Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 35-191

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AMBER LOVE 11-JAN-2021 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, Year Three, and Year Four cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency.

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Where We Left Off:

The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency was gifted two specimens of Jersey devil-deer parts for our collection.

City that Never Sleeps:

December 2020 stirred up all kinds of activity inside the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency offices and residence. The stinkbugs were back. Noises came from nowhere. The humans kept seeing cats where there weren’t any (it’s the ghost cats). And then, there were the mice.

Burton Guster Nabu sharpened his claws to get ready. Oliver Winchester took the lead. Ollie would sit wherever he sensed activity — mundane or paranormal. Sometimes even my human ears could hear the squeaks and clawing. One incident was particularly weird: Gus and I were snuggling on the bed and heard loud squeaks and what sounded like a critter or two sliding down the wall raking claws along the way. It was oddly loud.

The teamwork between Oliver and Gus proved effective. It started in the middle of the night on the 8th after midnight. Gus growled like his larger cousins of the feline world, the Panthera onca, or jaguar. He likely channeled those ancestors from the near threatened species.

Gus with mouse

Existing jaguars are the western hemisphere’s largest cat and Gus harnessed that power that week of December. In 2017, Mental Floss reported that only one or two actual jaguars might be living in the United States. They will also eat just about any prey including our beloved black bears. Leopards are Panthera pardus; the Panthera genus includes lions, tigers, jaguars, snow leopards, and leopards.

I may have mentioned this factoid before, but “black panthers” are actually jaguars or leopards with unusually high melanin which is why you can still see their spots faintly on their black coats.

The December 8th capture of the first criminal rodent of that week caught indoors was DOA. I have to wonder if that’s why Gus growled louder with that one than with the others. He growls with every perp he captures, but this time you can even hear it on the video.

During this time, we were adjusting to new behavior from Oliver as well. In late November, Oliver began coming up onto the bed. If he arrived while Gus was already asleep, the peaceful napping would last longer than if Oliver was there first. Gus also stopped napping next to me in his scratcher box. Since Gus is usually more tolerant of colder temperatures than Ollie, he never seemed to mind being in his box while I worked at my desk. The bed where all of us sleep is certainly warmer. I wonder if Gus has moved to the bed because of Oliver’s sudden interest in it. Although Gus goes over to Ollie’s private quarters and sleeps wherever the hell he wants there. He has no concept of sharing.

A couple nights later, there were several inches of snow still on the ground and Gus gifted me with another perp. This time it was at 3AM and the suspect was alive. Gus made me chase him. We were running the stairs like athletes in training. I had to crawl on the hard slate floor and under a table. He kept staying ahead of me. I don’t even remember where I was when I was able to get him to let go of the mouse in a trade for some chicken treats. The jar I’ve been using as a rodent transportation unit still has about half an inch of eucalyptus candle in it. I hiked up the privet drive and released the critter in the snow. Poor little bugger was so confused by the change from somewhat warm, protected shelter to icy snow spotted with many other critter tracks.

Gus and Ollie outside

On December 11th, Oliver and Gus were happy to be outside on patrols. Oliver didn’t stay long but he appreciated the fresh air and time spent feeding the birds.

Caturday — December 12th came upon us with another rodent trespasser. This case was unusual because it was daytime — after 7AM. Ollie and Gus had been on a stakeout in the kitchen. I have no idea how long they had been there. Ollie was definitely putting in the time. It was Gus who eventually came out with the next mouse in his jaws. Like he always does, he brought it upstairs and made me work for it. By this point, the snow had been rained away mostly. My pajama pants got wet around the ankles since I wasn’t able to put on proper hiking boots. I went up the hill and turned onto The Boulevard trail where I found a nice spot of wintery dead shrubs that form grassy caves.

mouse in jar

Case Findings:

Creepy crawlies and critters are looking to come in for the winter and they are not welcome here. They need to go live outside where they belong. Gus and Oliver had a flawless system for capturing three mice in one week. Two were released; one was dead.

Case Status: Closed

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