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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 22-282

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Where We Left Off:

Gus was stung by a bee and it caused him to suffer from temporary PTSD.

Uncle Knick-Knack:

I’m not sure if it’s an influence of living out in the country (now suburbs) for forty years that gave The Grumpy Old Man his love of firearms. If you’re sensitive about this subject, I understand if you skip it.

To be honest, I don’t know how many guns the old man has. He insisted on seeing if I could handle a .22 bolt action rifle with the modified clip per New Jersey state law. I did fairly well with it, but didn’t enjoy it. I don’t feel like my arms are long enough to be comfortable and confident.

targets from shooting

In June, the Grumpy Old Man bought a new soft shell rifle case. I don’t know why. I can only assume it’s because he had recently taken up more target shooting to bond with his human grandson. All of us saw the case on the dining room table where it took up considerable space.

But then it disappeared!

For two weeks, the old man searched in frustration and sadness. The worst part was seeing his dismay and disappointment—not about losing something. He was terrified that he was losing his mind and memory. He’s in his 70’s like The Cook. She frequently makes unsettled remarks about dementia which is no joking matter because we saw it in her grandmother. It was sad. It even happens to animals. Caico had a touch of it.

Day after day, the old man would search through rooms, buildings, and vehicles. Then he’d sit down with this depressing expression because he couldn’t remember where he put this stupid rifle case.

Gus and Oliver were asked to help out. Both of them frequently explore the dining room table so it was extremely likely that they knew the scent of this case. Oliver also provided planned distractions by demanding more grooming from the Grumpy Old Man. He’ll yell from the old man’s usual seat on the couch because the side table has a basket with his brush in it.

Oliver also plays a game which cats invented dating back two hundred years or so when they were domesticated. It’s like our human game Musical Chairs, but a little different. The cat will notice that a human is just about to sit down and then sprint over and take the seat. If the cat doesn’t get squashed, they win the seat and the game! This has become a regular distraction for the old man and a form of entertainment for Oliver.

Gus and I did what we could in our searches. He checked the loft, inside the vehicles and the truck bed; I looked under beds. The one safe that would be big enough and I could reach didn’t have it. There’s another but I can’t even get to it. Gus can sometimes reach it when he’s mousing. He’s even been on top of it, but never inside it.

On a random day in the middle of June, the elder humans went out shopping. I began another search of the house. I stood next to the fireplace completely dumbfounded. I had checked under the beds and behind furniture. As I stood there, I noticed Gus sniffing the firewood next to my feet. Since he and Ollie had recently been mousing inside the house, I first thought that’s what he detected. I reached up and turned on one of the wall sconces. They aren’t particularly bright and don’t cast much more than a night-light. However, in this instance, it was just enough light.

I bent down to pet Gus and see if I noticed any scurrying through the firewood. I didn’t. My eyes moved from one end to the other and then up the stack of wood which is when I saw it! The missing rifle case! Gus had found it! (Perhaps it was an accident, but still, I wouldn’t have turned on that light if he wasn’t there sniffing around.)

I took two photos to show how impossible it was to see this tall black case in the shadow. Then I brightened it up so that it was more visible and sent both photos to the other humans.

Case Findings:

Things lurk in the shadows. More things than monsters and Batman. This time, it was the rifle case all of us were searching for.

Case Status: Closed

For another interesting feature on Uncle Knick-Knack, check out the INCREDIBLE Addams’ Family dollhouse created by Ara at Bentley House Minis on YouTube. Her reproduction is so astonishing it’s in a museum.

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