Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Five:
Case File No. 43-251
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Where We Left Off:
The detective team investigated the disappearance and murder of one of our furry residents from Gnome Grove, Duke Chandler.
This week’s case file is filled with photos and videos of Gus in action! *WARNING* These images do contain Gus being a cat, the predator in his DNA, a fierce hunter who sometimes kills things when he’s allowed.
As I’ve said on Instagram, YouTube, and here: The Grumpy Old Man hates the burrowing rodents who create intricate tunnels through the yard. When they do this, those bumps and ridges cause some problems. Aesthetics aside, when you step on a tunnel, it sinks. Depending how wet the soil is, you could slip, trip, and get hurt. There are the long tunnels and the egress mounds. The patterns may be intriguing and artistic (dare I say, mystical?), but when the Grumpy Old Man gets angry, it affect everyone.
The point is, Gus really likes him and wants to keep him happy. Gus takes his assignments seriously anyway. Vanquishing tiny monsters from the Underworld, no matter how irresistibly cute I find them, is something Gus loves about his job.
The February 11, 2022 assignment required many of our monster-hunting skills. Tangent: Have you seen The Good Place? I hope so. It’s brilliant. On the show, there are demons of various species (?) and they can disguise themselves in human body forms. In their universe, the real demon could be a huge ten-foot tall fire monster that looks like a lava person. Basically like The Thing/Ben Grimm but lava. Men in Black had a similar human suit option for the alien bugs. If that’s possible… the tiny monsters of the Underworld here could be big things not little fuzzy kitten size things.
An important factoid we’ve previously revealed is that burrowing critters can share their tunnel networks. It’s so nice of them. I would not want to imagine this yard if each Underworld species had its own underground highway system. We would basically be on top of a sinkhole. Hey, it’s possible! An episode of My Favorite Murder said there was a house built on top of a snake pit. It’s briefed in one their short animated episodes by Nick Terry. This house has enough problems. We do not need a sinkhole too.
Laughing and murder. That’s pretty much what occupies my time when I’m not doing detective agency work or yoga work. Laughing often comes from stand-up comedians whose specials I’ve watched enough that I can recite them. I couldn’t do that with the Gettysburg Address. ‘Twasn’t funny enough.
The wonderful world of critters and beasts also like entertainment. In previous cases, we’ve investigated rodent celebrities like actors, racers, and jazz musicians. Not all of them are in the organized crime families, but they are usually connected in some way. The same is true for the rodent comedians. To the best of my knowledge, the male rodent standups have less sexual assault claims against them and I’m pretty sure their mates don’t have much choice. Rodent comedians have more ethics than human ones.
There was a relatively unknown meadow vole in the comedy industry. None other than our favorite blue jay snitch, Louie Eggs, told us about Kurt Braunvohler. The chatter from the woods was that Kurt Braunvohler was no regular, mundane world meadow vole. We paid a lot of peanuts for the information Louie Eggs delivered.
Kurt Braunvohler did his best to escape his old life as a bloodthirsty volepyr! The surreptitious meadow vole once worked on the other side of town for a louche wolpertinger, usually a species of cryptid that kills to survive and not for the thrill. This circumstance was unbelievable. According to Louie Eggs, Braunvohler wanted to break his contract with the wolpertinger but the winged rabbit wouldn’t hear of it so Braunvohler escaped. He sought out a neighborhood where he could live comfortably in the woods. He found the perfect spot in a sloping mound of broken branches and decaying leaves. The unfortunate part of this location is that it’s next to the tree superhighway Gus loves to climb and run along.
We were enjoying the forest bathing while balancing on the trees. Gus and I saw something disturb the leaves. It was too fast for me to figure out what it was. Barely a blur caught my sight. Gus slinked along the fallen tree to relocate to a position only a few feet away from the disturbance. He had the higher ground. The sun wasn’t in his eyes as it navigated behind the trees across the sky. I observed all the signs of hunting arousal Gus had: aggressively swishing tail, laser focused eyes, and his short-twitch muscles warming up. I had a gut feeling, Gus would pounce soon so I moved my position off the logs and trees over to more stable ground near our pathway to the estate grounds.
I was still steadying myself when Gus made his move. I looked over and saw him with his face in the leaves, shaking his head vigorously like an alligator. When he lifted his head, he had a large rodent in his jaws. By the time Gus ran by me and into the yard, the creature was limp. It was the largest vole I’ve ever seen!
I caught a lot of the action in slow motion video:
Why was this vole so much larger than the ones we normally see? Why did it die so quickly? Many times, I have easy opportunities to get voles away from Gus and save them. This was not one of those times.
After all the excitement, I convinced Gus it was time to go home to eat second lunch and have an afternoon meeting with Oliver to go over the video evidence and my eyewitness account. Oliver’s findings were astonishing!
He took swabs from Gus before his partner stuffed his mouth with chicken stew food. This is the new obscenely expensive prescription cat food. I prepped the slides for Oliver to study under magnification. There were unusual things with the phytochemicals. Something in the cat saliva was breaking down the foreign cells.
“I think some chicken would help me crack this mystery.” Oliver moved away from his office to the nightstand where the treats are kept.
“Do you need me to prepare a slide of chicken?” I asked.
“No. I just need the chicken. Give it to me.”
After the snack of dried chicken treats, Oliver returned to his office where he stayed until he was ready to reveal his findings.
“First, Gus has a disgusting mouth. No wonder his breath is terrible. I’ve isolated a protein from his saliva which is actually from our new food. That phytochemical attacked and quickly destroyed the hemoglobin of the monstrous rodent. I believe it’s the sulfur in the chemical composition of Gus’ saliva and the food residue in his mouth.”
“Oliver, did you just call your cousin a demon?” I asked.
“No,” then Oliver mumbled not-so-quietly, “stupid human.”
Sulfur is in a lot of food. One common place to find it is in alliums which include onions and garlic. Since I highly doubted that the new prescription cat food contained either onions or garlic, I thought back to other foods Gus would have had opportunities to ingest. Oh, yes, Gus manages to beg for food from his people. He gets the chicken from fried rice, nibbles of quiche, sometimes tuna. He loves real and vegan cream cheese just like Caico did. He only wants whipped cream from a human hand, a spoon, or the dessert it’s on, but not on his plate. Somewhere in the mix, Gus managed to get enough garlic to murder a volepyr in two or three bites.
As I said, the volepyr when vamped out can take on a much larger body size and there are other physical changes too. But what was equally as interesting was that as Gus played with the corpse to ensure it was absolutely not going to rise, the body got smaller and deflated. I found it interesting.
But that’s not the end of this tale!
Gus had left the corpse in the grotto between the fairy garden and Gnome Grove. I was surprised he didn’t want to take it closer to the house. Anyway, he left it there. Now for all the people who think I’m a terrible person for letting Gus kill rodents, listen up:
The next day, most of the body was gone! All that remained were a lumpy brown thing with some blood on it and a blood spatter drop in the grass. Something had an exquisite dinner with no effort like it dined at a fine restaurant that night.
Gus located a volepyr in hiding by the name of Kurt Braunvohler, a former associate of a nefarious wolpertinger on the wrong side of the laws of polite society. Braunvohler thought he was safe. He began slowly exploring above the ground in the final days of winter’s harsh frost. Gus saw him and immediately ended Braunvohler’s vampire life. Braunvohler died quickly due to the phytochemical composition of food plus saliva in Gus’ bites. There was just enough allium content to destroy the volepyr’s biological system.
Case Status: Closed