Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Two: Case File No. 51-103
AMBER LOVE 06-MAY-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 Patreon.com/amberunmasked 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 PayPal.me.
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Where We Left Off:
There’s been an unusual rise in the mouse population and the cats want to stop it.
Love’s Land Frog:
I admit, I’m stretching it a bit to come up with a title for this case file because it’s so unbelievably insane, I’m not going to spend time on a title when I could get to telling this story. If you’re curious it’s a nod to the Loveland Frogman cryptid of Loveland, Ohio. A creature 3-4′ tall which people have been reported seeing for decades.
As you may or may not know, Oliver has a special interest in insects. He finds them delicious. He can also be a picky eater. He prefers treats to premium cat food. I can’t blame him. It’s like offering me chocolate cake compared to a field green salad. I’m going to pick the cake. From the previous case file, The Mousetrap, you also know that Oliver likes to hunt indoors. What none of us expected him to hunt inside the residence was an amphibian.
Frog or Toad? I don’t even know.
I heard The Cook freaking out downstairs while I sat at my desk working on Witches at the White House. Only a few minutes before, Oliver Winchester had been up here with me. I fed both boys treats. He was definitely fine when he left.
“He’s foaming! And there’s spit or something. I don’t know what’s wrong!” The Cook, who is Oliver’s favorite human companion, was in a hysterical state of panic. She continued crying out so I gave it a go to raise my voice hoping she’d hear me.
I said I had just fed him treats and he was fine. He was probably coughing one up because the piece was too big. I tried to be reassuring. Needless to say, that didn’t do anything to calm The Cook down. I got up from my desk and walked to the top of the east staircase and yelled down again that I’m sure he’s just coughing on a treat.
Well shut my mouth and call me Mildred because I did not expect to hear the next thing. “He has a frog! What if it’s poisonous? I don’t know what to do!”
Besides being utterly baffled that Oliver would be puking up a frog, I also had never head of toxic frogs in New Jersey. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, only that it’s never come up before in my research.
“He ate a frog?” I still couldn’t believe it. He was right here next to me only moments before. Did he jet through a portal and come back with an amphibian? It was bizarre.
“He’s foaming and choking. And it’s alive!”
What the hell did she just say? I definitely must have misheard that last part. Did she say the frog was alive? Yes, she did.
The Cook picked up the frog or toad or whatever it was and carried it up the stairs. She unwrapped the paper towel and to my nauseated horror, there it was. We could not believe any of this. First of all, it looked enormous for Oliver to have tried to swallow it whole. Gus has swallowed baby mice half this size after breaking their bones. But Oliver? Second, how was this thing alive? This could not be real.
Oh, but it was.
The frog was covered in the foamy saliva and secretion concoction. The Cook covered it back up in the towel as quickly as possible. I was on the verge of vomiting. I felt it stewing and ready to come up. She said she was going to release it outside. I thought that meant going out the back door to the yard, but instead she went to the balcony and dropped it down to the ground.
I immediately tweeted about the events while my esophagus contracted trying to hold the vomit down. A reasonable question came in from Erica Secor Davis, “Is… is Oliver a witch?” I replied that I hoped Gus would be the one with interests in arcane arts, but Oliver is the real deal. He loves old pagan traditions like dying Ostara eggs. I think he’s the one with the gift no matter how hard I try to get Gus on the path.
It doesn’t end there.
The next day, The Cook expected to find the frog either still in that place on the ground dead or gone all together. Instead, she found it and it was still alive! I hadn’t bothered to check on it before then because I thought for sure the creature had to perish over night. Big fat NOPE.
I was outside with Gus, but he wasn’t doing any hiking. Now that it’s hotter outside, he’s staying close to home where he can keep watch on the local fauna. He was sitting around so I unhooked him and walked back to the house’s back porch. As long as Gus was in my sight, I felt he was safe. He was far from the road. I looked around at the edge of the porch until I found the creature.
I felt so horrible. It was there all right. It was also injured. It sat up and spun in a circle because of a broken back leg. Just like with the mice or whatever else they catch, I was torn. On one hand, the injured are likely to die a slower, painful death and should be put out of their misery; on the other hand, I can’t seem to bring myself to murder anything that isn’t a bug or spider. Therefore, I opted to make the creature as comfortable as possible until it died on its own, hopped away, or something else ate it.
I grabbed a plastic takeout container and put a little water in it. The weather had been seriously windy and things were blowing from yards and the streets. I didn’t want the container to fly away or tip over so I needed a big enough rock for inside it. That way the creature could use it as terra firma if needed and it wouldn’t tip over. I have never taken care of a frog or toad before. I didn’t even do any of the dissection in high school biology. Fortunately my lab partner was a science genius that year and she did all that work.
At this point, the creature needed a name. Amanda Seyfrog was going to have some comfort before dying or deciding to get away from the vicious felines of the Winchester-Nabu mansion. I’m happy to report that the next day, she was gone.
We’re still unclear about what kind of creature this was. Maybe it flew away. Anything at this point is worth a theory.
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