Mary Anne Spier was a full-on cat lady before cat ladies were a big thing in pop culture (and before Taylor Swift made it seem cool). Despite being the only baby-sitter with a dreamy boyfriend, Mary Anne’s heart is actually 100% devoted to her gray striped kitten Tigger. Whatever does it for you, Mary Anne. She’s obsessed with Tigs, and so are the kids who live nearby – Jamie Newton, Gabbie and Myriah Perkins, and Charlotte Johanssen. They all come over to play with Tigger in Mary Anne’s front yard. She loves it. Logan, who’s there to hang out with Mary Anne, seems to love it less. He might be annoyed that he’s not allowed in the house when Mr. Spier isn’t there, or that Mary Anne’s time and thoughts are always taken up by cats and baby-sitting. Who knows?
Mary Anne goes to a BSC meeting and when she comes back she can’t find Tigger. She starts to freak out, but her dad convinces her Tigger’s probably off napping somewhere or having a little kitten adventure and he’ll be home soon. But… Tigger isn’t back by morning and Mary Anne goes into panic mode. Unfortunately, she has a baby-sitting job lined up (for Logan’s younger brother and sister) so she doesn’t have time to look for Tigger too much.
At the Bruno house, Logan’s little brother Hunter (who’s allergic to basically everything, including dust, pollen, mold, cats, dogs, and horses) is having maj allergy attacks. Meanwhile, Logan’s sister Kerry is being unusually chipper and helpful. WAIT A MINUTE. Tigger’s missing, Hunter’s allergic to cats, Hunter is having an allergy attack, and Kerry is being suspiciously helpful and keeps running off to her room? I think I see what’s going on here, but let’s let Mary Anne figure it out for herself.
Kristy calls an emergency meeting of the Baby-sitters Club so the group can help Mary Anne find Tigger. I would also like to point out that there is a spelling/grammar error in this book; it should be affects instead of effects:
They decide to make MISSING posters and, after pooling all their money together, to offer a $30 reward for his safe return. She calls Logan later to talk about Tigger’s disappearance, but Logan couldn’t care less. Mary Anne is bothered about how little he cares. His siblings had said he’d been grumpy lately, but Mary Anne is surprised he’s being so insensitive. (Mary Anne, he’s a thirteen-year-old boy, not your therapist.)
The BSC gang gathers at Mary Anne’s the next day to put posters up all over the neighborhood. They cover telephone poles and fill mailboxes and look around a little more but still no sign of Tigger. Mary Anne meets a kid who claims he’s seen Tigger and Mary Anne is hopeful, but then she realizes he’s lying and she’s pissed. Logan tells Mary Anne maybe she’s overreacting when she says this is the worst thing that ever happened to her. (Her mom died, remember?) A day later Mary Anne gets a threatening note in her mailbox:
Yikes bikes, Stoneybrook. Mary Anne calls Logan. He still doesn’t react much. Mary Anne’s like, da fuq?! She calls Kristy. Kristy, of course, reacts. As Mary Anne says, “Kristy loves emergencies.” They decide to make a plan at the next day’s BSC meeting, which Logan will also attend. Mary Anne brings the ransom note and wonders if she should tell her dad. Logan’s like “NO ADULTS, NO PARENTS, NO POLICE!” Okay, Logan, this isn’t an episode of Criminal Minds. But Logan does have a good idea: Mary Anne should drop off an envelope of fake money on the big rock while the rest of the BSC hides in the woods to catch whoever comes to pick it up. TO CATCH A CATNAPPER.
Mary Anne is still a little hurt by Logan’s grumpiness, but Dawn tells her that she knows Logan’s been having trouble at baseball practice and got yelled at by his coach and made fun of by his teammates. Hm. She can’t dwell on that, though, because they have to put their plan into action. And they do. And finally someone comes to get the envelope – and it’s the same kid who lied to Mary Anne about seeing Tigger. Logan chases him down and grabs him and demands Tigger. Of course, the kid doesn’t have Tigger and just wanted some fast cash. Logan, who apparently loves him some cop shows, is like “THAT’S A FELONY AND YOU’RE GOING TO THE SLAMMER FOR FIFTY YEARS!” (Bonus points for saying “slammer”, Logan.)
Mary Anne goes back to the Bruno’s to baby-sit for Hunter while Logan and Kerry go to the dentist. Hunter is still allergy-riffic. Since his room is pretty bare, she’s like, why you so sneezy?! Finally, Hunter takes Mary Anne into Kerry’s room and opens Kerry’s closet door. There, in a box on the floor, is Tigger. (I KNEW IT!) No wonder Hunter’s allergies are so bad. When Mrs. Bruno comes home, Mary Anne tells her everything and she’s able to leave with Tigger. Even though Logan seems surprised when he finds out Kerry has had Tigger, Mary Anne thinks he knew all along and was trying to protect his sister. She tells him so, and they don’t talk for a few days.
But eventually she invites Logan over and they talk. She believes him when he says he didn’t know about Tigger, and he explains that he thinks he’s about to be kicked off the baseball team and it’s made him stressed-out and grumpy. They make up (minus any heavy petting, because this is The Baby-Sitters Club and not Sweet Valley High) and everyone lives happily ever after.
(Side note: this book contains a lot of foreshadowing. For instance, Mary Anne’s dad and Dawn’s mom have been dating again. And Mimi’s health seems to be in rapid decline, which was also evident in Book 24.)