The Mystery of the Lost Cat

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Mystery of the Lost Cat is an American silent movie, produced and directed by Alice Guy-Blaché, Solax Film Corporation, released on 16 april 1913 (in USA), Black & White. Third Burstup Homes movie in a series of 4.

Mrs. Ray's pet cat disappears mysteriously, and Burstup Homes is called to investigate. Burstup uses deductive and inductive methods, examining cat paw prints, hair, music, and artifacts. He arrests people connected to cats and eventually finds four crooks and a woman. Mrs. Ray's cat returns, and Burstup is discharged. Despite his defeat, Burstup remains confident and believes the police are jealous of his abilities.

Survival status: Unknown.



The Moving Picture World (5 april 1913, p. 26)

THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST CAT (April 16). — While Mrs. Ray is getting supper for her pet cat, it jumps out of the window and, like many another feline, temporarily disappears most mysteriously. After futile search she calls up Burstup Homes, who is delighted to take the case because of its deductive and inductive possibilities. Burstup comes to Mrs. Ray's apartment and elaborate and ceremonious and he shrouds his movements in considerable mystery. He examines the cat's paw prints, finds cat's hair and a piece of music entitled "And the Cat Came Back." This suspect offers a connecting link in his chain of evidence and so he lassoes him and, after tying up the musician, he proceeds to secure further evidence. Going further down the fire escape to the second story, he finds an artist at work painting a cat. This is further evidence of the man's complicity in the disappearance of Mrs. Ray's Angora, and so he pulls in the artist and ties him also to the rope, thus making another link in the chain of evidence. In another part of the building he locates a colored cook frying sausages. Naturally he suspects the cook and questions the originality of the sausages. He continues on his way through the building and arrests many persons on trivial clues which directly or indirectly connect them with cats. Finally Burstup reaches the basement and here, he imagines, is his crowning success. He finds four crooks, three men and a woman, who are quarreling about a fur piece. Burstup sees the fur and thinks it is the cat's skin, appropriates same, and arrests the crooks and drags them along with his other suspects to the police station. He ties them all to the mudguard of his automobile, which breaks down, and which finally gets to the police station with the aid of a "one horse" power. In the meantime Mrs. Ray's cat comes back and she goes to the police station and advises Burstup, and all the prisoners are consequently discharged by the judge, and Burstup leaves amidst jeers. This ignominious defeat by no means dismays him and he goes forth as proud and as confident as ever and is convinced that the police are jealous of his reputation and ability.