Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Three: Case File No. 51-155
AMBER LOVE 04-MAY-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. The penultimate case of YEAR THREE still because we started cataloging our criminal investigations in the spring.
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Where We Left Off:
We took a look at how the cat practice yoga and meditation and what all the facets can include.
Not too long ago, I mentioned that there’s another black cat roaming freely in the town. This time, a short-haired one who, from a distance, bares a striking resemblance to Gus. In Case File No. 45-149, I created the street name for the cat, Faustus. Gus is not welcoming the newcomer to the estate. Oliver hasn’t had much to say about it and has been spending more time communicating with the birds and squirrels.
It’s bad enough that cats like Faustus cross over into our territory at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency; but then the gall of him to enter the property while Gus was out! I could not believe it. True story though.
I remember the sun was out, full and bright. Gus and I had made our way up to the main bird feeding tree at the back of the hangar. I looked back towards the largest maple and was shocked to see Faustus enter the yard. He had come through the neighbor’s property, I believe. Somehow that cat is also crossing the street which is terrifying to think about. We recently witnessed a dog run out a front door and nearly get run over by a huge dump truck. Even though Faustus is a stranger who might have nefarious plans to invade, we still wouldn’t want to see him squished by traffic.
Since we were far enough away from the scariness of the road, I had Gus’ leash unhooked from his harness. But then he spotted Faustus spraying the rhododendron bush! Seriously? He marked right in our yard with Gus watching! It didn’t take any longer than that for Gus to charge after Faustus. He ran through the open field and went wide around the lilac bushes then veered left and right around the short rock fortress wall where Cheeks Moretti lives. I followed in my lumbering fashion and called out for Gus.
To my surprise, Gus stopped running right at the line of the lower parking area border with the shared driveway. His fur stood on end as expected. He took his time glaring in the direction of the neighbor’s property with his legs slowly allowing him to sit in a guarding posture.
I couldn’t spot the intruder. It’s upsetting to think that someone else wants to take over the estate which is clearly for Gus and Oliver. Feral cats aren’t what we consider wildlife. They could have homes. Someone is probably feeding them anyway. Overlapping territories are normal behavior according to the documentaries I’ve seen. Perhaps this is the root cause of why even my dreams about cats are stressful and wake me with anxiety. Feral cats won’t follow the rules.
I gave Gus treats for being such an excellent sentry. I wanted to make sure he was back to normal. It was important that Gus was allowed to go through his own behavioral spectrum and return to his regular level of arousal for being outside. I didn’t want to scoop him up while his hair was standing on end and he was agitated. Once in a while, I’ve had to do that to quickly get him to safety, but this was a case where he was safe and fine. No one was hurt or even close to being hurt. As the human companion, sometimes my own reflexes are questionable. I would love it if scooping Gus up into my arms was an instant stress reliever for both of us, but that’s not how it works. Everyone has their own time to process and it’s probably not going to be instant for anyone.
We had to put out some feelers with the local fauna to see what it is that Faustus wants with our little neck of the woods. Of the critters we see on a regular basis — chipmunks, squirrels, and birds — the birds were the best community to go to for information that would need to come from a bigger distance than our own yard. It’s been our experience that the Blue Jay Gang will take any job as long as they get their peanuts. We needed to talk to Johnny “Stool Pigeon” — the bag man who lives in Gnome Grove.
Gnome Grove and the surrounding areas have been filled with blue jays this year just like last year. They are eager for their peanut deliveries. They’re usually the first to arrive — even before the squirrels. The chipmunks have to be sneakier about their snack acquisitions and seem to get them last. This year the smaller birds like sparrows are taking their own share of the peanuts instead of sticking to the bug supply and seeds. I placed peanuts around the big tree, in the center of Gnome Grove, and on the rock wall. By this time, The Cook had let Oliver out on the observation deck.
While we waited, Gus sniffed around the ground and bushes. I saw Oliver do a speedy belly crawl across the balcony from one end to the other. I looked in the direction he was staring. Gus paused and stood alert, but fortunately didn’t run immediately. Johnny “Stool Pigeon,” Concitta Cristata, and Richie “The Boot” Cyano dove for peanuts in a succession of rapid flights. Each one perched on a branch of the big tree and stayed visible to all of us.
Gus and I moved closer to the house and waited for Oliver’s input. He told Gus to sit calmly at the bottom of the tree so the blue jays don’t get spooked. Then Gus would be able to try chatting with them. It worked too. Gus sat and looked up at the branches. I knew he wanted to climb up there, but he’s never tried to climb a tree that wide in diameter. I tried taking photos from a distance, but they didn’t come out good. I had some from a different day in our archives of critters of interest.
“The birds agreed to take the job.”
Gus came back to the porch and was ready to go inside for a meal and trip to the litterbox. Ollie was ready to come in and join us. After the briefing, they were given dehydrated chicken treats and then catnip. Oliver loves catnip. There wasn’t a case closed celebration, but a case pending celebration.
The feral cat known as Faustus has no respect for boundaries. The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency hired the local blue jays to tail Faustus and find out what he wants with our neighborhood.