Cat Detectives

AMBER LOVE 23-JULY-2018 Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. This 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. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new

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Where we left off:

In our last case, we opened a dossier on the Chipmunk Mafia, specifically the Cheeks Moretti crime family.

Broken Souls

The Black Vonda

You may recall that in Case 2017-29A, we marked the investigation of a mysterious black car on the property as “low priority” and left the case open. Gus has kept his eyes on it. As summer approached with the charging strength of a bull, Gus’ attention to the black car honed. He began climbing on it. He spent hours sniffing the undercarriage. Twice, he’s pulled mice out. It’s not a classic black Volga GAZ, but there’s something weird about it. Let’s call it Vonda.


The Grumpy Old Man’s truck often sits next to this Vonda. One day, Gus looked at the truck then looked at me and mewed. “You want to go in the truck? But I’ve put you up there before and you didn’t like it.”


I did what he asked. This time something must have been different for Gus. He had a great time investigating every nook and cranny of the truck’s bed. Then he got more bold and jumped to the roof. Lordy, it’ll be a miracle if it’s not scratched. He slid down the windshield not knowing what to make of a slick surface immune to his claws. The hood was a nice spot too.


Now the boy has realized that he has better vantage points when he’s on top of these vehicles. He usually stares over to the neighbor’s yard when I’d prefer if he kept watch over ours. They have three dogs over there on the other side of the fence. Sure, the critters freely cross from one side to the other, but the grass is not greener over there. Literally (ours is lush).


All I know is, something supernatural is happening back there in the second parking lot. Every time Gus jumped on top of the Vonda something would creep me out. First it was ants. I have no idea why so many were crawling all over this car like it was covered in something sweet. Then it was the spiders. Fuck that. There were a hundred. Maybe five hundred. Maybe MORE. I know they’re useful or whatever, but I don’t like to be near them!

It kept reminding me of what I consider the comic book that scared me the most. It wasn’t that the story was particularly gruesome or suspenseful. It was because of the spiders. Immortal Weapons #2 Bride of Nine Spiders. I understand the character was handled differently in the Iron Fist show, but I haven’t watched that one (Luke Cage FTW).

Anyway back to the supernatural weirdness going on. Do you remember that scene in Harry Potter where everything in the forest is scared even the spiders? It was because the darkest evil was present and growing stronger. Voldemort.

No, I don’t think Voldemort is here in New Jersey or in the States. If he were, we’d be dealing with skilled, intelligent evil forces instead of this crybaby bullshit from the White House we have daily. But there is something.
Gus detected a caustic scent. He wasn’t familiar with it then, but after I saw the look on his face, I figured it had to be sulphur or something containing it. Thanks to folklore, it’s believed that the presence of sulphur means a demon (of Christian Hell) is around. Supernatural’s 1300 seasons have enforced this myth. Hell is all around us. Sorry if that’s news to you. I blame Dante for the misunderstanding. He had a great vision of Hell and I love it, but it’s basically fan fiction he used to put people he didn’t like into perpetual punishment — or as Tina Belcher would say, friend fiction. In Dante’s case it would be frenemy fiction: critics, lawyers, contemporaries.

As with all things, not all good is 100% good and not all bad is 100% bad. Every memorable villain has their own sympathetic story, right? (*pausing to think about Killmonger and Bushmaster*)

I’m surprised my own Super Smeller didn’t detect anything awry. I trust the cats though. When they sense something is around, I don’t have to experience it myself to believe them. What would a demon want with this black Vonda? Why wouldn’t it find a useful host? This car has been sitting here for a year and is likely to be sold anyway. There are also plenty of living things around as you probably noticed with all these case files. What good does a non-living machine do for a demon or spirit? Is there an advantage to using a machine or inanimate object over using a living being?


We need to get to the bottom of this. I think that’s why Gus was studying the symbols on the Old Man’s truck. Masonic symbols. They aren’t secretive anymore. Some say they never were.

Symbols were incorporated into old time stone masons because that’s how illiterate workers were able to communicate or sign their work. It takes at least seven men (yes, men) to operate a lodge at a minimum. They need members and it presents a lot like a cult when one member is trying hard not to take “no” for an answer when he’s trying to recruit someone. The Masons are global. Because of that, there is no “one” specific way to interpret their symbols. Over hundreds of years with the influence of so many generations of (let’s face it, probably white) men, discrepancies were created about the meanings behind the images.

masonic decals

The most prolific symbol Gus saw was the combination square and compass with the capital “G” against a sky blue background. I’ve been told the “G” stands for geometry and also whichever God you want to recognize. More likely, it’s from the Greek “gnosis” which means knowledge; only in the context of Masonic brotherhood, it would mean spiritual knowledge because that’s their thing. Together the symbols are a reminder to behave morally while you’re out there in the world exploring for your truest desires. And to them, knowledge is the ultimate goal a member should look for on this quest of life.

