The Case of the Missing Cat's Eye
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||black-socked, dexterity, dubbed, elegance, emerald-studded, feline, finest, glass-topped, jewel-studded, languid, lashes, marble-shaped, philosophy, purrrfect, reflection, rescheduled
||Miss Amber, New York
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The Case of the Missing Cat's Eye
By Colleen Messina
1 The Queen of Sheba stretched her slender leg across her expensive, blue velvet cushion. The prevailing philosophy was that whatever the Queen of Sheba wanted, she must have.
2 If you think the queen was a person, you are mistaken. The Queen was an elegant Siamese cat, with fluffy, pampered fur and almond-shaped emerald eyes. She had sleek black socks, tail, and mask. The cat had every possible feline luxury, from jewel-studded collars to gourmet food. You might say that her life was purrrfect! She accepted these accolades from her owner without a shred of self-consciousness. She felt, as most cats do, that she deserved the finest things in life for simply existing.
3 The Queen of Sheba was the prized pet of Miss Amber, the opera star. Aida opened tonight at the Metropolitan, and Miss Amber, dressed in her finest white silk, had the lead soprano part. She stroked her cat in her velvet basket next to her dressing table. Bright lights ringed the mirror, casting the best possible light on Miss Amber's elegant reflection.
4 "Now, dear Sheba, I will sing my heart out tonight! You, my pretty pet, will have to wait for me here," said Miss Amber with a musical trill in her voice. She practiced her music in her dressing room before a performance, much to her cat's horror. Sheba's tender ears did not appreciate arias and scales.
5 The cat stretched a black-socked paw out of her basket and with a mischievous flick, grabbed a catnip mouse from the dressing table with almost human dexterity. The Queen of Sheba's antics relieved her mistress of her nervousness. Even though Miss Amber had been a star for years, she still felt uneasy for her first performances.
6 Miss Amber brushed her blond hair back from her face. She looked like a Rubens portrait, with porcelain skin and delicately rosy cheeks. Her brown eyes, ringed with eye liner, stared back at her with dark, fringed lashes. The flecks of amber in her eyes matched her name. She reached for a small box on her glass-topped dressing table. It was another prized possession, the costly evidence of her spectacular success as an opera star.
7 In the jewelry box rested a serene gem. The enormous emerald, dubbed the Cat's Eye, reminded Miss Amber of her Siamese pet. Its deep flecks of gold and teal caught the light and shot it back in a million sparkling fragments across the wall. Miss Amber purchased the necklace in Egypt. The large marble-shaped stone had a ringlet of gold attached to one side so it could slide easily onto a gold chain. Miss Amber always wore it for opening night performances.
8 Miss Amber stood by her window. She breathed in the soft summer air blowing in from the city. It smelled like car exhaust, but this was oddly comforting because she had grown up in New York. A tap on the door distracted her, but it was just the maid. She was carrying a tray with a pitcher of cold lemonade and a glass of ice. She nervously put it on the dressing table and left without a word, her dark eyes respectfully downcast so as not to disturb the opera singer.
9 When Miss Amber returned to her dressing table, she screamed. All of her opera training made her screams especially effective! The Metropolitan security officers pounded on the door in less than a minute.
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