Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 03-159

cat logo brown

AMBER LOVE 01-JUNE-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, and Year Three cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. Thank you for all your financial and social support! Oliver and Gus are looking forward to bringing you more fascinating discoveries and investigations into the chipmunk mafia, the blue jay gang, the neighborhood critters, and cryptid sightings.

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.


Where We Left Off:

We had a vulture visit the estate for a couple days and tried to figure out what he was doing here.


Cut Snake:

Content Warning: This is about snakes. Some images are pixelated. The original photos will be under a fold.

Content Warning 2: Discussions of Greek myths where sexual assault occurred.

phobia warning snake


Although the weather has been a little strange (a noreaster approaches in mid-May as I write this), the animals are more ready for spring socializing and mating compared to the flowers. I’ve mentioned the abundance of blue jays and chipmunks on Instagram @amberunmasked. I wasn’t expecting to see any signs of snakes or their otherworldly counterparts, Gorgons, until summer.

Gus searching for snake in pile of wood and junk

I remember that on this particular day the sun was out bright. I could feel the drastic difference when moving in and out of shade. Gus was primed for stalking and hunting. Since there’s always a new pile of junk appearing somewhere, I wasn’t surprised to see one in front of the main bay of the hangar. A broken toaster oven. Worn out muffler. Various other mechanical debris. A small pile of firewood that didn’t fit anywhere else. A few inches away is a disconnected garden hose that was supposed to be unkinkable but proved to not live up to its packaging claim. It was sprawled around the area and under the mobile command unit like a skinny suburban anaconda. All this crap was on top of dead leaves left over from last autumn. Meaning — this was an ideal spot for critters to hide, nest, and find their ways either into the garage or under it.

Snake Photo Under Fold
snake in the sun on a pile of dead leaves

Gus spotted the little snake from a distance. Since looking upon the face of an infantile Gorgon while still in its snakey stage doesn’t turn a person to stone, I looked around where Gus lurked and took photos of the creature. The poor little thing did not want to be bothered. I think it was only out looking for some sun. Gus had other ideas. He needed a CI that could be stealth and get information about the free-roaming cats that have been trespassing.

Gus trying to catch snake

The ruthless rogue detective jabbed and pawed around forcing the snake to flee for cover. It managed to slide around the corner of the building looking for safety in the row of pallets and cinder blocks. Did Gus know something about this particular snake or have some reason to go after it other than his passion for hunting?

Gus catching snake

Did you know that of the original three Gorgons — Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa — only Medusa was mortal? Medusa supposedly had different parents depending on certain sources, so I’m unclear as to how they were considered three sisters. Did they grow up together? Was Medusa a foster child passed from home to home because she’s the one with snakes for hair? However, most sources state that they had the same parents, Phorcys and Ceto.

“In some variations of the myth, Medusa was born a monster like her sisters, described as girded with serpents, vibrating tongues, gnashing their teeth, having wings, brazen claws, and enormous teeth.”  Garcia, Brittany. “Medusa.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 10 May 2020, http://www.ancient.eu/Medusa/.

In the legacy of victim-blaming, that same site has this alarming addition:

“Medusa was a formidable foe, since her hideous appearance was able to render any onlooker into stone. In some variations of the myth, Medusa was born a monster like her sisters, described as girded with serpents, vibrating tongues, gnashing their teeth, having wings, brazen claws, and enormous teeth. In later myths (mainly in Ovid) Medusa was the only Gorgon to possess snake locks, because they were a punishment from Athena. Accordingly, Ovid relates that the once beautiful mortal was punished by Athena with a hideous appearance and loathsome snakes for hair for having been raped in Athena’s temple by Poseidon.” 

Garcia, Brittany. “Medusa.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 10 May 2020, http://www.ancient.eu/Medusa/.

I didn’t realize Athena was such a bitch. Then again, she used Medusa’s likeness on her shield for protection and to horrify her opponents. This sort of design choice can be seen today in sports mascots and the choices of team colors. If Athena wasn’t carrying a shield with the Gorgon design, she wore an amulet.

By the way, Athena’s dear ol’ dad, Zeus, was a fucking rapist so we’re lucky any of his kids have redeeming qualities to make up for their father’s shitty ways. This may explain her victim-blaming personality. She was also a victim of an attempted sexual assault, so it’s quite unclear why Athena wouldn’t be the patron saint of survivors.

Medusa gif

Gus appeared to have channeled the skills and determination of Perseus when it comes to hunting creatures down. He knows when he needs to walk away from a particular battle in order to be victorious later. He gave up on the snake by the time they completely skirted down the row of cinder block stacks. The bird feeding tree was busy with birds and squirrels and the commotion called to Gus. He was willing to leave the baby Gorgon and get back to it later.

The next day, Gus picked up where he left off. Only he did it without appropriate human assistance. The Cook was bringing in groceries and the back door wasn’t closed tightly. Gus can easily reach up to the door handle. I’m not even sure if he needed to. It might have been ajar. However it happened, I was summoned by The Cook’s yelling about Gus breaking out and running off up the hill. Fortunately, he headed for the last location that was exciting — the junkyard.

Gus finding snake in grass pixelated

Both The Cook and I were impressed when Gus calmly walked right over to me to be harnessed. I’m so glad he ran some place safe. He retraced his steps from the previous day looking for the baby Gorgon. As soon as he was harnessed, he led me around to the privet drive and walked up the hill. He stopped as Mole Knoll where something drew his attention. I assumed a mole. No. It was the same baby Gorgon as the previous day.

Gus close to the curled up snake in the grass pixelated

Gus found the snake in the grass and did his usual “playful” interaction. The snake did not want to play. Whether Gus laid on top of it or when he stood alongside it, the snake sought protection by coiling up and trying to be still. It usually worked. Once it stopped moving, Gus would walk away. But then as soon as the snake tried slithering to wherever it was headed, Gus would notice and capture it again.

Snake and Gus gallery

At least the terrified snake was able to give us some information. Hopefully it is not too traumatized by the events. Faustus has been seen a pretty far distance away from the Winchester-Nabu estate. The new free-roaming kitty who is grey and black striped on top and white underneath with white boots belongs to the new neighbors across the street and two houses down. This is also the house where a large dog busted out the front door and nearly got smashed by a dump truck. Our front yards are only a few here. We are right on the road. This is why when Gus does escape, so far we’ve been lucky that he’s gone out the back. Going out the front doors here is dangerous.

Case Findings:

The baby Gorgon proved to have valuable information. Hopefully it is willing to serve as a confidential informant.

Case Status: Closed

Perseus holding Medusa's head

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.