Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Two: Case File No. 42-94

Cat Detectives

AMBER LOVE 04-MAR-2019 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

The detective agency had an open and shut case against Squirrelina Kyle. She was not apprehended, however.

The Inside Job

In one of the finest team efforts the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency has ever noted, we present the Leverage squirrels. Establishing a Leverage team involves bad guys who do good things á la Robin Hood and his merry men. Each team member has a key skill, but they are adaptive and able to slide into other job roles as needed.

Leverage gif Parker making gestures to indicate there may be listening bugs in the room

If you’re familiar with the unbelievably entertaining TV show, Leverage by John Rogers and Dean Devlin, you know that Nate Ford is usually the mastermind of the team’s jobs. As the show progresses, other members of the team prove themselves through having knowledge of various inner workings of industries. Eliot Spencer knows all about the military, gun-running, and cooking. Sophie Devereaux is the grifter with expertise in high end valuables like art. Hardison is the technology guru who also understands old-time hacking like forging. Then there’s Parker — the greatest thief in the world from cat burglarizing for jewels and antiquities to leaping from skyscrapers to make the fastest getaway. Parker develops into a real leader once she learns to play nicely with others.

The first time we noticed Parker bringing along Hardison for assistance.

Our Leverage squirrels seem to take on similar roles though not exactly a direct correlation. Parker is the one that always goes up to the bird feeder and dangles upside-down. Sometimes it’s to loosen the seeds and have them drop to the team below. Other times, she gets the gate on the feeder open and pulls out the whole brick of seeds which falls to the ground. A manageable chunk of the brick can be carried away.

The next day, Parker and Hardison brought Eliot to the tree to pilfer the bird seed.

Unlike Squirrelina Kyle, the lone thief of the front border, these backyard and woodland squirrels seem to enjoy their team. Their frequent visits also made them slightly easier to photograph. Mind you, the images are from far away using my highly technical method of zooming the cell phone camera and then trying to line it up with binoculars.

Long distance photo showing a fourth squirrel joining the Leverage team.

The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency doesn’t mind feeding the squirrels. Our issue is that we’re also trying to feed the birds and the squirrels keep stealing what’s not theirs. Besides the two bird feeders, Gus and I still put out peanuts around the property and trails. We’re trying to make the environment welcoming for all of the local wildlife. Keeping the peace between critters, especially with Gus, is not as easy as it sounds.

Finally, the fifth squirrel believed to be the Mastermind, keeps his distance. He runs into the fray and back out quickly so as not to be seen while the others are working.

Case Findings:

The Leverage squirrels are well-organized. They seem to live in the northwest area of the woods passed the fallen trees that once held a treehouse. All of them are faster than Gus.

Parker is usually the first on the scene. She knows her way around every vine and branch. She also appears to be one of the fastest. Eliot may be slightly faster though.

Status: Open

We haven’t come up with any resolution other than to continue putting out bricks of seeds every time one gets stolen.

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