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Bloodletting

Kill Zone

Posted on 2014.02.14 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

My front porch looks like a bloodbath. I should've named my cat Dexter. We were waiting for the school bus when I heard a distinctive meow outside my office window. When I opened the front door, Marko darted in - with an enormous field mouse locked tight in his jaws. He ran in and dropped it deep into the living room, purring loudly with the pride of his conquest. Thankfully, it was already dead. I had a moment of panic when I thought I'd be chasing a large mouse through the house.

Viability of the mouse notwithstanding, I lifted Marko to use him like one of those scissor clamps; using his jaws to lift the dead mouse and place it outside without having to actually touch said dead mouse. While an efficient and proud killer, Marko wasn't too keen on my plan and kept dropping the mouse when we were heading the opposite direction he wanted to go. Well, that and you can't really use a cat like scissor clamps, you can only suggest it and hope for the best. Playing to Marko's desire to consume his fresh kill however, eventually worked to my advantage. That said, it was something like 4-degrees outside, I was in my robe, the kids were holding open the door, and the thermostat's location ensures it gets blasted by the Arctic jetstream each and every time the door is opened, so we only made it as far as the front porch.

I guess I've really never thought about which parts of the mouse a cat consumes. I think about it now of course, as he hairballs up an entire skeletal structure on my light-colored wall-to-wall carpet. Checking the mail later I found - in the spot of the dead mouse - a fully intact mouse stomach, licked clean. He brought in another equally-sized dead mouse into the house the next day. And the day after that. I can usually run interference and deny him access until he's properly disposed of his prey (after gingerly praising him for his gift of course) but the kids aren't quite as observant. "DAAAAAAAAAAAAD! MARKO BROUGHT A DEAD MOUSE INSIDE!"

Over the series of a very busy on-call week, the tell-tale signs of carnage piled up on the porch. Blood. Entrails. The aforementioned licked-clean stomach. Being between four and 12-degrees outside all the little critters who clean up this sort of thing have been absent, but it was so bad the kids and I had to step over and around the bloodbath to avoid tracking it into the house.

And now I watch for signs of Bubonic Plague, lest the Black Death sweep over my house like 14th century England.


Plague Doctor by Laurence Winram


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