Did Masons Trap a Spirit in the Car?

The Masons may not ever consider referring to themselves as an esoteric cult, but hey, they use sigils, worship together, have a lot of rituals, continue exclusionary membership practices, and their materials are filled with godly references next to science. Maybe folks can look beyond the famous slave owners who were members. They existed long before George Washington so maybe that’s not a fair representation of who and what they are — I don’t really know. They’re still an exclusionary cabal. What I’m basically saying is, the Freemasons are probably witches or conjurers.

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Bearing that in mind, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to get one book from the old Kindle to my new one in order to review the chapters on ghosts and hauntings. Last April I gave Devin Hunter’s The Witch’s Book of Spirits a five-star rating. Since I was able to recall that I liked the book enough to give it praise, I had to solve this little Kindle mystery. Dragging and dropping didn’t work and gave me a DRM error. Fortunately, I figured it all out under the “devices and contents” area on Amazon.

“In the case of a haunting, something or someone has absorbed a psychic impression that was strong enough to leave a recording of itself, embedded in the environment.” — Devin Hunter

I read that sentence a few times and it sounded like Gus was on the right track with the Vonda’s diagnosis. The weird black car covered in bugs and spiders with scratches all over it is likely haunted. By what?

“Unlike poltergeists, hauntings are usually experienced with all of the senses and are often accompanied by strange scents and sounds that are out of place to the present environment.” — Devin Hunter

Okay, now we’re rolling! There are scents, according to Gus’ Super Smeller. As for sounds, I can attest to hearing bizarre noises that didn’t sound like birds. Unpleasant noises. It wasn’t machinery or squirrels either. If it was some kind of bird, it was prehistoric. I thought perhaps we had Predators in our woods. A haunting is actually less frightening.

“Hauntings happen when a piece of the soul is transferred during psychic trauma or when a great deal of psychic energy is released.” — Devin Hunter

Maybe we need a more skilled psychic than I am to read this car and figure out its history. From what I’ve read, it sure sounds like someone died in there when their soul was not prepared.

The Old Man has been the only human to move the car. It’s been at the back of the workshop and in front of the garage. It’s been parked next to the black walnut tree most of the time and definitely hasn’t been moved in months. An interesting tidbit about these trees: folklore tells us that it was a preferred meeting place for witches to gather at walnut trees, particularly in Italy. In the New World, the lore was changed and/or expanded. Walnuts became ingredients in remedies. They are used in divination magick. (For more on that:

Exorcism on a Possessed Car:

  • Basil, Bay Leaves, Pine needles, Black Pepper — all of these are easily accessible from grocery stores if you don’t grow them in your own garden.
  • Iron, particularly rusted but doesn’t have to be


I turned to some of my key grimoires. First and foremost is Valerie Worth’s Crones Book of Charms & Spells which is a must-have; it’s a shame she’s already passed away because I think she’d be a vital additional to the resistance of toxicity of today’s world.

Then Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs which I think just about every neo-pagan has in their collection. Cunningham’s books are easy to use for reference and contain an absolute ton of information. I also consulted his The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, & Brews for this project.

What To Do:

Gather the ingredients. Herbs should be dried. Grind them up together with a wood pulp base. Burn over a charcoal.

Items that serve the ruler Saturn are ones to utilize in an exorcism; also Jupiter because he’s basically the big brother you’d call on to chase anyone creepy away. Other fiery rulers work too like the Sun or Mars.


Cunningham’s incense (see image) recipe is for the type you’d make and burn over a small charcoal. Personally, I have a miserable time trying to get those little disks to light. I prefer stick incense because it’s so much easier. They’re harder to make though and most recipes for them involve mixing oils and placing sticks in the oil to just be fragrant; that’s not what I’m looking for. I like the incense that burn. A good witch shop or botanica should have ones already bagged and created with ingredients for most common needs. If you don’t have a shop near you or with a decent online shopping system, check Etsy. The Nevermore Coven listings actually explain their whole process of how they crafted their incense sticks which to me, gives me more consumer confidence.

If nothing else is at your disposal, you can get a smudge stick of white sage which looks like a cartoonishly massive joint. Some people take offense to the use of smudge sticks as a Native American appropriation, but I learned it from Celtic witches, so who knows. You have the information and the choice is yours.

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