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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Five: Case File No. 29-237

AMBER LOVE 29-NOV-2021 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.

Where We Left Off:

The Winchester-Nabu estate welcomed two new critters, Wanda and Pietro Maximunk.


The “B” stands for badasses (or babies who whine a lot). In this case, it refers to Gus and Oliver who have established a noteworthy reputation for catching critters, killing intruders, and solving crimes. Since they have been highly successful, it felt like their offices were due for an upgrade. This is where I came in with back-breaking labor.

The case to solve: Can the human do this arduous task without ending up in the hospital?

Spoiler: Obviously, yes. I made it.

I used one of the original fort boxes — the large one. The small back porch was replaced and a new second floor addition was added.

It should be said that glue and I do not work well together. Any kind of glue. For this case, I used hot glue and good old fashioned Elmer’s white glue. For the new boxes, I had to design new doors and windows and cut them out with an x-acto / box cutter. I bought some non-toxic white (16 oz.) and green (smaller tube) paints from the craft store and some decorations. I didn’t set out with a budget only the plan that I didn’t want to go completely overboard. Sure it would be great to have mouldings and window boxes with miniature flowers and even more furniture, but those things can be added over time.

The white paint and the hot glue were drying almost instantly because of the weather. I spent two days on the painting doing the exteriors of all three boxes and the interior of the largest box which would be Oliver’s office. Once those were dry, I brought all the pieces inside to work on where the hot glue would give me a few more seconds to fit pieces together. I made the awning for the one window and used a marker for the red stripes.

The cool vines growing all over were created with a roller stamp and green ink from Stampin’ Up. I barely had to use the green paint. I used a metallic blue marker to make dotted flowers around the front door so it would look like the morning glories that The Cook tries to grow every year.


I stained the wood pieces except for the bookcase with the black walnut ink I made in October. I printed out the lettering for the signs because I know my lettering would have looked awful. I glued the paper to the wooden plaques to make the signs. I glued the pillars and painted the bases after the stain set in. Then glued them to the box on either side of the front door.

Gus was not interested at all in jumping up to the roof of this new second floor that’s supposed to be Gus’ tavern. I had to train him with treats. I bought three mats from Chewy that were cheap to be the carpets of the roof and main floors. Ollie was first hesitant because of the smell, I suspect. But he was more eager to check out the new digs. However, once treats were associated with the fort, both of them had no problem going in and on it.

Oliver feels secure enough to smack at Gus through the windows. Sometimes he gets his bowl of catnip delivered inside but that’s only when his Butler is working.

Portraits of the cats, the humans, and some of our wildlife adventures were printed and hung. This was harder than you might think. Since all the box flaps had been glued and taped, I had to reach through the doors and small windows trying to get the portraits hung. A few are crooked. Most recently I added what was a terrarium but I had killed the plant so I replaced the plant with some of the bones we’ve collected.

I was thinking about adding chains to the back porch drawbridge, but after observing how they barely fit through that doorway, I think chains would get destroyed.

Case Findings:

I suggest doing all your interior decorating plans ahead of time and thinking about whether you’ll be able to access those areas once the boxes are closed. Otherwise, head to Pinterest and get inspired. My back hurt for DAYS, but I didn’t need a doctor since I had medicine here already. Good luck!

Case Status: Closed

The Money Pit gif

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