Cat Detectives

AMBER LOVE 05-NOV-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 the previous case file, we learned about the most horrifying serial killer to ever pass through these woods.

Shattered 2: Shattered to Pieces, the sequel to Shattered

I’m not just having a brain fart for a clever parody title, but this entry truly is a sequel to an existing case file. Case File No. 14-66, which I titled Shattered, was left open for more examination. We at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency could not accept that the pottery pieces found in the woods were merely litter. We find plenty of litter and as the human, I pick up as much as I can to dispose of it properly back at the house. These pottery pieces were special in their un-specialness. They’re so ordinary as to be just the sort of container to hide something of great value in plain sight.

Small pottery pieces discovered.

Gus Loves Autumn

As I look over my shoulder and see Gus curled up on the bed near the pillows for his afternoon nap, I feel how exhausted I am, but he’s the one who gets to nap. Once he’s inside, he doesn’t care about the dangerous things outside. The spooky inside stuff is another matter and the elder humans don’t think his one mouse per month tribute is enough. The boy and I were outside for over an hour walking and climbing through the gusty wind. Mind you, the wind yesterday was outrageous so today seems better by far. There’s something about the crisp air scented with dead leaves that makes Gus wild.

He’s been eager to break out of the back doors and get to work. He’s been hunting and working on his parkour feverishly. He caught two rodents in two days. I think I saved them. The one was a bit worse for wear. I put it back on the rock wall fortress where Cheeks Moretti lives with these critters. They’re more like serfs though. They have access to the whole place but seem to stick with the mount o’ ruins in the center and the peanut tribute platform which is a lovely rock with a flat surface under the lilac bush. The second critter was much smaller. And I have to say, both were cuter than I expected so I looked up types of rodents to see if they were something different than the moles I believed them to be.

They’re voles. Learn something every day. The voles don’t bear any consequences to the story of the pottery. They’re just adorable distractions.

Seriously, Gus and I have spent hours in the woods. Climbing over giant trees, squat-walking under them, and of course balancing on them. Gus keeps breaking his records for how high he’s climbed straight vertically and through jungle levels of intersecting tree branches. The boy has leveled up!


I’ve somehow managed not to fall yet again. It could be because Gus was content with a specific hunting and climbing territory safer for my clumsy ass. The thing is, Gus will not bow to the cat experts who talk about territory and routines. Gus wants to go where he wants, whenever the hell he wants. Yes, he loves a schedule, but that’s not the only time he’s at the door crying to go out. Yesterday was two hours of crying. TWO HOURS. He had already been out. But, regarding one of his hunting areas — it’s in the north corner of the property between the north trail and the giant old trees which are now felled but used to hold a tree house forty years ago. Those trees are massive and there are a few sturdy branches that act as steps for me to hoist my butt up. It’s beautifully moss-covered and the wood is always dark from decay moisture. I found the most adorable tiny mushrooms growing out of a branch.

The end of this tree comes right to the trail close to the intersection with Bunny Hollow. The log has deep grooves in it perfect for peanut distribution. The woodland chipmunks seem to appreciate the offerings. This is area where I found the smaller pieces of pottery. The big piece was found further up the hill in the rock ridge.


The Pottery

The pottery pieces could have been from any number of things, as we previously discussed. The truth is more of a combination of our theories.

Largest piece of pottery discovered.

Case File Conclusion:

The crows (from theory number one) were definitely trying to convey a message. They’re messengers. It’s kind of in their job description. Back in July they wanted to let me know the other side was ready for my friend to pass over. We had a big party for her in August while she was alive. She died on October 5. The crows may not have been giving me a heads-up specifically about Stacy, but they are representatives of the circle of life – death – rebirth like the carrion vultures. Only the crows are way better at communication and take their messenger skills seriously.

Something supernatural (not really the best word for it because it *is* natural to die) was trying to pass through the Winchester-Nabu grounds and the crows knew it. What or who was it? 

Our theories continued on Case No. 14-66 with the idea that the pottery had been a vessel housing a spirit. At the time, we couldn’t be sure if that’s what it was; and we couldn’t know if it was a friendly or malevolent spirit. Now that we’ve handled the shattered pieces with care, Oliver has a better feeling about them.

November begins with All Saints’ Day, the co-opted holiday Christians created to compete with or rather erase Halloween/Samhain. Halloween is the annual time when the veil between the worlds of the living and dead is the thinnest or completely open. This is why people began decorating with spooky things like jack o’lanterns carved with scary faces. It was all to drive away any evil spirits that decided to cross back over to our world.

Halloween isn’t the only time when spirits of those who have died can interact. That’s why there are so many cases of hauntings. It can happen any time. There are other kinds of spiritsI recommend Devin Hunter's book on spirits too, not only ghosts of those who once lived.

Oliver’s strongest theory is that someone managed to capture an earth elemental in the pottery. Pottery is made from earth (clay), fire (kiln/baking), water (mixed with the clay), and air (to cool and harden).

“Elementals can be summoned into any vessel which contains their ruling element. They make excellent allies when needing to understand the balance and finer adjustments needed in order to make great work of magic successful. Calling upon them for council during such acts will ensure you get to see things from all angles.” Hunter, Devin. The Witch’s Book of Spirits. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd, 2017.

We may never get the whole story of this urn. We don’t know who owned it or why they summoned an earth elemental. Did they intentionally break the urn to set the spirit free? Did the spirit fight its way out? Did the urn accidentally break? Did the owner lose possession of it and someone else is responsible? So many unanswered questions; but at least we can deduce the purpose of this vessel which is a huge part of archaeology.

Case Findings:

Case Numbers 14-66 and subsequent 26-78 are considered Closed. No further investigation needed at this time.

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