AMBER LOVE 17-JULY-2017 My work is supported by the generous backers who tolerate my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. The next Patreon milestone is close! That means a new short story for backers.
Professor Oliver Winchester has shown some signs of contempt for his partner, Detective Inspector Guster Nabu. Each morning, when Gus is reluctant to put on his harness, Oliver seizes the opportunity to jump into his regal carriage first. Since he’s ready first, he gets to go out for his morning constitutional before Gus. This leaves Gus howling inside the main house. Usually the elder human, his Grandmother, tries to comfort him.
It was a difficult week in many ways. As a primary human caregiver to Gus, I was wracked with guilt because I had long days of training. I woke up as early as possible to walk both cats before leaving. Then I wouldn’t be home until after 9:30pm. The one day when I actually had help to walk them, it was raining so we sat on the porch drinking coffee. Gus doesn’t seem to like the second floor balcony much anymore now that he’s used to walking through the grass.
The last day of my training was only a half day. I came home and immediately cleaned up a little. Then Gus got into his tower and I laid down in bed where I slept for four hours. He was just happy it was Clean Sheet Day. The next day he “helped” with the laundry.
The summer weather is typical for our region. Some days it’s a tolerable crisp 70º and others it’s a suffocating humid 92º. Sure, it’s not Arizona with 120º, but humidity still sucks. I do what I can to make sure the boys have some time for their investigations outside even if that means I come back dripping in sweat.
The best investigation at the agency was when Gus used the Super Smeller™ to uncover a secret lair of baby bunnies! We couldn’t tell exactly how many were in the divot they used as a nest. The momma covered them so well with dried grass and her own fur, but Gus could smell them even if they hadn’t been bouncing around under there. One darted away!
We’ve checked on the bunnies when we go out, but they were moved by their momma. Strangely though, they were back one morning. They were tiny but possibly big enough to leave their den so we aren’t sure if they’re living a teenage life now or if they found a hole better hidden from predators.
Journey into Fear…
INTERIOR. LOCAL PET SUPPLY SHOP.
There was recently a day with morning drizzling rain. Gus might have been fine, but his previous experience getting caught in the rain indicated he wasn’t willing to commune with that part of Mother Nature. Instead, I packed him up and took him on his first shopping trip to the store where he’d had only been once before to see Santa Paws. Unfortunately, the short drive unsettled him too much and he vomited in the carrier.
Gus was greeted by two lovely people at the shop. One was a volunteer cleaning out the cages of the kittens up for adoption. The other was an employee at the cash register who promptly came around to be introduced. By this time, Gus was in his buggy. It was obvious that the little detective’s investigation senses were in overdrive. So much stimulated his system. He was excited and tried to take it all in. I unzipped the top screen so he could get a better look. If he wanted to explore using his leash, I was ready.
It was a good thing I had a grip on the leash. Gus turned from countryside detective into swashbuckling adventurer. He climbed up out of the buggy, latched on to some packets of food which then clattered to the floor; and he promptly tried to find his way into a hiding spot beneath a cat tree.
That was enough excitement. I grabbed the harness, pulled him back, and zipped him back into the buggy where he was safe and the store’s merchandise was safe from him. We made our way over to the baby kittens for adoption. I held one and showed Gus through his screen. I said he used to be that little at which point he quietly hissed so low the volunteer woman didn’t hear him. She complimented him on his etiquette saying her cats would have hissed at a kitten. I kept his secret.
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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of AmberUnmasked.com and Vodka O'Clock Podcast. Author of The Farrah Wethers Mysteries, comic book short stories, prose, and non-fiction. Cosplayer and figure model.