Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 18-174

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AMBER LOVE 14-SEP-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:

The last post was about a series of assaults on the fae folk and Gnomez Addams. No new incidents have been reported.


Grief Street:

This is not a post I ever wanted to write. Some time has passed so I’m not swelled up with the emotions and tears, but that may change as I click across the keyboard. It pains me to confess that there has been a death.

sgt burrows chipmunk

Gus murdered Sgt. Burrows.

As you know, I don’t discourage Gus nor Oliver from hunting, because it’s what they do and what nature intended. It’s also part of their jobs to get the rodents and bugs inside buildings. They don’t care about any differences between a mouse, chipmunk, or bunny. Gus can be a fierce little panther. I’m not sure of his exact success rate, but maybe he catches things he goes after 25% of the time. In other words, most things manage to escape.

Gus caught Sgt. Burrows before back in 2019. He was released successfully.

Even though Sgt. Burrows works for the Chipmunk Mafia under the rule of Cheeks Moretti, they are special residents to me. I loved feeding the Sarge at his bunker on the side of the house. It’s the space beneath one of the propane tanks. He would also try to elude Gus by going in drain pipes that aren’t hooked up to anything but have been lying across the sidewalk for years. I would place peanuts inside the pipes for him too, especially during patrols where Gus had him trapped in there.

Sgt. Burrows in his bunker

Sgt. Burrows was an important part of the critter life here. He lived along the border between our property and the neighbors’. Sometimes he would go up to the driveway near Cheeks Moretti’s personal territory. Mostly, Sarge stayed along that border, the side stoop in the daisies, or the front of the house where he could take advantage of the bird feeder before it came down.

sgt. burrows collage

I don’t have the right words to eulogize Sgt. Burrows. He is missed.

When Gus captured him, he caused fatal injuries which he normally doesn’t do. Gus is skilled in carrying critters in his jaws and at times has left small wounds, but fatal wounds are not common. If anything, the fatal blows come when he has a critter and spends thirty minutes throwing it in the air and making it run until catching it again and again. This case was just different. An anomaly. Gus snatched up the Sarge and clamped down hard.

sgt. burrows murder

He took the chipmunk’s body through the yard instead of to the back door. Gus finally came to a stop. I wanted to trade him treats for the chipmunk, but he wasn’t agreeable. Through the growls, I wedged my thumbs into Gus’ jaws and made him release his prey to me.

This was unusual indeed. I couldn’t feel a heartbeat as I held the little body. His eyes looked like glossy obsidian. My own eyes started tearing up. I wasn’t sure how to do chest compressions on something so small and fragile so I just rubbed his chest hoping it would work.

When I realized there was nothing that could be done, I allowed Gus to have the body for a few more minutes. It broke my heart, but it’s important that Gus keeps his skills.

Crime Scene Photos

When I couldn’t bear it any longer, I curled up Sgt. Burrows into my palm and shaped him into a circle like chipmunks do when they’re resting. We walked over to the north woods and I decided to lay his body to rest without covering him up in case any of the birds could use him for food. He looked sweet and peaceful next to the weeds under a huge tree. The next day he was gone.

memorial candle for sgt. burrows

Case Findings:

Gus was unusually aggressive with Sgt. Burrows and dealt a swift death. The previous chipmunk case appeared to be more gory, but that chipmunk lived.

Case Status: Closed

I’m trying not to be morbid in sharing the videos and photos. I think it’s important for artists who might happen to be looking for reference to see slow motion of a how a cat moves and their expressions along with the whole gruesome physics of the victim. It may also be of help to anyone in nature science studying how companion cats still have their instincts.

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