Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 36-192

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AMBER LOVE 18-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 had an extraordinary week in December where the cats caught three mice in four days.


Les Misérables:

Professor Oliver Winchester was opting to stay indoors more now that winter has fallen upon us in the northeast. He prefers to lie on the lap of his favorite human, The Cook. He is still productive and hardworking. He conducts more stakeouts than Gus ever would. When something is about to go down, then Oliver is able to get Gus’ attention. Gus, however, is still demanding to go out on patrols and when it’s too cold, his indoor behavior reflects his cabin fever.

Ollie on the bed

The brisk air outside makes Gus move around a lot more. He’s less likely to sit under the bird tree for an hour. He’ll give it a couple of minutes. We loop around the perimeter. When a breeze comes through, Gus will tear across the whole field while humans clench their butts hoping he doesn’t head for the road. He hasn’t so far. He either chooses a tree to quickly ascend or hooks to change direction and keep running. Then I have to try and catch up. He’s usually somewhere around the front border or Oliver’s patio.

One other behavioral change is that Gus has become obsessed with the northern border. The wildflowers, bushes, weeds, and rocks form a berm that runs the whole length except where the trails interrupt it. Gus knows things are happily living under all brush. I was quite upset when he murdered Vole Porter. The meadow voles inhabiting the northern border and Lithodom’s maze of caves live harmoniously with the lithodomites and other woodland creatures. Plus, I find them truly adorable.

Gus at northern border

Because of the meadow voles’ reputation for getting along with everyone, no one suspects that they are incredibly talented martial artists. No strange sewer pollution needed to mutate these rodents into courageous, agile fighters. They’re the unsuspecting round neighbors that will protect themselves when necessary. This magnificent rodent named Jean Volejean was a top notch warrior, a samurai of its own kind perhaps.

The precise content of the Bushidō code varied historically as the samurai class came under the influence of Zen Buddhist and Confucian thought, but its one unchanging ideal was martial spirit, including athletic and military skills as well as fearlessness toward the enemy in battle. — Britannica

close up of a meadow vole Jean Volejean

When it comes to this particular showdown, I don’t have a whole lot to write because I was able to get so much of it on video. Suffice to say, I did try to rescue Jean Volejean numerous times and Gus was continuously successful finding all the different locations the vole was given to escape.

One of the escape plans I came up with was releasing Jean into the cinder blocks of the fairy garden. We know that there are tunnels leading from the blocks. We put peanuts there often. After I put Jean in the garden wall, I made sure Gus wasn’t wandering off anywhere he shouldn’t. That didn’t require any effort as he made his way right over to the fairy garden and sniffed around. I aimed my camera into the cinder block with the flash on because I couldn’t tell if Jean was okay and alive. The first photo showed him there in there like he was a prisoner in a cell. The next photo, he was gone so I thought it was safe to assume that Jean found the tunnels.

collage of Jean Volejean and Gus

However, Jean was not safe. Gus lingered for quite a while. I could tell he was thinking, but he didn’t seem confident. He sat still for a while in between attempts at smelling for signs of Jean. Eventually though, Gus reached his arm into the hole and pulled Jean up. He threw the rodent over the garden wall and followed him a few feet before biting down on him again and walking into the snow-dusted grotto.

After I realized Gus did indeed break Jean’s back leg, which at first I thought was total back end paralysis, I didn’t want the critter to suffer. What are the odds of a rotund meadow vole surviving with a bum leg? I have no idea! But you know that moment when a fighter rousts all the strength they have left and gives it one more round? Jean did that! That vole was able to scurry across the snowy grass with a broken leg! Yet, it would stop, turn, and face Gus along the way.

Eventually I turned around so I didn’t have to witness the final few minutes of Jean’s life as Gus took it away.

Folks, this was an amazing event of domesticated cat vs. nature. You do remember I was the human who took baby mice to a rescue center, right? I can’t possibly save every critter Gus finds. He does what a cat is supposed to do. I only wish it wasn’t cat nature to play with prey. Just kill it already. Be swift about it. In the last case file, I was talking about channeling that inner panther. There’s a viral video of a leopard taking down a crocodile. Since Gus isn’t hunting for food, it’s sport and exercise which he desperately needs. So do I, but I’m human and lazy and have computers, books, and a TV for entertainment.

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