Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 37-193

cat logo brown

AMBER LOVE 25-JAN-2021 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, Year Three, and Year Four cases 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. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.



Where We Left Off:

Gus decided he no longer wanted the services of our informant, Jean Voljean, so he “took him out” rather than fired him.

The Incredible Hulks:

Bitter cold days don’t keep Gus from wanting to go out and explore. It gets to be that kind of cold where the skin on my face hurts. I could try to breathe into my scarf for some seconds of warm exhaled breath, but it’s so short lived. It also makes trying to document our activities with photos and videos hard to accomplish because my fingers have gotten painful. It makes me wonder how scientists in the tundra get anything done.

Gus led me to the mountain a couple of times during this expected freezing cold weather. One of the trips was to head down the Boulevard Trail a little ways. I was foolishly thinking we were going to have a nice hiking stroll on the trails and perhaps make our way to the overlook. No. Gus had other ideas. He had a mission.

He was hunting for underground critters.

“Well, Gus, you see, if you stop killing the critters close to the property then you wouldn’t need to go out and look for more critters. Plus, there are still a bunch of mice living inside the house that are causing problems.”

“They had it coming. And Ollie and I try to vanquish the trespassers inside. You know that, human.”

He wasn’t wrong. They are hard workers. Although, there was a particular night when The Cook was alarmed by the thermostat in her chambers moving on the wall. Thermostats are not supposed to move on the wall. Oliver was there to determine if it was paranormal activity or one of the trespassing rodents. He believed it was a mouse. That upset The Cook more than a ghost. Mice have chewed through the wires of the heating system before. She said there was a time when they damaged it and the heat would not turn off.

cat

Back to hunting on the trail — I was absolutely freezing. I couldn’t believe Gus wanted to stay out, but he insisted there was something under all the long and dead weeds. The dead weeds drape over the prickly trunks of bushes forming a series of caves above the ground. Mother Nature’s architecture is pretty cool. It gives the critters some cover so they can create entrances to their underground burrowing network.

Gus continued to circle around one particular cave structure. His SuperSmeller worked to locate how far down living targets might be. I tried telling him that unless a critter had a reason to come up near the surface, he would have to dig for it through the cold frozen ground. It was no use. Gus was going to give up empty-handed.

Things back in the residence were getting all of Oliver’s attention. There were times when Ollie didn’t even come up for treats. I discovered why.

Oliver sleeping
I don’t have a picture of Ollie working only of him being adorable sleeping.

 

He’s been loitering at the bottom of the stairs. The Cook usually sorts the incoming mail and leaves mine on the second or third step. It would be weird if Ollie was suddenly interested in whether my Kohl’s coupon of the week was for 20% or 30%. I don’t think he needs anything from there. The wall opposite the staircase has long metal chimes hanging. I’m not sure if they still work, but they were the loud Baroque doorbell chimes when we moved here. Below them is an outlet. That outlet has been a point of interest for Oliver for a long time. However, it now looks like there’s something new going on over there.

hole in stairs

Every time I wanted to go up and down the stairs, I had try and maneuver around Oliver without scaring him. Polite, “Excuse me, Oliver,” in a soft voice never kept him from being weird like I was someone to fear. The Cook, who is Oliver’s favorite human, was able to approach him after witnessing that he had pawed at a new hole on the bottom step. Mice can squeeze through some tiny spaces, but this hole is a decent size. Even a rotund critter would be able to struggle through it. Not to mention, their may be a team of critters working to enlarge their access points.

I realized something yesterday when I was on the floor in front of the coffee bar putting on my hiking shoes. There was a powder substance all over the slate slabs of the cold floor. The coffee bar has shelves which are used for non-coffee things: a couple of recipe books for drinks, tea boxes, some junk, and lots of containers of the Butler’s protein powder, xanthan and guar gums, and monk fruit sugar. Despite the power of the vacuum cleaner, this area is usually a mess complete with wispy tumbleweeds of cat hair stuck to the legs of all the furniture.

protein powders

At this point, I realized what was happening. We were witnessing an origin story! What kind of roided rodents were behind the walls? I’ve glanced over the Butler’s shoulder to see what kind of lunacy he watches on YouTube channels hosted by the most annoying, bulky, sleeveless morons. I realize I just strung together a few insults, but I’m not calling them out by name or image. These dudes are so insecure that instead of presenting their shows like a normal cooking show host would, they spend time overlaying clips of people to mock. After they laugh hysterically at people even more insecure who have had grotesque implants of fake muscle definition (seriously, those things look so awful) they present a recipe for garbage food. I’d rather eat cookies made with real sugar and openly admit that’s what it is than stoop to their level of throwing candies, cookies, and cereals into a blender with xanthan gum, protein powder, and yogurt and calling it health food. And the benefit is, I’m far less gassy than those those clowns.

cartoon rat

Knowing how well fed our house mice are, thinking that they now had access to stuff designed to bulk and hulk humans had my head spinning. These mice could be enormous! They could be stronger than ever before. What if they’re like ants now and can lift five hundred times their weight? We could be in mortal peril.

Case Findings:

Gus and Oliver have been trying their best to lure the mice out into the open and vanquish them. Since their stellar week of three catches in four days, they haven’t been able to catch anything.

Case Status: Open

Gus and Oliver

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