Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Three: Case File No. 50-154

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AMBER LOVE 27-APR-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. We are in the final stretch of YEAR THREE still because we started cataloging our criminal investigations in the spring.

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. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.

Add a little suburban fantasy to your reading with a story about friendships, shapeshifters, small town politics, animal rights, and folklore. Ursula, a bisexual woman of color protagonist, trying to hold her life together and save her friends from being murdered.


Where We Left Off:

We had another visit from a toad friend, Anaxyrus daemonia or vodník, Nick von Vodníci. The critters of the realm have many concerns about the state of the neighborhood.


Kung-Fu Yoga:

Since the COVID-19 quarantine, Gus and Oliver have been even more interested in doing yoga at home with their humans. By “doing yoga,” I mean the classic mat movements you’re familiar with, but also other parts of the eight limbs of yoga like saucha (purification) and community service. As part of the yoga life, there are other aspect too which naturally fall within the definitions of the main eight elements. Karma means action. Seva basically translates to community service.

I did my first live streaming of Yoga for Depression and Anxiety on April 11. Both cats had their moments to participate in the practice. Oliver was the one to clean himself and lick his butt. Gus walked across the laptop in Guszilla style for an extreme closeup.

I’ve been doing daily meditations with a couple fellow teachers Julie Lain & Bill Amos through Zoom which they host Monday through Saturday at 8AM; they accept tips through PayPal. I’ve also started Bodhipaksa’s 28-day “daily meditations during a crisis” which is normally a paid course and he’s offering for free. You may remember Bodhipaksa from his appearance on Vodka O’Clock.

Gus lying with his head and paws on the yoga mat

Every morning Oliver finds The Cook in time for their 8AM meditation. He also tends to join her for chair yoga lessons. He gets his own chair though he’s not above stealing hers.

Gus is usually in his box bed next to my desk for the 8AM meditations. Both of them vied for the job of producer during my recordings for Insight Timer. If I’m doing anything live, I have to mute my microphone or Gus might start crying. I’ve had to edit him out of recordings.

Besides meditation, both cats love the movement practices of yoga. Gus is usually interested for about half of it, maybe less. Then he finds a spot nearby to lie down and watch, bathe, or nap.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are other forms of yoga like community service. On one of our adventures up the mountain, I discovered that there was an old broom on the porch of the main house. It was seriously old and the bristles were hard and stubby, but it did the job and was better than if I just used my appendages to sweep away stuff.

Gus on neighbor's porch

Gus was being good during our trespassing and staying nearby. He likes to look in the windows and sit on the boulders around the house. I found a couple of plastic bags among the garbage on the porch and started cleaning it up. I swept out the pile of dead leaves that been building for a couple years. Anything that looked like it might serve a purpose was put inside the plastic tub that was there. Then Gus and I took the full bags of garbage down to our house and the neighbors’ porch looked a bit nicer — not that any of the relatives would notice.

collage of Gus on neighbor's porch

This is the property where I cleaned a ton of plastic and other garbage accessible from the trails back in 2018. Since then several new people have moved into the neighborhood including their dogs. There are more people using the trails, but the garbage I’ve been spotting lately looks like old crap that I never got to pick up.

Gus looking into bags of trash

It does feel good to get the satisfaction of gratitude from someone when they acknowledge that you did something nice for them. In these cases, it’s never going to happen. It’s “invisible” kindness because the owner is a senile old man in a nursing home and his relatives literally don’t give a shit about all this wooded land and the house. I cleaned it because Gus likes going out there and that means I tag along. If I’m going to be there with the boy, it’s going to look better than how I found it (to my abilities of course).

If you peruse the list of the Eight Limbs of Yoga below, perhaps you’ll notice there are things you do that are yoga and you didn’t even realize it. Extra points if your animal companion does it with you!

It’s fun how many pets get involved in their companions’ practices. There are commercialized and fundraising classes like goat yoga, dog-a, and cat cafe yoga. #Adventurecats like Gus love to go into nature for forest bathing and fresh air. That’s definitely a form of healing and meditation. And though I say we’re trespassing, the owners have always given us permission to hike there since we moved out here in 1980-whatever.

 


Eight Limbs of Yoga

Yamas

  • Ahimsa – non-violence/harm
  • Satya – truthfulness
  • Asteya – non-stealing
  • Brahmacharya – moderation; chastity/renunciation
  • Aparigraha – non-possessiveness/greed

Niyamas

  • Saucha – purity/cleanliness
  • Santosha – contentment/not seeking
  • Tapas – self-discipline
  • Svadhyaya – self-study
  • Isvara Pranidhana – surrender to God

Asana

Pranayama

Pratyhara

  • withdrawal or sensory transcendence; awareness away from the world

Dharana

Dhyana

  • meditation – doesn’t matter if it’s a silent sit, walking, guided imagery, or mindfulness (link to my Insight Timer feed)

Samadhi

  • enlightenment; awake-ness

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