Toby is a lazy, lazy kitty. All he ever does is sleep on top of my chest, but I don’t want to complain. I love having a kitty to sleep on top of me! He’s very cuddly, and I love him for it. He’s more than happy to snuggle with me in bed when the nights are cold, and when I stroke his fur, he purrs with a happiness that only animals are capable of. He’s all I need to cuddle with at night. Toby is warm and affectionate, unlike most people. It’s okay. I haven’t got a person. I don’t need one; I’ve got Toby. He burrows his face into my chest as I absentmindedly rub that space behind his ears that makes him so happy.
As much as I love Toby – and I really, really do; don’t, I baby? – I can’t help but feel like he’s a step in the wrong direction sometimes. My nanny when I was little has an awful lot of cats now. She was a big lady in those days, and she’s even bigger now. I think she has about a zillion cats. My mate Julia only has three, but she bought them a stroller, one of those ones made specifically for triplets. She dresses them up in little bonnets and buckles them in like little children. What does a cat need with a stroller? Cats don’t enjoy going for walks in the park like dogs.
Julia dragged me to speed dating once. It was at this community center that smelled like cleaning product and old people. If I concentrate hard enough, I can still actually smell it, and whenever I drive past the place, I gag. I saw fifteen different guys that day. Left each of them my number. Didn’t get a single call, or even a text. I got a number from a guy that day, but I called it and got a bagel shop. It wasn’t a total loss. They’re close to my flat, and the bagels are pretty good.
My phone vibrates on my nightstand. The noise makes Toby snap his head to attention and he stares at it with wide, attentive eyes. I pat him on the head and reassure him that everything is fine, that he should stop being so paranoid, and grab the phone. The dull glow of the moon combined with the phone’s backlight light my tiny bedroom up a little, and I can see Toby’s creamy white fur against my Fluttershy PJs. What? Why am I not allowed to like My Little Pony? It’s adorable. I read the text, and sigh in spite of myself.
Thank you for everything.
My fingers wanted to type a nice reply. Heck, I would have been happy if they’d typed a rude reply. The good Lord knows he deserves it. He would probably have welcomed the opportunity to banter. I didn’t type anything, at least not right away. This mysterious “S” (Sherlock would probably like me to pretend I don’t recognize him, since he’ll feel smarter that way) was texting me from an unknown number that undoubtedly wouldn’t be active by the time I send a message back. He’d have thrown it in the English Channel, or stomped on it, or simply given it to one of those homeless street urchins that work for him sometimes. It always baffles me how good he could be with children if he just put his head to it. The point is that the phone could be in any one of a million places by now, and probably in pieces. I decide to punch something out anyway, even if Sherlock would never end up reading it.
You’re welcome. All the best.
He picked me. The great Sherlock Holmes, master of deduction, the man who knows everyone better than they know themselves, picked me to help him. I had the most ingenious plan to keep him out of the public’s eye. He’s so smart. Only Sherlock would think to fake his own death like he did, but the false cadaver had been my idea. Since he was busy playing cerebral speed chess with… since he was busy at the time, it fell on me to make the plan and put it into action. How’d I do it? I’m not telling. A magician never reveals her secrets. Maybe you’ll find out someday if he ever decides to come out of hiding. I’m sure he wouldn’t want me to say anything. He’s very secretive like that.
Without warning, I got hit with a thought that I’d been avoiding for the better part of the three weeks since Sherlock’s “death”: he wasn’t for me. I’d always hoped he would be. He was my knight in shining armor, the one who was supposed to ride in and sweep me off my feet and carry me into the sunset and all that other romantic stuff that I got promised by… him.
But now, I realize that Sherlock wouldn’t make a very good knight. His chivalry needs some work, for one thing. Besides, I can be a knight too. I can be my own white knight, ride into my own life, and rescue my own darn self.
“We don’t need that big, strong man to keep us company, do we Toby?” I ask out loud. Toby presses his head against my open palm as he mews a soft reply. “That’s right, we don’t. The great Sherlock Holmes doesn’t cuddle with me like you do, Toby. No he doesn’t.” He never will, and maybe that’s okay. Maybe Molly Hooper can get along with just Toby to cuddle with at night.
My name is Molly Hooper. I’m single, over thirty, and I have a cat. I’m a mortician, which means I work with dead people. I have to shuffle the stuffed animals around on my bed if I ever have a gentleman caller, which isn’t often. I have a Hello Kitty folder to keep my tax information in. My best friend right now is an American Shorthair cat who has decided my leg is a scratching post, and has graciously decided to carpet my house with his hair. Men are just going to have to deal with that. If they can’t, if they’re like Sherlock – or like him – then to hell with them.
The calendar app in my phone says that the speed dating place is going to have another event this weekend. I take a deep breath, scratch Toby’s head, and let it out through my nose. It blows all over his face, making him shake his head. He is the cutest cat ever, I swear. I had planned to stay in this weekend and re-watch Spaced for the tenth time. Toby loves that show. I’ll have to reschedule for later, when I bring home the guy I’m sure to meet at speed dating. He’s going to be wonderful. I can tell.