THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY

Cats photoshopped as noir detectives

AMBER LOVE 29-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-EIGHT: THE BIG COUNTRY

Expand for Adventures with Gus Table of Contents

Where we left off…

THE WINCHESTER-NABU ESTATE. EXTERIOR.

New Jersey hasn’t faced devastating snow so far, but there’s always February. We’ve had rather pleasant snowfall, in my opinion. A few inches at time with some days for melting in between. There were weeks when the temperatures wouldn’t rise into the double digits. It’s finally feeling like a more habitable environment even at a mere 25ºF.

 

Gus

For a while, Detective Inspector Guster Nabu was interested in maintaining his perimeter checks outside regardless of the snow or wet ground. He wasn’t thrilled with it, mind you. It always took about fifteen minutes for him to acclimate. Then after a few adventures in the snow, he seemed over it. Walks after then we kept to the cleared sidewalks and parking areas, but that was pretty rare. We mostly stayed inside.

The exciting part of our snowy adventures was how much easier it was to see all the visitors that came through the estate. The snow showed off tracks much better than when the ground is grassy or covered in leaves. Here are the ones we found that are possibly identified correctly. Gus insisted the tracks get documented for Oliver’s evidence files.

There was also one decent day for tree climbing. Gus found precisely one of his favorite trees not coated in snow. Because this tree is away from any of the places vehicles go (other than when it’s time to remake the trails), I felt he was safe enough to unhook from his leash. He was going up so the only thing he might have possibly encountered would be a bird or a squirrel and they stay away from him. Gus did well being coached. He climbed up the arch to the top. I thought he might go down the other side, but instead he went back down the same side. Then he did it again and found a spot at the top where he could safely balance for a couple minutes; then once again came back down the arch. He was super about it and so happy to have outdoor training.

In these recent cases of intruders, there’s not a lot Gus can do. The only problematic one is that darned white spotted cat, The Stranger. He’s a troublemaker. These other critters come through with permission. I did get to see the red fox running through the parking lot across the street so that’s a good sign that we still have at least one in the neighborhood (not sure how the farmers feel about that though).

In case fairy tales get you scared, foxes and coyotes aren’t much danger to humans at all unless they’re sick. They will however go after small livestock or pets so backyard farmers of chickens, rabbits, even duck ponds might attract them. Some wolf preserves include a couple other species of animals because they have the space and veterinary contacts. If you can get to Lakota Wolf Preserve in northern NJ (by the Delaware Water Gap) you’ll see an incredible variety of wolf types (and a ittle baby born last year, Sassa!), bobcats, and at least one fox (an old critter with a tumor) who have been there a long time. I’ve been in “bear mode” since November writing this manuscript, but Gus and I want all our native wildlife to coexist at they’re meant to.