Thursday, March 13, 2008

Number 74 of Things No One Ever Tells You About Rural Living

You will have to scrape dead things off the road in front of your house.

A few months ago, it was a rat. A completely flat rat. This morning, it was something bigger and cuter than a rat.

Peter's workshop student arrived and asked him if we had a kitten. When Peter answered in the negative, she informed him that there was a dead kitten on the road just outside the gate.

I was working from home today, so I grabbed some garbage bags and a shovel. Somehow, in the divvying up of chores in our relationship, I was tasked with dead animal removal.

I was relieved when I realised that the poor little dead thing was not a kitten. It was a wild rabbit. I don't know if it should matter, but it's easier for me to see a dead wild animal than a dead domestic animal. I feel a bigger sense of responsibility for domestic animals and it's also far too easy to imagine the human family that will miss them.

I'm no CSI forensics investigator, but it looked like the rabbit had about one or two more bunny hops before it would have found freedom in our hedge. Instead, it was hit in the back end. I won't go into gory detail because I know not everyone appreciates that sort of thing, but it looked like a science project. I used to dissect goldfish when I was a kid, so there's something fascinating to me about seeing anatomical structures.

But I couldn't dawdle. I was painfully aware that a car tearing around the curve could easily hit me the same way one had hit the rabbit. A minute later, I had the bunny corpse bundled in three layers of Hefty bags and he was given a solemn burial in the bin, with a later removal to the Civic Amenity Centre.


At 13 March 2008 at 18:38, Blogger Kaycie said...

At my house, dead animal removal and disposal is solely a male chore. Thank goodness.

Poor little bunny.

At 13 March 2008 at 18:56, Anonymous Grannymar said...

Road Kill is excellent for the compost heap. Seriously! No plastic bags needed.

At 13 March 2008 at 19:04, Blogger laurie said...

well, that happens here, too, maybe because htere are so many critters in the big park we live near.

the other day there was a rabbit in the road that had been run over and adhered to the pavement...but its leg was still moving. that was the worst.

At 13 March 2008 at 19:19, Anonymous Noelle said...

I once had a frog hop into my kitchen, and until I read this post, I thought that was the worst thing about country living. Yuck!

At 13 March 2008 at 23:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are one brave soul - I could never do that. I make Dave squash the spiders and clean them up. I'd be at a loss scraping up anything bigger. Poor bunny. Maybe he or she will resurrect himself/herself at Easter. :-)

Amy P

At 14 March 2008 at 00:08, Blogger Babaloo said...

Be glad that you don't have any cats, or you would get all sorts of animal presents. Dead mostly. Salem brings dead rabbits sometimes. They're small, too. I often wonder how he manages to catch them but then, I don't want to think about it in too much detail.
Mostly dead animal removal is a male chore around our house. Thankfully we live in a cul-de-sac, so run over animals don't really happen where we are.

At 14 March 2008 at 02:26, Blogger Sweet Irene said...

Luckily, we don't have to do any such dead animal removal such as you do. All the neighborhood cats, and ours, pretty much stay in the backyards and don't venture out much in the streets. Those that do are pretty car smart.

The cats used to bring in dead mice and rats, but now that the empty field has been built up, these creatures no longer abound. I am kind of relieved about that, because every morning there was a gift of them in the living room.

At 14 March 2008 at 05:05, Blogger ped crossing said...

There is no way that I would agree to dead animal anything. I dispose of my own bugs, but that is it. Fortunately, we don't get more than the occasional dead bird that a neighborhood cat has left in our yard.

At 14 March 2008 at 10:59, Blogger Aoj & The Lurchers said...

RIP Rabbit :(

At 14 March 2008 at 18:39, Blogger -Ann said...

Kaycie - I don't mind, really. My gross-out tolerance is very high.

Grannymar - Really? I thought you weren't meant to put meat in the compost.

Laurie - That is definitely much worse.

Noelle - I love frogs so I'd take it as a very good omen if one hopped into my kitchen.

Amy - You know, as I was cleaning it up, I was relieved that we don't have kids and that I wouldn't have to have any awkward conversations about the Easter Bunny.

Babaloo - We had a barn cat at the equestrian centre in Illinois who could catch anything - squirrels, rabbits. He was only about a year old and runty, so we never knew how he managed it, but he did.

SI - We've only ever had indoor cats, so we've never had to worry about that. If one of our cats had brought us that sort of gift, we'd know we had a problem.

PC - I'm also in charge of all bugs and spiders.

AOJ - Yep. Poor little bunny. He was so close to safe.


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