Cats photoshopped as noir detectives

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Expand for Adventures with Gus Table of Contents


If you’ve been following along with my own life for a while, you’ll know that besides being a cat biographer, I’m also an avid TV watcher and a huge fan of Leverage and White Collar. What I didn’t expect when adopting Gus was that he would display similar needs for adventure and theft as that of Parker and Neal Caffrey.

Cat Burglars of Note:

As stated, the first two notorious cat burglars who come to mind are Parker (Leverage) and Neal Caffrey (White Collar). There are also some that we need to become even more familiar with like Bernie Rhodenbarr from the Lawrence Block burglar series.

Of course there’s Gotham’s sexy siren, Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. She, her predecessors, and her many knock-offs are an entire genre unto themselves: femme fatale thieves. You can argue who came first, but the thing is, it’s Batman’s sometimes lover/sometimes nemesis that has garnered the most pop culture attention. (Spidey’s Black Cat isn’t nearly as well known, admit it.).

“I may be a burglar…but I’m an honest one, I hope, more or less.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I suppose we could even consider dear lil’ Bilbo Baggins in this mix. He was in fact hired to burgle that pesky ring. It wasn’t because it was made of valuable gems or belonged to nobility. It was a rather special ring of power though.

Walking the Fine Line:

Gus is a former Detective Inspector who didn’t last long at Scotland Yard. He’s pretty assimilated into American culture and loves his work at The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency with his partner, Professor Oliver Winchester. Gus still has the high energy of living on the street from his troubled youth. Now, a country boy, he generally dislikes everything except exploring the wilderness away from bustling every day life.

Like Neal Caffrey, Gus requires adrenaline boosts, and that kind of excitement doesn’t come from following the rules. I’ve caught this boy teaching himself to pick locks and open doors; he often practices his “ninja” skill of going undetected; and lately, he’s had a habit of stealing keys and trying to get art off the walls.



If it were allowed, I think Gus would love to explore museums. He would probably find ways of getting into trouble like hiding inside the bones of a dinosaur or setting off sensors.

I have not been told if there’s an end goal to his vandalism and escape attempts. I believe it’s practice. Our cases are unpredictable. We’ve had intruders, wildlife murders, faerie assaults, and human accidents. Gus is preparing to do whatever it takes even if that means skirting around legalities. Like his namesake, Burton Guster and partner Shawn Spencer, sometimes you have to break into a scene and examine the evidence without asking permission.

Plus, let’s not forget that Gus and Shawn teamed up with Pierre Despereaux more than once in confusing cases where Despereaux was both an ally and their target for law enforcement.

It’s also well known that private psychic detective, Shawn Spencer, doesn’t mind bringing along a cat on their investigations.

I haven’t been able to come up with a plausible scenario why either of them would need to take art off the wall. There is at least one hidden safe here, but that’s not how it’s accessed.

I do know plenty of art owners with art worth something on a particular market (comics and pop culture), but the thefts I’m familiar with have occurred at conventions with only two real exceptions. The theft of Drew Struzan’s art by his former manager was scandalous. However, that was long before the time of The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency and not even remotely in our geographic area. Closer to home was the familial dispute after the passing of another great artist, Frank Frazetta. Even though that did occur not far from here, it was decades ago. The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency certainly wasn’t called in to consult.

We may have fallen on some hard time, but I don’t think we need to resort to art theft just yet. I wouldn’t even know how to fence such things. Then again, it could be that Gus is more like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. If he has something worth stealing, it could be to return it to its proper owner or to a museum. That would be Oliver’s style, for sure.

Sometimes I think Gus is a little susceptible to my human emotions and tempted to find magickal artifacts that could be used for personal gain.

The boy has all these new skills and still won’t high five me.