Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Five:

Case File No. 04-212

cat logo grey

AMBER LOVE 31-MAY-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.

Since one commentator on YouTube was upset with one of the videos of Gus killing a vole, allow me to have this disclaimer:

Gus is a domestic feline who still requires stimulation, play, hunting (real or pretend), rest, food, and veterinary care. He gets all this in a loving home in the suburbs. We have pests. As his human companion, I would much rather have Gus on the job hunting the rodents than allowing the elder human to capture them in painful, torturous ways such as glue traps or poison. Poison is even more uncontrollable because any animal including insects and scavenging birds who eat a rodent killed by poison will then also have to digest the poison which could be lethal to them as well. I’m vegetarian and believe in non-harming (Ahimsa), but I also believe animals are meant to have instincts. I don’t agree with the “circus” style training that goes on unless an animal is in show biz and has a relatively good life. Elephants don’t need to paint or perform tricks. Skunks shouldn’t be de-scented. And domestic cats are not meant to use toilets instead of litter boxes. Gus and Oliver live extremely pampered lives with humans who care for them and love them deeply.

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

Where We Left Off:

Gus and Oliver delivered a house mouse to the biographer. It was successfully released outside the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency property lines.

You Can’t Get Away with Murder:

This is not a typical case of a vole being discovered and captured. The strangest vole story is probably the tale of Vole Avery (born Vole Arvicolini). This one bears more resemblance to a certain famous award-winning novel and movie.

Gus hunting

It’s been a few months since Gus got the formal directive from The Grumpy Old Man to kill all the mice, voles, and moles. The human doesn’t appreciate that the mice are nesting all over the residence, garage, and workshop areas; and the voles and moles are digging up the backyard. If he thought Gus could win in a fight against groundhogs, they would be added to be added to the murder list.

Gus has been catching the most voles (for the record, I find them adorable) around the lower parking lot. They seem to have made themselves at home in Cheeks Moretti’s rock fortress while he was hibernating. This day was no different. Gus climbed onto the rock wall where the juniper shrubs have sprawled their roots through the terrain. The ground is interspersed with wild grapevines — those kind that would grow thick and brown and turned into wreaths for craft stores. Here at the fortress those vines are still thin and have leaves. They’re probably holding the wall parts of the wall together like spiderwebs.

Gus made a couple of attempts to pounce over the edge of the shrubs and dive into them, coming up empty. Eventually he caught his perp and wanted to celebrate. Instead of bringing it home, since Vole Custer’s capture Gus has decided that he should “escort” the perps up to the hangar to present to the Grumpy Old Man.

The adrenaline must have taken over. Before he even reached the upper parking area near the mobile command unit, Gus had crushed Vole Avery in his teeth. Damn, son!

I was surprised when I looked and there was Vole Avery on the pavement. He was not a petite vole either. I had to get Gus to explain why he felt Vole Avery needed to die before we got the chance to question him.

“You might not have had the chance to interrogate him, but I did,” Gus said. He stopped where he was on pavement and laid down allowing the corpse to fall from his jaws.

“Are you going to tell me what you found out so I can add it to the case file?” I began rummaging through my detective kit bag for chalk. I had to run back to the porch to get a new one.

dead vole on ground in chalk outline

When I returned to Gus, he picked up the body and moved it a few more feet. The new location would have to serve as my starting point. We were on the corner of the upper parking lot and the private road. I set up the designation for the scene as a crime even though I know Gus had just extinguished the life from the meadow vole. However, the mystery is who is Vole Avery and what happened to his body?

That’s right, the very next day, I went to check on the body and it was gone!

As usual, the Blue Jay Gang was willing to share information in exchange for peanuts. There are some new recruits to the gang this year. No surprise. One of the newcomers is underboss “Mickey Blue” Paradiso. He knows how to slip enough information on his enemies to us so that Gus knows how best to keep track of them.

blue jay Mickey Paradiso

Here’s what happened:

Vole Avery was an actor, the kind who appeared as a cowboy or maverick. The voles are serious about their arts and entertainment. Mr. Avery wanted a particular part, as all actors do. He thought he could break out of his mold with something in a different genre — pop culture. Vole Avery wanted to be one of the stars of a small ensemble cast about mutated superpowered rodents. Unfortunately, Mr. Avery’s seedy behavior was a mark against him. The producer didn’t want him.

Feeling the rejection, Mr. Avery tried to hire someone from the Chipcent Donofrio’s organization. Chipcent sent his most loyal companion, Munka Kelly, to broker Avery’s deal. Munka was supposed to get the word out that this producer was an easy target. She expected word to reach the falcons and owls. Before any part of that hit was carried out, Gus got a hold of Vole Avery and killed him which put an end to murder plot.

Case Findings:

Gus had some inside knowledge about a secret murder plot against a vole in the entertainment business. Mr. Vole Avery (born Vole Arvicolini) was trying to hire an assassin. He must have thought that going through the chipmunks would keep his name protected. Instead, Gus found out from the Blue Jay Gang and he took matters into his own hands and teeth.

Case Status: Closed

Godfather gif

Subscribe to my newsletter

Avoid those algorithms! Get news delivered to your inbox. You'll also receive a free short story when you subscribe!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.