, and does other normal cat stuff. Mallory gets a call from someone who says he owns the cat and that it’s name is Rasputin. He can’t make it for a few days, but he will get his cat.

The cat suddenly starts acting like a normal cat once they use its name, including rubbing up against people. The guy comes by while Mal is sitting and gives each girl $5. Mal can’t help noticing that he looks just like the photograph of Kelsey from the letters. Since Mal still heard a cat meowing, she wonders if they really do have a ghost cat. Oh, and the family gets a new white cat in the end.

The B-plot is all about Uncle Joe, Mr. Pike’s uncle. He tells them tons of stories about his uncle that make him sound like a cool guy. When he shows up though, he’s just old and crotchety. He complains about everything, doesn’t want to play with the kids, and won’t do any tricks. The whole family has to eat bland food and they hate it.

Nicky goes missing one day, and they find him sitting with Joe. Uncle Joe does one of his old tricks and seems a little better. They go to visit him in the nursing home and he seems better. Mr. Pike explains that he has Alzheimer’s and that he’ll never be the guy he was before. At the end, he pulls out a bottle of Tabasco sauce and tells Mallory that he hates bland food.

*Mallory worries that aunt “Bud” will offer her a beer or wear all leather because she has a motorcycle. Suddenly, Mallory seems even younger than ever.

*Mallory reads the letters to the girls and they cry when the cat dies. She decides to read through the letters before reading them to the girls. Why the hell didn’t she stop in the middle when she got to that part?

*Dawn has a “ghost detector” that she bought out of a ghost comic for $5.99. I don’t know what is more ridiculous: that she read the comic or bought what Mallory describes as a cardboard box.

*One of the girls explains that white cats with blue eyes are usually deaf, which is something I just learned a few months ago LOL.

*I wish I read this book as a kid because my grandma actually had Alzheimer’s and I had some similar experiences to Mr. Pike with her forgetting who I was.

*Mr. Pike is kind of a dick though. He tells them that his uncle will be different from the guy in his stories, but he waits until almost the end to tell them what’s going on.

*It doesn’t help that Mallory brings her friends over to see him without telling him. Claudia thinks he’ll be just like Mimi and actually calls him uncle Joe, which pisses him off.

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