Cat Detectives

AMBER LOVE 30-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:

There have been all new speculations in the case of the Black Vonda. There’s more activity in and around that car than only the spookiness of a haunting.

Children of the Corn


The car called the Black Vonda has more secrets than a simple ghost story. Since its appearance in the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency driveway, the car has become a home to several rodents, specifically field mice. Guster Nabu has plucked out a few of them. Sometimes, they don’t live when he’s through with his interrogation.



One time, I was able to hold onto his leash long enough for a little pudgy mouse to go on its merry way through the tall grass. Gus was able to turn the critter into a new confidential informant. We need the eyes and ears at that location in front of the Old Man’s workshop. There’s so much wildlife and maging activity there that we miss out on important details.

During one of our afternoon walks, Gus and I were in the driveway. The boys next door were playing basketball with another neighborhood boy. In general, they’re fun to watch especially the younger ones. The older one is now in that shitty teen stage where he has a mouth on him and he bullies his younger brother. He’s the one I now have some ill feelings towards. All the other boys and girls seem pretty sweet and polite. Gus is particularly fascinated with the tiny human boy who is about three years old and likes to wave at us.


If you couldn’t get a picture in your head of what our little town is like, let me spell out some things. There’s a lot of hunting land, but not as much as there used to be. We have some decent parks for hiking. Houses and properties range from smaller plots of .33 acres to 60 acres. Some houses have been converted into duplexes. There are no sidewalks and the S-curves make for dangerous walking. Drivers rarely slow down when passing through. Several of the houses have been abandoned by previous owners and sit in horrible deteriorated conditions. The buildings with For Sale signs range from single family houses, multi-unit houses that were once single family, and churches with asking prices from $200,000-$500,000. People can swoop in and pick up a house with a little parcel of land for $50K at auction, do all the remodeling and flip. It’s not uncommon to hear random gunfire although it’s particularly different than a city shoot-out or drive-by. We grew up with the now illegal lawn darts and would frequently climb and jump off porches, sheds, trees, whatever. (Life before the internet and Netflix was so different).

“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.”
― P.G. Wodehouse

We are not a family of hunters, but we are a family who enjoys shooting at targets for the fun of it. Although, the matriarch is a grand exception to this as she would prefer a gun-free home. Shooting targets doesn’t necessarily harm none and I’m willing to bear the guilt once in a blue moon. I’d rather go to a range where the activity is the norm. In our woods, I’m not keen on it at all. However, as the mere cat biographer and adventuring companion, I’m not in charge. The noises of the gunfire most certainly affect the wildlife and indoor pets. The rounds are also going to hurt the trees though I have no idea what degree this is. I’m not a tree expert. Maybe it’s no different than a woodpecker drilling into the trunk.

“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”
― Ellen DeGeneres

The boys next door are also city people who moved out here to the sticks like we were 35 years ago. In the few years the family has lived next door, they’ve covered more than half their lawn with pavement and wooden patios. There’s still a small patch of grass in the back behind the basketball court. The yard is filled with several kinds of basketballs (did you know there was more than one?) and other toys.


Near the tail end of June, Gus and I were there in the driveway next to one of our lilac bushes where he loves to eat the weeds. We watched one of the rabbits in the neighbors’ backyard. It was minding its own business and chewing the grass. The rabbits absolutely love their lawn compared to ours. I think it’s because they have a lot of clover flowers. Needless to say, this is a common occurrence.

Then the boys paused their game and I don’t remember why. I usually say hello if they look at us. That particular time, I pointed out the bunny and thought they would enjoy seeing it too. The younger ones did. The older one ran his mouth and retrieved a sorry excuse for an archer’s bow and arrow. The string was not tight, but it was enough that he fired the arrow to the now scared rabbit who had run over to our yard. The arrow landed in the dirt just missing the rabbit who thankfully began running faster up the driveway. The teen went after it. The rabbit turned into the thick bushes where foliage would keep it safe. The boy knelt down pretending he knew what he was doing and shot the arrow again. He came back telling his younger brother that he broke his arrow (so it wasn’t even his to begin with).


After the first shot, I said, “You’re not actually shooting at that rabbit, are you?” and he said yes. He doesn’t appear to know anything about hunting; nor was he considering what to do with the body if he did murder it. He was plain and simply being violent for no reason. I do not call it “boys being boys” because the other two would have been more likely to try and pet the rabbit than hurt it.


I was also close enough to see that the evidence Gus and I logged in January and wrote about in February was an arrow belonging to these boys. No, I have not returned it. Frankly, I’m glad the older boy broke one of the arrows if his intention is to shoot at the wildlife especially for non-food purposes.

Gus ordered the last mouse he plucked out of the Black Vonda to keep tabs on other such violent activity. The scared mouse agreed and was happy to be let go.


“I say you are a coward and you are; I think you hunt only to reassure yourself that you are not what you are: the weakest thing to ever walk the Earth.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Case No. 40 Update:

Evidence found appears to be belong to the neighbor boy next door. At this time, there are no plans to release it from evidence lock-up.

Case No. 64 Status:

The new CI has been given instructions. Further reports have not been filed.