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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 35-295

Gus mirror images

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Where We Left Off:

The detective agency posited a theory that NJ may have its own Mothman creature flying over Warren County.


For months, The Cook has been reporting that a Gus lookalike appears on the patio outside the French doors. Oliver paws at the glass, yet he doesn’t get aggressive or defensive. The Cook thinks Oliver believes it’s Gus because it looks so much like him.

The first time I heard the word doppelgänger was from a movie starring America’s sweetheart, Melissa Gilbert. The Lookalike was a made for TV movie in 1990. Its premise was that Gilbert’s character had lost her mind and any hold on sanity after her daughter’s death because she kept seeing a little girl that looked identical to her. She couldn’t get a good look at the mother until a climatic moment. After being told about doppelgängers and their dangers, that’s when the grieving mother finally sees “herself” with the little girl of her obsession. If you see your own doppelgänger, you will both die soon. Spoiler alert on a 30-year-old movie: they were identical twins who had been separated.

collage of black cats with white patches that look like Gus from Instagram

Since being on Instagram and using it mostly to follow cats, I’ve noticed that there are a tremendous amount of cats with domino dots like Gus. They aren’t tuxedos. They’re smaller patches of white on the chest and belly. This pattern is associated with the Scottish legend of the cat sidhe (fairy cat). The local animal shelters here in the NJ, NY, PA area seem to get an awful of these cats looking for homes.

During our previous investigations into the bobcat who walks through the neighborhood, the trail camera caught some other smaller felines on camera too. There were Mike and Ringo. I believe Ringo might the dark cat that The Cook and Oliver think of as a Gus lookalike. The rings on Ringo’s tail maybe are not easily seen in the dark or patio light. The trail camera’s night mode setting makes everything high contrast. Recently, the trail camera caught a photo were the cat isn’t identifiable because it got up close. Too close. What can be discerned is that it’s a dark-colored cat, most likely black.

collage of poops on porch

We officially have new neighbors who have purchased the back 40 acres. We haven’t been introduced yet. Gus and I did watch a man and his adorably fat bulldog hang new No Trespassing signs. While the house up there was part of our domain, Gus and I frequently found all kinds of poop on the wrap-around veranda. Those piles could have belonged to the foxes, raccoons, opossums, or other creatures making themselves right at home. Cats will bury theirs, so I never suspected any of the free-roaming cats to be the Mad Pooper.

New Jersey had its most popular human Mad Pooper in 2018, but news around the neighborhood is that there may be another one on the loose.

Back to the case of the Gus copycat. Due to the limitations of our surveillance system, I have not caught Ringo doing anything other than trespassing. The Grumpy Old Man purchased an elaborate security system and thought I’d be able to figure out how to set it up. If it’s not Wi-Fi, then no. I doubt I could drill cameras into the house and run wires successfully. I’m sure that system never came out of the box. Trail cameras, I can figure out. They have batteries and memory cards.

trail cam images of strange cat

Take a look at these latest images and see if you agree that this vagrant feline is Ringo.

  • Do you think it’s someone else?
  • Should we be concerned?
  • If there is a doppelgänger of Gus (and we know there are many out there), do the same superstitions apply?
  • Would harm come to either of them?

In some of the research about these legends, the articles state that the double or “evil twin” does not cast shadow or is an apparition. Many famous people of history have had their own experiences with seeing their doubles. This list includes U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Bill Nye the science guy and Abraham Lincoln

Case Findings:

We don’t believe Ringo or whoever it is that Oliver watches is an exact match for our Gus. We don’t have enough evidence in the photographs to see the other cat’s lower belly where Gus has his secret patch of white fur. Though Gus has not been photographed by the trail camera in the dark, it’s also unlikely that his black tail would appear striped.

Case Status: Closed

Gus belly up rolling in catnip 2019

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