THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY

Cats photoshopped as noir detectives

AMBER LOVE 15-JAN-2018 My work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. Also, I’m an Amazon Influencer so you can shop through my personal recommendations and buy my books with these handy links below:

ADVENTURES WITH GUS – CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX: THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

Expand for Adventures with Gus Table of Contents

Where we left off…

THE WINCHESTER-NABU ESTATE. INTERIOR. TRAPPED BY BLIZZARD.

“You hear even a hint that a blizzard’s coming, Roxanne Giselle, you go straight to the store and buy toilet paper, you hear me? And make a pot of chili or stew. Don’t get caught out. I don’t want a phone call saying you starved to death, stuck in the house with no stew.”
― Kristen Ashley, Rock Chick Redemption

It’s hard to find new ways to describe the boredom of an energetic feline stuck indoors when he longs to spend half his day exploring the greater world. Detective Inspector Guster Nabu is letting his frustration known far and wide throughout the The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency offices and the entire residence.

The interesting thing I observed was that Professor Oliver Winchester seems content and has shifted his focus. As I said in the previous chapter, Ollie likes sleeping and enjoys the cozy life, but at night, he’s been pursuing a new favorite type of investigation: paranormal activity.

Oliver and Gus

Stinkbugs and mice moved back in to try and stay alive. The bugs are more annoying in my opinion. They’re visible. They like to divebomb people or land on the TV. And of course, they are stinky. The mice are in the walls. The clawing, scratching, pitter-patters are easy to hear at particular spots. I recently found they had created a pantry in my coat closet. I have one of those plastic shoe holders on the end and found two of the cubicles filled with shells of seeds (I assume from the supply of birdseed). What’s weird is when Oliver reacts when there’s no noise I can detect with human ears.

Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

I often find Oliver lying in front of an old heating vent which hasn’t been operable since the heating system was upgraded to baseboards. That vent is in the room that I grew up in, my childhood/teen bedroom. I used to lie in front of the one-foot wire mesh grate in order to get some warmth during frigid weather. One day, I realized that I could hear everything going on in the basement. The basement is my definition of frightening. It’s unfinished, cracked cement and plaster, and the only cool feature i a root cellar through a small (scary looking) door. This basement was extended and now, in my opinion, it’s even scarier. The new room looks like a place a serial killer would torture people.

Before the expansion, this creepy dank basement was used for painting miniatures, trains, and regular Dungeons & Dragons sessions. I lived through the 80s when D&D and rock music were concerned evil, black magic used to summon the devil. Not to say, you can’t, but jeez, some people just want to inhale glue fumes while building pretty little worlds on old plywood and listen to Led Zeppelin. Hey, it was a time.

I already know — maybe you’d call it a belief, but I say know — that several of our past cats show up occasionally. I’m not the only one that has has seen them or felt them throughout the years. I don’t know what other non-corporeal entities are lurking here. I’m content knowing that there are ghost cats. Oliver not only stares at that old vent, but he also stares at the ceilings and walls. Again, I think it’s funny when there’s nothing I can hear, but he’s mesmerized.

Gus & Oliver

If I had any drawing skills, I wouldn’t mind sketching out a Scooby-Doo style crew for Oliver and Gus. Both of them are huge fans of eating like Shaggy and Scooby so that part matches up well.

Oliver ghosthunting

This house is pretty old, but not nearly as old as what we were told when moving in. They said it was from 1770, but after a little bit of research, someone told me that it wasn’t true. I did some of research on the town recently for The Night of Terror chapter and learned about the first buildings in the town. This house wasn’t one of them. It was a store at some point, but not in the 18th century.

Oliver
“I know something is there.”

 

Besides our own past cats, I am curious what other kinds of pets were here. Something tells me that Oliver knows. Maybe his sudden stop dead and bite his own back behavior is really a sign of something else creeping on him and not sensitive skin. I can imagine a woman in the 1950s having a fancy birdcage with finches to sing to her (incidentally, I recall being told my great-grandmother had finches). I’ll gladly take this up personally with Jackson Galaxy if he wants to pay us a visit.

The twitching that happens through the cat’s back is, at least partially, a spasm, but also a way of getting that energy out. You may notice your cat walking across the room, suddenly stopping as if a fly just landed on him and then very deliberately grooming himself. This self-soother is also a self-regulator.
― Jackson Galaxy, Total Cat Mojo: Everything You Need to Know to Care for Your Favorite Feline Friend

 

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