Cats photoshopped as noir detectives

AMBER LOVE 22-JAN-2018 My work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. Also, I’m an Amazon Influencer so you can shop through my personal recommendations and buy my books with these handy links below:

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Expand for Adventures with Gus Table of Contents

Where we left off…


Professor Oliver Winchester never visits the Grumpy Old Man’s workshop even though his summer cottage-on-wheels is kept next to it. The workshop is a massive building, the size of a small airplane hangar. It has nondescript white sides and some of the usual signs of a cranky old white man: warning signs, rifle club stickers, a landfill worth of junk parts.


Gus on a shelf
“That Grumpy Old Man better not be referring to me with this sign!”

Oliver and the Grumpy Old Man have a close relationship. Whenever Oliver gets a brilliant idea for something that needs engineering and construction or repairs, it’s the GOM who gets the assignments usually, but sometimes it’s his butler, codename: Alfredo Pesosvalour.

Oliver and Joe
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

It’s not well-known about Oliver Winchester’s business enterprises other than the detective agency because he’s not “Bruce Wayne” rich. However, since he was a young critter, he’s had interest in all things mechanical (and supernatural). If anything gets assembled on these grounds, Oliver has to give it an inspection and passing grade. Sometimes that approval stamp is easier to get than other times when he’s too hesitant to have something new in his space.


If shipments for parts come in and they are taken directly to the workshop, then Oliver leaves it to Gus to do the observation and inspection. Gus isn’t fond of the construction process at all. He does love inspections and poking around things even where he’s not supposed to be. Gus doesn’t have much to report on this latest venture, but he’s willing to have me share a progress report.


A machine has been planned. Some parts have been acquired or gathered for repurposing. Oliver hasn’t even told Gus what the machine is. On one our usual walks, we found one of the large bay doors to workshop open. Gus went inside and found himself enamored with an old motorcycle that’s been sitting there gathering dust for years since before he was born. There were also several lawn mowing machines, operational status: unknown. Then we found the Winchester logo box flattened and on the floor. Something of substantial size arrived, but even I’m not allowed to know the engineering specifics.

What I could decipher from Gus’ observations, is that there are gauges for speed and fuel. There are numerous lights to warn of damage or engagement. We found a couple control panels for the main systems and the auxiliary systems. There’s a smoke generator and night vision periscope which sounds to us like some MI-6 technology.


Whatever this machine will do, it’s in response to the close call we suffered last August when the US military was sentOn Dangerous Ground ch 16 out to our area. It was a terrifying ordeal. Oliver does not want to be caught off-guard ever again and I’m with him on this one. One’s own government is not above questioning when it comes to the safety of life on this planet.

The Grumpy Old Man has a background in artillery and infantry. He was part of the tank unit for many years and even had some time as an instructor. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much faith in the young students that had come through to get his training. One guy quite literally couldn’t understand, “Push this button, then this button.” This was years before Rocket tried to give instructions to wee Groot. It didn’t leave any of us with confidence in the quality of soldiers coming up through the ranks in the early ’00s. Hopefully that guy realized he wasn’t cut out for tanks and asked to be reassigned. Oliver probably won’t get called in to consult with the military until late spring and even when he does, we’re not allowed to talk about it.

There’s also nothing wrong with retreating if you are outgunned. Gus and I would love to be hidden from most of real life anyway. He wants a small patch of farmland that no one can touch or a place in the woods. I’d like to be by water, but the boy doesn’t seem keen on that idea. Now if Oliver has designed a teleporter, and I hope he has, it would make our lives so much easier.


There was this character on Longmire named Marilyn, a Crow woman who mostly kept to herself and didn’t like to get involved with anyone else’s feuds. I have a lot more compassion than Marilyn, but I do like her style with running her own land and laying low.

Oliver is also quite excited about the release of WINCHESTER, a PG-13 movie about the grand dame Sarah Winchester and her magnificent house. He has not said whether or not he was consulted on the film. Perhaps there was an NDA.

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