Skip to content

Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 47-307

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 State of New Jersey has updated its endangered and rare wildlife sighting reporting process. Next time we get evidence of a bobcat, we can use this new tool.

Sacrificial Lamb:

The Spring Equinox represents a lot of things besides the alignment of celestial bodies and the Earth. It’s considered a time of birth/rebirth, renewal, cleaning, early flowers blooming, and critters waking from hibernation. The rodents, both inside and outside, have laid low during the winter. We could hear them occasionally inside the walls making this place sound even more haunted. We’ve also seen the tunnels in the grass from their burrowing. Generally, it’s been a quiet winter as far as rodents go. It was a magical experience of timing to see the first chipmunk of the year on the equinox!

close up of tree moss

The scratching in the walls grew louder sometime in February. The tiny feet running between drywall and framing could be heard in all the main rooms occupied by humans. The mice were awake and they probably had some babies.

I love mice and think they’re adorable, but they do spread disease and make houses filthier. They don’t take bathroom breaks. They pee and poop as they’re walking along and if that happens to be in a drawer of cooking utensils, they don’t care.

Hey, at least we don’t have roaches. I’d take mice over roaches any day.

I also grew up with the “old wives’ tale” that if you have cats in the house, you won’t mice. Mice will smell the cats and stay away. This has never been true. Never ever.

Himalayan fluffy cat Caico lying elegantly on the couch and blankets
Caico 2012

I’ve had cats that loved the hunt and cats that could not be bothered (Caico) to mess with such things. I remember clearly an incident when I was little and one of our cats stole a pair of gloves from my father because they had rabbit fur lining. She bit down on a glove, carried it around, growling throughout the house. That was hers and you could not have it. I can’t remember if he took it away from her eventually or if he just bought another pair of gloves. He probably didn’t buy them in the first place. Once in a while when something new appeared, I was told, “It fell off a truck.” And I believed that. A grown-up said it, so I believed it well into my late teens.

The cats that have been lucky enough to chase real live prey, I believe, have had a blessing. It’s what they’re supposed to do. Cats are predators. They stalk, pounce, chase, play with their prey, maybe kill it, maybe even eat it. I always found it preferable if the cats ate what they killed because that meant I didn’t have to clean it up. I’ve even held funerals for the voles Gus killed but didn’t eat. Voles are adorable! I fell bad for them. But it’s what Gus is supposed to do.

I try to always save the chipmunks, squirrels, baby bunnies, and birds. I’m not always successful. There was even a case where Gus captured a baby Gorgon; it was pronounced dead on the scene; and then it disappeared!

Gus and Ollie make a great team for mousing. I was not surprised when Gus snatched up that little mouse late at night on March 19, 2023. I was more surprised at how quickly he killed it and that didn’t make me chase him around the entire house multiple times with Oliver strategically moving positions.

collage of Gus peering into the jar with dead mouse in it

Case Findings:

This was an interesting case for reasons noted. The victim appeared to be a young, but not newborn, house mouse. There was no time at all for questioning. Since this case, we have still heard scratching noises in the walls indicating there are more critters. This victim made the crucial mistake of leaving the walls and crawling within reach of Gus.

Case Status: Closed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *