If there is a mystery to be solved, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters? Not me. My personal Private Investigator is Kitty, the Sherlock Holmes of the bird world. This kiwi knows how to get to the root of the problem, the kernel of the conundrum, the needle in the haystack. So, when she had a few minutes to spare between investigations, we chatted and I found out a few things I didn't know about this accomplished apteryx. The following is a bit of what went down.
Louise: Thanks for stopping by. I wanted you to help me with a perplexing mystery and also have a chance to introduce you to my small but loyal following.
Kitty: No problem. I have a another case nearby, so it's not a big deal.
L: Well, since you don't fly, how do you get around to do your investigations?
K: I walk, take the bus or train and lately I call an Uber. It's not that hard. In the old days, there weren't that many choices for traveling and my fellow kiwis stayed put in New Zealand. But I'm a curious bird and so made my way to America by way of Quantas in my friend Margie's suitcase. Did you know the first bag is free? Margie's a great mate.
L: So, were you a private investigator in New Zealand before you came here?
K: No, I was a young bird just enjoying my life. But as I matured, I felt there could be more than just foraging on the ground. I got a chance to go to the states (thanks, Margie) and when I arrived in Philadelphia, I saw a totally different life. I saw mysteries that I thought I could solve. Mother birds grieving for eggs that were stolen, dogs who couldn't remember where they buried their bones, you know, everyday cases. I have, by nature, a fine memory and an excellent sense of smell. I knew I had the equipment for sniffing out answers. Coincidentally, I just read on the internet that kiwis are hard to fool. That's true, that's me. And so I interned for a seasoned PI, a bloodhound named Agatha who showed me the ropes. When Agatha retired, I took over her practice.
L: What kind of investigations do you most enjoy doing?
K: The kind that no one else has been able to solve. I'm a real puzzle freak.
L: What kind don't you like?
K: I don't like sitting on the ground for hours waiting to catch Martha Blue-Tit sneak around to have her eggs fertilized by neighbor Ned. Nor do I want to catch Clara Cuckoo furtively lay her eggs in another's nest for some unsuspecting bird to raise. Really! These kind of cases make me nuts! Besides, after hours of looking up at treetops, my neck hurts.
L: Have you ever been in danger while on a case?
K: A few times. But I'm lucky to have a shape and color that let me blend in with the ground, so I just huddle down until the danger passes. I do have razor claws but I don't like violence so would only use them when absolutely necessary.
L: It sounds like you have an exciting life. I hope you don't mind me asking, since you are a free bird, are you or would you like to be in a relationship?
K: Who says I'm not? But I'll tell you, I have yet to meet a male kiwi who strikes my fancy. I have yet to meet a male kiwi in America, period. They're all back in New Zealand!. I do have a duck friend that I'm rather fond of. That's all I'm going to say. Changing the subject, what was that mystery you wanted me to help you with?
L: Ah yes. Well, every morning for the past week, I have found cracker crumbs on the floor of my kitchen. I clean them up and the next morning, there are more on the floor. As you know, I live alone. Do you think you can help me?
K: Tell you what, I'm in the vicinity these days for this other case I'm handling. I'll stay here with you for a night or so. Maybe I can crack the cracker case then. By the way what kind of cracker crumbs were they?
K: Good, my favorite.
L: OK, then, I'll see you tonight. Before you leave, I have one last question: what is your favorite fruit?
Kitty called Uber and toddled outside where a tan Toyota Corolla pulled up at the curb. After she got in and was whisked away, I noticed a trail of cracker crumbs on the path she just took. There is more to this story than meets the eye. I must ask Kitty about this when she returns.