I was going to title this post death but then figured some of you might have a heart attack and I don’t want that on my conscious so I had to think up something more clever.
As a matter of fact, I am typing these words with the title space still empty because I have no idea what to name this post. By the time I publish it though it’ll have a title, it’ll be filed under categories and even have some tags too.
Despite all of this nonsensical nonesense in my preamble, I’m going to talk about death anyway.
Not people death.
Animal death. 😐
I’m currently in the city house with the family where I spend 20-40% of my time, as many of you know. The rest of the percentage I live in the suburbs with my mom.
Saturday I was alone with the teens and got most of the dinner stuff prepped. By the time their dad came back we just had to grill the burgers. He offered, so he went to prep the BBQ.
I saw him stare at the BBQ for a while, not turning it on. He kept staring at the grill with a weird look on his face.
“What?” I said, because I’m wordy like that. 🙄
“There’s a dead mouse in here,” he said.
I looked as he lifted it out with some tool. Yep, that was clearly the remains of a mouse. Like, the skeleton of an intact mouse.
How in the world did it get in there? And why? It’s warm out now, and we’re located beside parkland and beaches and fields and… backyards. Why is it going into the BBQ?
Anyway let’s not think too much about why it’s dead but let it be a lesson for you: before you ignite things, check things closely.
That evening, I sat outside on the deck with Tucker and lusted over my new tarot cards. (Note: a whole post about tarot is in the works…)
But I couldn’t concentrate. Tucker was acting weird. I mean weirder than the usual weird. 😛
He was all twitchy.
Suddenly, he got very rigid. But twitchy rigid, if you know what I mean. His gaze was fixed at the far end of the yard where I put a small veggie garden with a fence around it a few years ago. Tucker was concentrating on something, but I couldn’t see what it was. Along the fence there are a bunch of trees and flowering bushes, and they moved a little periodically because there was a pleasant breeze in the air. I figured it was a squirrel because we have about a million of them in the area, and they tease poor Tucker relentlessly from above the phone and tv cables suspended high above the fence over the property lines. (The house is in a high density neighbourhood).
Anyway, he was sitting at the edge of the deck that evening waiting for his nemesis squirrel, twitching in a very rigid state. Suddenly, he leaped and ran across the lawn, jumping around like his paws were on springs.
Earlier in the morning, Tucker had an incident with a squirrel and he somehow managed to jump over the chicken-wire fence onto the broken compost bin into my veggie patch and almost went over the fence into the neighbour’s yard trying to catch the squirrel. It didn’t work and I had to reprimand him for trampling on the lettuce before leading him back to the deck. 🙃
After that I fixed things to prevent it from happening again. I fastened the cover of the outdoor guinea pig cage (an old screen door someone cast away on garbage day) along the fence by the compost bin to stop him from leaping over it like he did in the morning.
It worked, because he couldn’t jump and by the look he gave me, I surmised he wasn’t impressed.
But he was still agitated.
I looked up and lo, there was a big, fat racoon walking along the cable lines. Ha!
Tucker was simply irate. He ran and jumped and barked and howled at the racoon who, when he noticed the Beagle, stopped in his tracks and stared down at him. Then, he turned around – without falling – and walked back to where he came from.
I sat on the deck 10 meters back and watched with interest, sipping a Puglia rose wine spritzer with a twist of lime. 🍹
Well the racoon had Tucker so worked up, the entertainment lasted for several minutes. As the racoon continued his journey back toward the neighbour’s yard, I saw him hesitate at least once. I thought, if he falls, Tucker will find a way to leap over the fence and then it’s game over.
But the racoon didn’t fall. He stopped, stared down at the silly Beagle, and began to wash his his face. 😂
The way the wildlife tortures the dogs around here is uncanny.
Poor Tucker. He was besides himself.
Anyway, after the racoon left, Tucker sat in several spots alert to the possibility that this event would repeat itself.
It didn’t, and I had a hell of a time trying to get him back inside for the night.
Which was a good thing because meanwhile, I could smell skunk odours coming from next door in the abandoned yard.
Fast forward to Sunday morning. I was getting ready to go grocery shopping because there was literally nothing left besides a soft apple, some carrot sticks one of the kids didn’t eat at school, half a bag of milk and some frozen bread in the freezer. While I was writing lists and sorting reusable bags and looking for keys and arguing with teenagers, Tucker suddenly began to make noises at the front window overlooking the driveway.
Sonja went to check and she said it was a cat she didn’t recognize.
Note: Sonja knows all the domestic animals in the neighbourhood. 😀
I looked, and saw that it was eating something.
I opened the door while Tucker made happy noises (he loves cats and wants them to play with him) but had Sonja keep an eye on him so he wouldn’t follow me outside.
When I descended the steps, the cat approached me all proud licking her lips. I thought, maybe there are more mice around given the BBQ incident, but the, um, item she left behind when she approached me was too big to be a mouse.
The cat left, and I stepped toward the little pile of death.
It was a bunny. A young one (but no longer a baby). The liver was exposed, the ears separated from the head, and it was just… so… ugh.
The kids came out to look at it, then their dad, and he walked off to get a shovel. I saw the cat hovering around underneath the car parked on the driveway just a couple of steps away and went inside to get a couple of dog poop bags. I placed one over my hand, and picked up the dead bunny by one of the legs. It didn’t fall apart (thankfully). I laid the dead bunny in the other bag, placed the bag from my hand into the bag with the corpse, sealed it and gave it to the shovel carrier to dispose of in the garbage.
I’m not that squeamish to wait around for shovels, and simultaneously didn’t want the cat to come back and continue to feast on the bloody thing, so I just took care of it.
Back in the burbs at my mom’s house, I see similar wildlife as well, although I haven’t seen any racoons. A big hare and a skunk live nearby, the coyotes drop by every so often, and a multitude of birds, squirrels and even a chipmunk hang around the yards. And mom empties mouse traps every so often, as well.
But that was a lot of death in a short amount of time at the city house…
Thank you for reading my post! See you in the comments. 😘