THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY
YEAR TWO: CASE FILE NO. 03-55
￼AMBER LOVE 21-MAY-2018 You can catch up on Year One of stories about the work done at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. This 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.
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Where we left off:
Oliver and I have been identifying bones while Gus has a pending Internal Affairs investigation.
Despite Gus’ tactics using brutal force at times and the fact that it has landed him in trouble with the Supreme Court of Squirrels, he has not shown any signs of altering that behavior. It’s his instinct to stalk, pounce, catch, play, and kill. Now that it’s spring, critters are everywhere and Gus is looking for them.
There are specific spots where chipmunks prefer to live which include any of the rock walls and timber piles. A couple of those locations are on the Winchester-Nabu estate proper. Therefore, Oliver believes it’s in everyone’s best interest if there are contracts for who is allowed to lived here. Oliver is easy-going and welcomes all types of critters whether they scurry or slither. He wants a record of who is here — kind of like an informal census so we can monitor wildlife populations.
Oliver leaves it to Gus and me to go around and get the paperwork signed preferably with photo identification to attach. The thing is, most of the critters don’t want to come out and talk to us. When things get frustratingly close to a signed deal, Gus can get a bit excited. Such was the case with a rotund fella who lives in Bunny Hollow.
Tamas Marmotini is a chipmunk with a bold personality. He was in no mood for Gus. We caught up with him in the trees bordering Bunny Hollow. I unhooked Gus’ leash so he could go under the bushes freely without me having to crawl through bugs and dirt behind him. At first, I thought the critter Gus spotted was one of the squirrels. I was happy to see a chipmunk some place besides in the rock walls. I don’t know if chipmunks moving into Bunny Hollow means it’s being gentrified. Honestly bunnies are rather gentrified critters already and have mentioned a desire to expand their domain.
I walked around the trail that runs on the other side of the border of bushes. I could watch Gus at the bottom of the tree and I had a good visual of Tamas Marmotini. He was trying to figure out a way to avoid Gus at the bottom and began looking for detours through the branches. He hung out on the one tree for a significant amount of time so I talked to him from where I was standing. I never made any indication that he shouldn’t be scared of Gus, but I wanted him to know he didn’t need to be scared of me. All I wanted were photos.
Tamas managed to change trees a couple of times while Gus looked the other way, distracted by a bird. Gus popped through the foliage and came to the trail. He stalked the inside Witches’ Circle Trail then doubled back to the bush border. Tamas was caught off-guard and made his best attempt to climb straight up the tree. Gus has improved his climbing skills dramatically and his confidence with tree-parkour is up. He didn’t need a running start this time. He jumped and climbed until he was level with Tamas.
I couldn’t reach through and grab the chipmunk. I honestly thought it might tear me apart in that agitated state. I watched and bore witness.
Tamas made a couple of good circles around the tree trunk confusing Gus. The cat tried to swat while holding on and not slipping. Tamas went one way and was startled by the face of his enemy so close to his. He tried to turn around, but instead he tumbled backward and somersaulted through the air. When he landed on the ground, Gus thumped down to his side. Tamas ran and got a foot away, but then Gus pounced with both meaty paws landing on top of the rodent. I heard a squeal.
The struggle continued until it looked like Tamas would get away, but Gus wasn’t distracted this time. He took Tamas in his jaws and proudly exited the bushes. Gus growled while carrying Tamas all the way across Bunny Hollow, down Garter Snake Ridge and into the backyard.
I hoped Tamas wasn’t dead. “Okay, Gus, you got him. Now let him go and make sure he’s okay.”
He released the chipmunk and lay down in the emerald green grass like a mighty jungle panther. Thankfully, Tamas was alive! He was curled up and wide-eyed. Gus poked at him a couple times and that fierce pudgy chipmunk was ready to fight back. With his belly hidden by his back feet and tail, Tamas’ front paws moved to defend himself against Gus.
I hooked Gus’ harness back to his leash and held him in place. Tamas kept trying to roll over but wasn’t able to do it. Gus pulled on his harness like a determined rottweiler, but I kept him at bay with one hand gripping tightly on the nylon straps. With the other hand, I gingerly reached out a finger to assist Tamas in his rollover. He finally did it and ran for several feet! He looked up over the grass to assess where Gus was and if he was still in danger. I picked up Gus, who surprisingly didn’t fight me, and carried him away. The next time we were in that area, I looked around for any sign of Tamas in case his injuries were too great (like the bluebird). No body. Thankfully.
Case File No. 03-55
After capturing Tamas Marmotini, we believe there are three chipmunk families living within the borders of the Winchester-Nabu estate. There are more outside our borders which show that we have a healthy chipmunk population on the mountain.