Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Case of the Oatmeal Bandits

So, the HLDW and I were gone for a couple of hours yesterday evening, out and about running errands, getting Indian takeaway, etc., you know, the day to day tasks of life, only to return to Chateau Rhino and stumble upon the following crime scene in the middle of the kitchen:

Somehow the carton of oatmeal that I had left on one of the counters was mysteriously transported to the floor, the lid was removed and the carton remained standing upright.


The game is afoot.

I immediately round up the usual suspects. The cats, per usual, are inscrutable and are acting as if moving the oatmeal, much less eating it, is beneath their dignity. Forensic examination reveals no oatmeal flakes adhering to their whiskers so I have to release them for lack of evidence. I ask them to not leave the immediate environs in the event that I need to bring them back in for questioning. Being the cunning bastards they are they immediately lawyer-up and will resist any further interrogation attempts. Is it no wonder that I have yet to pin a crime on them.

The dogs are next. They must be the prime suspects in this case due to their criminal history. To say the least they are not criminal masterminds - the open and shut case of the paper towel roll disappearance of '08 will attest to that fact. They were immediately apprehended when the evidence was found shredded on their blankets and they failed to dispose of additional evidence attached to their wet doggy noses. Unsubtle does not begin to describe their modus operandi.

So, I'm a bit confused as, on the surface, this crime appears to be magnitudes more sophisticated than their usual M.O.

To wit:
1. The carton is mysteriously intact. Their standard M.O. is to eat through whatever is holding the thing that they really want to eat.
2. The lid has been removed cleanly. See point number one. Besides, there were no opposable thumbs present - so how the hell did they do that.
3. There is no debris field around the carton - past performance would indicate that they would have gone into a feeding frenzy or at least knocked over the carton wrestling once the target was breached.
4. There was oatmeal left in the carton. If anything, they have been thorough in the past with respect to fully devouring their ill-gotten gains.
5. Their snouts and coats are disturbingly clean.

So, despite my suspicions I must release them for lack of evidence. Unlike the cats they do not immediately lawyer-up. I can't decide if this is because they are being their usually cocksure selves or if they are out of cell phone minutes for the month.

I don't know ... I'll let you decide ... take a look at this mug shot taken moments after our stumbling upon the crime scene and the aforementioned rounding up of usual suspects:

Is this the look of guilt?

I for sure know that despite being as frugal as I am and no evidence that any of the oatmeal was eaten by any domesticated animal residing at Chateau Rhino the remainder of that carton is going in the trash.

OK, OK, in the interest of full disclosure I will admit that I did consider that I could salvage some of the oatmeal if I removed a precise layer of 'potentially slobbered upon' oatmeal. But the HLDW vetoed this immediately and common sense prevailed.

It is good to be Sherlock Rhino.


  1. OK let's see now. I am a first time visitor. earlier today I visited
    Lisa at via The Walking Man at
    which brings me to the point of using cuss words.
    The fucking dog is lying, that tongue was in the oatmeal. Guarraandamntee it.
    Thanks for the smile. BTW I'll pay his bail.
    Hope the accidental goring does not hurt too much.

  2. Punch,

    No goring is due... you said what I was thinking.

    Welcome aboard and hope you come back.


  3. Profilers response to the scene as it stands (my qualifications are, i watched half an ep once)
    It was one of the cats. In a fit of pique, it would have knocked the canister off the bench as it was occupying the same space on the bench it wanted to occupy. The Dogs would have come to investigate, but would have left soon after upon realization that (a) it was oatmeal (b) they would get blamed (c) it was oatmeal.
    It will be the cat that is acting the least concerned about the situation. I would say one probably avoided the room until the evidence was removed and questioning was completed. The one you found the most distance from the scene. It however has been trying to hedge bets and is trying to curry favor with HLDW. So it has probably been very affectionate...
    As you know most feline cereal killers function very well in society. Def be the one you don't suspect. This was the first attack, there will be more.

  4. Didn't take long for the 'cereal killers' line to get busted out. Arrghhh.

  5. Definately one of the cats. They are sooooo uptight they need the roughage.

    If you are innocent, why do you need a lawyer?

  6. Aliens. No questions about it. They're probably out creating crop circles in your hemp patch right now...

  7. The dog was framed... by the cats.

    The dog is the usual suspect but it was Keyser Söze who was hired by the Cats.

    Did one of the cats walk with a severe limp?

  8. Ok, so you have established your POI (Pets of interest.)All POI had equal opportunity. As there remains some PORRIDGE in the can, we are short of motive.

    Perhaps Sydney would respons to some (ahem) enhanced interrogation methods like bacon rind.
    Eg - Rhino "Jump about like an idiot if the cats did it."
    Sydney boing boing boing boing.
    Straight forward enough.

    Lets return to the evidence (The can)
    1 Was there trace evidence of slobber?
    2 Was the PORRIDGE eaten down to a depth in the can that corresponds with Sydneys nose length + extended lickitylicky tounge?
    3 Does the multi-time zone Rhino suspect sleep deprivation may have led him to attempt to feed cat with PORRIDGE?

    AS we know Cats are fussy bastards who will only eat delicate morsels of hand caught shrimp lovingly seved in aspic. Dogs will eat ass. Week old vegan ass at that.

    I know it's all circumstantial but it looks to me like Sydney's kitchen access days are numbered.

  9. Anonymous9:25 PM

    personally I believe it was you who has tried to fit up the canines after the newspaper chewing incident of last week.


Comments are welcome. However, being an ass may result in a horrible, albeit accidental, goring.