Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wildlife encounters.

I'm beginning to wonder what kind of wild critter I will encounter tomorrow. And under what circumstances.

Today I was picking up a few things in Walmart and as I turned my buggy down one aisle I saw a bird fly from one side of that aisle to the other - from the TP to the paper towels. I looked at Rachel: "Did you see that?!" She hadn't. So I went about my business and about the time I reached for some tissues, Rachel said "there it is!" and sure enough, there was the bird watching me from atop a box of Kleenex.

Nice. And a little creepy.

Yesterday - or rather, last night about the time we were all getting ready to go to bed - our encounter was with a mouse.

Yes. In the house.

I know. Finding how it got in is on my list of things to do. Straightaway.

So ... can I just say? One of our cats is worthless in the mousing department. He thinks mice are great toys and he will catch them and play with them until they outsmart him ... which honestly, doesn't take much. It's funny to watch when you see him do it outside, but in the house? Not so much. I'm relatively certain the mouse got in somewhere under the kitchen sink, and I'm pretty sure Patch The Kitty batted that mouse around until it found someplace to hide IN MY BEDROOM. (Which would explain why I woke up to the sound of that crazy cat racing around the perimeter of my bedroom a couple nights ago.)

In the interest of keeping the story short, I will tell you that our encounter with the mouse involved me squealing at least twice, me and Rachel hopping on top of my bed, Sam with a flashlight, broom, and knee-high boots, and two cats who didn't know which way was up for all the screaming, laughing and scrambling.

That mouse ran across my bedroom floor and hid under the bed, then through the front room and hid under the cat scratcher, then into the kitchen and under the oven. All of this took probably a half hour with us tearing things apart - carefully, none of us wanting it to jump out at us - in each room. You can just imagine the chaos.

And all of that excitement came after my up-close-and-personal encounter with a 'possum Friday night.

Short version: hound dog slipped her collar after dark, ran out into the swamp and cornered a 'possum, barked (and barked and barked and barked and barked and barked) until I got concerned she might be in trouble, I trekked through the swamp with a flashlight and a leash to see what was the matter, saw angry (and VERY LARGE) rodent hissing at dog, grabbed a big stick and tried to distract dog, rodent tried to make a run for it, dog grabbed rodent by the neck and shook until it curled into a ball either dead or playing dead, I held the stick over the 'possum with one hand and grabbed the dog by the scruff of the neck with the other.

Y'all, that was the biggest opossum I have ever seen. I have known 18-lb house cats, and this animal was bigger. And my 45-lb dog showed no fear. I know she was a hunter in her former life, but knowing she can do it and seeing her in action are two different things. I couldn't believe she came out of there without a scratch on her.

Nevermind that I wanted to beat the crap out of her for making me go out there ...

And nevermind that she's supposed to hunt raccoons. (As far as I know.)

Whatever. I hope that's all the excitement I have around here for a while. Whew.