THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY
AMBER LOVE 04-DEC-2017 Catch up on Year One. 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. Also, buy my books with these handy links below:
ADVENTURES WITH GUS – CHAPTER THIRTY: CHIPS IN THE WALL
Where we left off…
Detective Inspector Guster Nabu was assigned the investigation of an unusual black car which baffled local authorities.
THE WINCHESTER-NABU ESTATE. AFTERNOON. EXTERIOR – RESIDENT PARKING LOT.
Long before The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency opened, the wildlife residents coexisted in relative peace. Although, if you go back quite a while, there were about eighteen years of outdoor family cats who would occasionally leave a “present” at the back door. Between the demise of the last outdoor cat, Lady Claire and the opening of the detective agency, there was relative peace.
Professor Oliver Winchester is a bit of a cranky old soul in a young pudgy body. He welcomes the other creatures readily — as long as they’re willing to pay some rent or earn their keep. This is why the bats live in the bat house rent-free as long as they eat as many bugs as they possibly can. That leaves the squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits to consider.
I’ve been trying to convince Oliver that these types of critters provide entertainment value and are beneficial for meditation purposes (cute things make people smile and relax). He is hesitant about being polite to squirrels because their kind have reputations for breaking and entering and arson. I don’t think the arson is intentional; it’s a byproduct of their strange fascination in chewing wires.
Oliver agreed that the eastern cottontails do provide a sense of harmony most of the time. When they don’t, it’s because Detective Inspector Guster Nabu sees them as lure target practice. I try to limit Gus’ predatory hunting to certain things like moles. This leaves the question of the chipmunks to ponder.
They are fantastic practice for Gus to work on his hunting skills. It’s great exercise for him. It’s also a way to incorporate one of yoga’s principles to him: dharana, intense concentration on a single focus.
As the boys’ assistant, I got used to a certain routine. It was exhausting, but I was used to it. First thing in the morning, Gus and I would hike for an hour and if the weather was okay, we’d do it again in the afternoon or early evening. Since the chipmunks have become extra active anticipating the fell of winter, things in our routine have drastically been altered. I do love the little furry sprites. To me, they’re hilarious to watch. I can’t believe how fast they are and, as it turns out, loud. Such tiny things and so fucking loud. Some of the noises they make sound like birds, but when I hear it emitting from inside the rock walls, I know that’s no bird. The problem is that Gus has become obsessed.
Now, the thing with Gus is that his habits don’t always last long. When I first adopted him, he used to nap on my bed every afternoon; that lasted a week. Lately, our “walks” consist of pacing the lower, residential parking lot. There are three primary locations of the chipmunk activity: the parking area wall; along the driveway hedges and passed the wood pile to the propane tank which has a perfect bunker for them to lay low; and Oliver’s patio which also has a rock wall around it on two sides.
With my time consumed by a lot of standing around or pacing, that’s time I could be doing something else, like yoga or writing or whatever. Goodness knows since I’ve increased my Gus time and yoga time, my cleaning routine has barely existed. I get the basics done otherwise I wouldn’t be able to live. However, despite my dislike of bugs, dirt, and sun damage, I have enjoyed the feeling of being able to walk for an hour even if that means I’m unable to move for the rest of the day. Our easier hikes on this property usually mean I can do two such walks, but on special days of traveling to parks, I’m basically useless after so much exertion. Standing around while Gus stalks a chipmunk behind rocks is just not my idea of a great workout or even meditative time in nature. It’s mostly boring.
These little furballs are cute as hell. I think with that +10 Adorable Factor, there’s a bit of an attitude. The one from the parking pad wall is just about ready to whip out a top hat and break into song.
To be perfectly honest, I think there’s a good chance the chipmunk has already done this and quickly resumes dainty, innocent, feral critter by the time I spot him in the rocks.
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