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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 05-265

AMBER LOVE 13-JUN-2022 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:

In our last case, we investigated Pietro Maximunk, one of the X-Munks, and realized his behavior may have been affected by the planet Mercury.

Trick Baby:

As we were wrapping up our fifth year of cases and moving into our next fiscal year, Gus began exhibiting stronger signs of independence. He’s seven now. Despite often being a huge cry baby, he has a deep rooted desire to explore mountains and face challenges. The problem is, even if I believe he’s safe away from me, I want to know where exactly he is and he doesn’t think to tell me before taking off on his own.

This is a case file of the missing Gus. Two days in April (and plenty of other times), Gus was compelled to leave my side. One day his adventurous spirit won because I saw him resting under the hay wagon/trailer and I thought it would be an acceptable time for me to go pick some flowers. Of course he didn’t stay put.

I searched around the area calling him. I sat on the trailer knowing that he often returns to the point where he left. I noticed a couple of house wrens who were fighting over a perfectly made hole in the side of the small house. It gave me something to watch while I waited to see if Gus would return to where I last saw him.

Whether it was an hour or half an hour, it was enough time lapsed that I called in reinforcements. The Grumpy Old Man and The Cook walked up the hill to join me in the search. I toured the trails in order to look at the thick and overgrown spaces between the trails where Gus likes to forest bathe, hunt, and enjoy the peace. None of us were having any luck which was strange because he usually responds to their voices better than mine.

The Cook headed back to the Winchester-Nabu main building. The old man and I met up near his garage. Perhaps, Gus would have made his way home and gone in there to work. If he did, we had already left.

I went back to the trails to zig-zag my way up the hill. This was more hiking than I usually do (which isn’t much). Finally, I got the text: He’s on the back porch! Gus hiked by himself all the way home and was probably wondering why the hell I wasn’t there to let him inside and feed him. The Cook had it covered. I was relieved. Nonetheless, all the humans needed time to process their frustrations. The Butler and Oliver had been comfortable for the entire time back at the office. My legs and butt felt like they were going to fall off my bones.

A couple days later, Gus pulled a similar move. We were still close to home. The wind was ridiculously strong and made it unpleasant being outside. It was better in the woods somewhat sheltered by the trees. I stood in a spot where I believed I could see if Gus tried walking out of our domain. I stood triangulated at the end of Bunny Hollow’s trail and the driveway. If Gus had crossed over the road, he’d have to go passed me. Well, I don’t know how he did it, but he ended up next door where he should not be.

I went over and stumbled over the chopped wood which is not in neat stacks. I even tried walking around to the trail to enter through the next neighbor’s yard which I’ve done often. It’s impassable and Gus knows it. During my stumbling, I lost my sunglasses probably leaving physical evidence that we had been trespassing (they have security cameras anyway).

Just when I thought Gus was finished pulling such shenanigans — at least for a while to give me a break — he did it again! I had considered my write up on this finished, but then the Butler came over on Friday night and Gus spotted the opportunity. He saw the human parking his car and coming towards the house’s hobbit size entrance. Gus positioned himself perfectly and waited. The door opened and darted up the two steps and out to freedom in all his naked glory! We were lucky Gus ran into the backyard and stopped close by at the maple tree. The Butler was able to quickly retrieve the naked Houdini-wannabe and bring him back home. That pretty much describes Gus’ personality. Always wanting to be naked and free.

The mystery is: how does Gus do it?

Within the confines of the house structure, all of us refer to Gus’ “ninja skills” because he is an expert at being invisible even when he’s right in front of you. Though this usually happens in a shadow, it doesn’t always. He could be very still in sphinx pose in a sun patch and people will still miss him. I wish I had connections at the Science Vs. podcast to ask them why this happens. It’s somewhat but not exactly like the “distraction assessment” used to prove things like humans make terrible eyewitnesses and humans can focus on one thing at a time only.

I love that test. It makes you learn a lesson. I remember verbal tests that were similar – something to do with people getting on and off a bus but at the end you’re not asked about how many people, you’re asked about something else.

Caico had teleportation skills. I worried that Gus had them too. So did The Cook when she spotted a black cat in the yard. He would be constantly roaming if he could do that.

Case Findings:

Gus loves to pull one over on his humans. He either sneaks away to explore or manages the exact opposite – is right in front of someone and they don’t see him. It seems that Gus is a master of that one particular cloaking skill. He’s certainly not graceful when he moves around. He’s definitely not silent most of the time either. He sounds like a horse galloping down the staircase.

Case Status: Closed

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