THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY

AMBER LOVE 31-JULY-2017 My work is supported by the generous backers who tolerate my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. That means a new short story for backers.

ADVENTURES WITH GUS – CHAPTER TWELVE: STRAY CAT STRUT

Where we left off…

Detective Inspector Guster Nabu proudly caught a bluebird in a lilac bush. He has strong desires to go off-leash and hunt on his own.

THE WINCHESTER-NABU ESTATE. EXTERIOR.

Gus and Amber

Every morning Detective Inspector Guster Nabu wants to check the perimeter for new signs of intrusion. He’s had a considerable boost to his machismo since the bluebird incidentRead Ch11. It shows when he’s outside with his feet on the ground and nose in all the leaves. He has moments though where his timid scaredy-cat side shows.

Ollie and Gus in laundry baskets
“You had to have your own basket too, didn’t you, Gus?”

 

Gus puts on a good show about being a tough guy protecting his land, but when he’s inside, he reverts to his little boy personality. It’s normal for him and Professor Oliver Winchester to take turns with their squeaky baby cries or howling because they were left alone in a room.

Gus gave up being addicted to The Red DotRead Ch9 but enjoys some time with it every day. Sleep has been much appreciated. I think his kindness there isn’t because of the Dot though. If he gets a late evening walk, he may still wake Oliver up at 3am and then cry at 4am, but it’s not an incessant disturbance. I, for one, am happy that his enjoyment of The Red Dot wasn’t an addiction. Wouldn’t want a drug-addled Purrlock Holmes on my hands.

Gus

There are four known stray or free-roaming cats that come through the estate (DLH black, DLH calico, grey tabby, orange tabby). I wanted a moat with a bridge or two. Request denied. Gus divides his outside time tracking visitors of the feline and non-feline varieties. The only time I witnessed him turn tail was upon hearing the loud, aggressive huffs of the whitetail mother who probably had her two or three fawns hidden by the bushes. He still tries to actively pursue birds and rabbits though.

Gus
Tracking behind the workshop.

 

The lingering scents of strange cats steers Guster’s investigations closer to the buildings on the property. There’s a sitting area outside the wall of French doors in Oliver’s room which is a hot spot. The other is the Old Man’s garage and workshop which makes up a concentrated urbanesque subplot.

Gus on a shelf
“That Grumpy Old Man better not be referring to me with this sign!”

 

I thought it would be a good confidence builder to put Gus on a flower shelf (about 4 ft off the ground). He acted like he’d never been that high before, but he’s parkour’d all over the house onto tall dressers and turned over mattresses. At least now, if he wants to find a way to look through the workshop door, he knows how, though the angle isn’t great. He definitely senses activity in there because he usually spends time smelling the base of the foundation.

Gus and Amber
Expeditions are exhausting.

 

The once baby rabbits around the workshop are now big enough to be bouncing around freely. The Old Man spotted them one afternoon. Fortunately, Gus hasn’t seen them much. He leaped into a bush and grazed one, making it squeal, but he didn’t catch it. He still believes he could go head-to-head with an adult bunny and I think he underestimates how badass they can be. (There are 4 clips in the video below. Be sure to click the right arrow to move to the next one.)

We saw a bear while we were on the second floor veranda. It was too speedy to get any photos this time. It explains all the poop we’ve been finding. When Gus gives it a whiff, it doesn’t hold his interest the way scents of other cats, rabbits, and birds do. He must realize it outweighs him by a couple hundred pounds and is only passing through looking for berries or garbage.

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If you’re following our snippets of adventures on Instagram @amberunmasked, you may have seen the filming we did of tracking intruders. None of this is to imply that Oliver hasn’t been doing his fair share. He simply has different methods of investigating and more or less relies on his deductive reasoning skills. I think that’s why he spends a great deal of time meditating. He gets out when he can with his coach and driver. He’s perfectly comfortable observing every detail he can pick up from the porch whether it’s sounds, smells, or visual cues.

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