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Good Moms Hide The Bodies

In a previous post, I mentioned that I don't like to get too personal on my blog here. But if I don't, I won't have anything at all to post because there is not a lot of writing happening these days. I don't know why. I currently have [checks Work List] 87 mostly-formed ideas with only 21 of them completed. There are things I can write. There are many, many things that are mid-draft. And yet, I can't write them. This is the worst case of writer's block I have had ... ever. EVER. I've been writing for 20 years and this is the first time I've gone months without being interested in a single project. It's exhausting and infuriating and slightly terrifying to be so out of touch with all the other people that live in my brain. I don't like it. Yet, nothing changes.

So, there's all that. Now this blog is just going to get personal as Hell because fuck it why not? (Yes, this means you get a far less curated dose of my personality. Swearing will ensue.)

All that being said, let us dive into what really, really, really matters to me in life: my furbabies.

One blog post that I, to this day, am unable to write is about my beloved mutt, Binoojii. I cannot write about her because she is no longer with me. After 14 incredible years, she died. (There are more poetic ways of saying it, but I can't even with that shit right now. So now the bandaid is gone.)

What I can write about is my new baby, Ori, and his big brother, Echo. (And Demon, Killer of Rabbits.)

The first ever photograph of Echo & Ori taken February 19, 2022

While I could go on, at length, about Ori (and I likely will in a blog series called The Ori Diaries), this particular story is about Echo. If you've read the title and this previous post, you might have some idea what to expect.

Picture it: my unfenced backyard, yesterday...

Demon's twin (a stray cat with very similar markings) has been hanging around the house again. Yet, we've also been finding even tinier cat peet prints everywhere, leading us to believe that there is a kitten hanging around and may be why Demon considers it his duty to go outside even on the most atrociously cold nights of the year. (Not his kitten, my boy is fixed.)

Well, as of yesterday early afternoon, there were at least three distinct trails of small critter tracks around my yard. All of them fresh. At least one set belonging to the supposed kitten.

All of these tracks and scents became the bane of my existence in the late afternoon when I let Echo outside to take care of business. (Thank God that I did not have Ori out with us!) This poor dog was literally mid-poop when a glance over his shoulder revealed a muskrat ambling across the corner of the yard.

Echo is a Bluetick Coonhound. His prey drive is off the charts for anything smaller than him. (Making him The Worst to play with in the eyes of Demon and Ori.) Considering this, it's a sign of really good training that I've been super successful in calling him off rabbits hauling ass through the yard, and once he considers it out of his jurisdiction, he's fine with letting it go. But the muskrat wasn't fast enough. Despite a decent effort at escape, the muskrat soon turned on my dog in a last stand of defiance.

If you know anything about muskrats, you know they are vicious pests. They destroy and damage everything they come into contact with, be it buildings or crops. And they're especially evil when they feel threatened.

Had it been my 9 week old puppy who discovered that critter and gone to investigate, the muskrat would have killed him. There's no doubt in my mind. So what happens next in this story, I hope you now realize, was not only necessary but a right fucking pleasure.

Echo caught up with the muskrat near the edge of the property just past Binoojii's grave. It turned on my dog and they moved further back into my yard. I raced toward them and finally got close just as my dog released a yelp. The fucking thing had latched onto his muzzle.

Thankfully, he couldn't withstand the severe head-shaking Echo performed and he flew back. This did not give either combatant pause. Echo advanced and so did the muskrat.

Into the fray I ran, and as soon as I saw an opening, I hauled back my right leg and drove my big booted foot into that rodent's round little body. At first, I didn't think I'd kicked him hard enough as he looked like he was going to twist around and come back at us. And he did try it, but again he wasn't fast enough. Echo picked him up around the neck and ran off with him.

I gave chase once more as my dog shook it and threw it away. At that point, I was finally able to get hold of my boy's collar and drag him back.

The muskrat gave chase. While crippled, bleeding, and dying. He still tried to come at us.

I almost kicked him again just because it pissed me off, but I had Echo in hand and I wasn't going to let him go. Therefore, I hauled him back into the house and left the muskrat to its injuries and the snow.

All the while, I was freaking out because Echo has blood dripping from his mouth the whole way back to the house, so I was terrified that he was really hurt. We get inside, get to the top of the stairs, and the stupid door is jammed by the rug in front of it. Echo squeezed through while I was screaming for my mom to come help me check him. She didn't respond, so I squeezed through. After more screaming, snapping, and coaxing, we were finally able to get Echo into the bathroom only to discover it was 98% not his blood. He may have had a small injury inside his mouth, because we noticed blood on his tongue later on, but we never found it.

Hours went by and Echo would not settle. His eyes were still dilated and he paced the house, begging us to let him back out. It was driving us nuts.

At last, I decided that the muskrat should be dead and I called my boyfriend to share the story with him while I stood over the critter, trying to see if it was still alive. The way the snow was falling, however, kept tricking me into thinking it was still breathing. Finally, I got the shovel out, scooped it up, and catapulted it over the barbwire fence that separates my yard from the field behind it.

All so I could let my dog back out to examine the crime scene and find it empty. This still did not appease him and he spent the rest of the night being a giant pain in the ass.

Ori was equally upset with him since it meant they were both leashed for the rest of the evening.

Today, Echo has thoroughly examined the site and has unsuccessfully figured out where I disposed of the body, so that's good. And Ori's prey drive is low enough that he can smell all of that and not give it a crap. (Demon, Killer of Rabbits, still thinks it's too high. Apparently, the only one allowed to catch smaller animals is him. I'm in agreement, considering his success rate.)

So, that's the latest. Evil rodent invaded my territory, dog and I set him straight, and now he will feed the scavengers. I have zero conflicting feelings about this.

I still hope we never have to do this again.

At least it wasn't a skunk.


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