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The Adventures of Junior, the World's Greatest Cat Detective

Quick, who's your favorite animal detective? If you said Basil of Baker Street, Scooby-Doo, or a character from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, you could be any one of many people who grew up in the '90s or earlier. (or maybe you were just prompted by the nifty pictures in the above collage) If your answer was Junior, the world's greatest cat detective, then you could only be someone who was part of my fourth grade class. Junior was my creation, a character who once starred in her own book and who was the daughter of one of my stuffed animals, a stuffed animal who was based upon my first childhood pet. Confused? Let's start at the beginning, then.

Let's start back before I was even in elementary school, when I was around the age of four. A visit to the doctor had revealed that I had a cat allergy, and that meant that Brownie, my family's pet cat, had to go for my own good. I realized at the time that Brownie's departure was an inevitable event, but it didn't make things any less difficult on me. My mom told me how I would still be able to visit Brownie, that Brownie leaving would be better for both of us, and other very true statements meant to help console me, but I was still miserable when it came time for Brownie to leave. I can clearly remember holding Brownie in my arms and begging the family member who was adopting Brownie not to take her away, even though I knew there was no chance of that happening.

As with most things we're told we can't have, I found myself strongly desiring having a pet cat for years after this event. Eventually, I decided that if I couldn't have a real one, an imaginary cat would have to do. That's where one of my stuffed animals, a white cat that was covered with black spots, came into play. This stuffed cat ended up being named Brownie, after the real life cat I had lost. I'm not entirely sure if I was the one to name her or if it was my mom, but I do know one thing for sure. Brownie the stuffed animal helped fill a void left by the absence of Brownie the real life animal.

One day at a local thrift store, my mom discovered a smaller cat that looked similar enough to the stuffed cat named Brownie that she could be her daughter. This smaller stuffed cat was soon purchased, and Brownie Junior, or Junior for short, was born.

Brownie and Brownie Junior soon became the center of a game that I would play with my mom during commercials while we watched Nick at Nite. I would voice Junior while my mom voiced Brownie, and the two cats would have a nightly adventure. Soon, some of my other toys joined in on the game. Brownie somehow ended up married to Animal (from The Muppets), while Junior ended up married to R2-D2. Then, in a plot that was worthy of a soap opera, Junior divorced R2-D2 and married King Kong. Don't feel too bad for R2-D2, though. He ended up marrying Godzilla, who was totally a girl in this scenario thanks to the '90s Matthew Broderick Godzilla film's influence on me.

Junior was eventually immortalized in a short story when my fourth-grade teacher revealed an after-school activity that our school was hosting that would benefit kids who were interested in writing. As a part of this activity, kids from our class and kids from a few different schools would have the opportunity to write a short story and then have it published as a book that we would be allowed to keep. I thought this sounded pretty cool and immediately joined up. "But what am I going to write about?" I asked myself.

My mind soon turned to Junior and the gang. King Kong, Godzilla, R2-D2, and Animal were all out since they were copyrighted characters, but Junior and her mother were easily fair game for a story. I decided to write a story that made Junior into a private detective who happened to be a cat and gave her a sidekick, who if I remember correctly was a skunk. The two characters were hired to find a missing animal, and they ended up staying at an inn run by Brownie, who in this story wasn't Junior's mother.

I don't think it was long after this before Brownie and Junior became nothing more than a memory, as the nightly game with my mom stopped. I'll never forget how they helped me get over the loss of my pet, though. But don't feel too bad for me not growing up with a real life cat. As I've gotten older, my allergies have subsided a bit, and I now have a whopping total of four cats in my household. Pictured below, you can see Mommy, Baby, Stinky, and Brownie. (yes, I named another cat Brownie)

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Superman Posted on Sep 22, 2017 at 09:31 PM

@Hoju - A child's imagination is a wonderful thing indeed. I sometimes wonder what made me think up such twisted storylines.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Sep 14, 2017 at 09:28 PM

The imagination of a child is amazing. I really want to see that Brownie soap opera story play out with R2 getting dumped for King Kong, then getting hitched with Godzilla. Copyrights? Bah! We want entertainment!

Superman Posted on Aug 29, 2017 at 09:18 PM

@Vaporman - I'm sure they would all be great friends. Famous cats have got to stick together. :)

@NLogan - At least you got to visit your dog at your grandma's place. I didn't mention it in the article because I thought it was kind of a downer, but I think I only got to visit the original Brownie once before the family member who adopted her moved to an apartment that didn't allow pets. We're not really sure what became of Brownie after that, but I hope that this family member found a new owner to adopt her and didn't just leave her to fend for herself.

NLogan Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 02:02 PM

Brownie Jr. looks like a Snow Leopard. I found out I had an allergy to my pet dog when I was 4 or 5. Asthma the works. This dog guarded me and my twin's cradle letting none pass. I remember holding onto her fur and squeezing her to me. I remember feeding her bones in her new temporary home under the porch. Eventually she was moved to grandma's house because we still got sick. I snuck out to visit as much as possible. I never had any dander producing fur bearing animal pets since, although we did catch or have all manner of snakes and lizards, pet fire newts, and a fish tank.

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 07:25 AM

Brownie and Brownie Junior would likely be great friends with Meowwy Wowwy and his gang. What? You don't know who Meowwy Wowwy is?! He's only the most famous stuffed cat of all time. Has his own TV show and does seasonal specials?! Not ringing a bell? Meowwy will be so disappointed to hear this. LOL

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