People who follow my life and times probably already know this story, but it seems like the kind of thing my progeny might want to know, so I’m documenting it. It’s graphic, be warned, especially the vegetarians.
Some time this past fall, when it was still warm enough that some of the windows were open, specifically one window in particular in the basement, Jasper found a dead animal in our basement.
The way he said, “Mom..?” from the basement told me something was wrong. “You’d better come down here.” I went down.
In the back corner of the basement, about 10 feet from the open window was something dead. Not just dead, but Big and dead. My first thought (seriously) was that our cats had finally killed the nervous-nelly calico next door and dragged her down the basement. Maybe she came in the window and they found and killed her before she could find her way back out? SSSShit.
The head, which was partially still attached told me it wasn’t a cat. It was a gigantic rabbit, a bunny. Not just anybunny, but a bunny which I had trouble imagining a cat dragging through the small basement window. An adult bunny.
Our basement windows are glass block, but two, one on either side of the basement have ventilation openings. They flip up to make an opening about the size of a business sized envelope, maybe a little bit bigger. It’s big enough for all but one of the cats to squeeze out and back in during the night. We lock them in the basement at night for their own safety. We’d kill them if they went about their nocturnal business in the whole house.
We have received many a kitty-gift on the back porch. Baby bunnies, halves of baby bunnies, just the heart of some mammal, bird heads, feathers, yacked up bone-and-feather piles, mice and mouse parts… Lots of stuff. This was different. It was big and it was in our house. I could actually see the heart- or maybe the liver (something smooth and dark) through the opening which had once been the bunny’s neck. It was like someone had sort of popped the top of the bunny and left it hanging on -like those water bottles with attached caps. Gross.
I brought Andy down to see. We all went upstairs to get ahold of ourselves while we pondered how our bunny-friend (who shall heretofore be referred to as Pez) had come to be dead in the basement. We tried to picture how a cat without thumbs would maneuver such a large find through the small window and into the basement. The window is at ground level when you look at it from outside, but it’s about 7 feet from the floor of the basement. A smart kitty could maybe pick up Pez and drop him in from outside, then come in after him. Or he could have backed into the window and stood on the inside ledge and poked his head out to drag his prize in after him. We went down and investigated. There was a small blood smear on the inside of the window. This told us just about nothing new.
Eventually we’d have to deal with Pez. Like, soon.
I have discovered that the problem with being me is that I don’t dismiss fleeting ideas quickly enough. They catch hold and convince me that they are, in fact, important ideas, considerations or concerns. Once I had the bunny on my shovel (and after Jasper pronounced that he had died long enough ago to be in rigor mortise) and was headed up the stairs, I started to think about what to do with him. This is where my thought processes began to go awry, I think. I thought of the bunny as meat and not garbage. Meat is valuable in a circle-of-life sort of way. It seemed wrong to throw him away.
Plus, I had recently bleached our alley trash bin due to some dead animal or other getting tossed in. I wasn’t about to put such a large chunk of meat in there to sit around. It was a Thursday, which meant it would sit in our trash for a week, so obviously putting Pez in the dumpster was out of the questionI had previously put small kills under a tree in the park across the alley. The crows or neighborhood dogs or maybe ants dealt with them. I mentioned to Andy that I thought this particular animal was really too big to leave for some small child to stumble upon in the park. His first suggestion was that maybe we should hang the body in a tree in the park. Call me crazy, but I found that to be just too macabre.
I was really hoping to recycle the bunny. We used to have a 6 foot tall stump in the back yard. I’d put dead things up there all the time and some raptor or scavenger would come and eat them. Since we took the stump out we had no good place to put dead stuff. But wait a minute! What about the roof of the garage?