April 24, 2006

The Great Attack of '06

Tonight I found myself ruminating on a lack of bloggable topics. My life it seems, despite Ensie’s improvement drive, had settled into some semblance of domestic tranquility. We’d settled down to watch The Daily Show, and Matchbox, as he always does, demanded to go outside to pee. I volunteered and let both he and Jeffery out the back door to do their dirty business. I knew something was wrong as soon as closed the door behind me. Matchbox has this thing that Ensie and I call “Big Mean Man Dog”. Matches, despite being a consummate coward and a toothless one to boot, tries to threaten things when he gets scared. He’ll arch his back, give his toughest bark back-to-back-to-back and fake a charge at whatever it is that freaks him out. At that point, he’s done, free to hightail it to safer ground. He knows this because little brother Jeffery almost always snaps and goes after whatever seems to be threatening his big brother.

To recap: I just closed the door. I heard Matchbox’s “Woof-woof-woof” and the unmistakable sound of puppy claws tearing at the freshly cut grass. I came back out to see what was the matter, and all I saw was Jeffery, Matchbox and in between them, a flash of gray fur.

Gray? Oh hell….

I hesitated a second as I didn’t have shoes on. Anyone with a dog and a backyard can understand why. At that point though, puppy poop was the least of my worries. I ran across the backyard, scaring away Matchbox. Not a difficult thing to do, he ran back to the door at top speed. Jeffery didn’t scare as easily though, and he was so consumed with prey he probably didn’t know I was there. Whatever this gray thing was, Jeffery had caught it and was swinging it side to side in his mouth. At first I was worried it was one of the innumerable stray kittens that haunt our neighborhood, but that wasn’t it.

It was an opossum. This wasn’t totally surprising. It was the right season and Ensie and I saw them quite often around our neighborhood. We’d worried they would find their way underneath our house. This opossum wasn’t fairing so well. I snapped at Jeffery, trying to get him on-command, but he was only paying attention enough to keep away from me. The opossum, though playing dead, was making a rather eerie rattling noise as Jeffrey swung him around. I managed to grab Jeffery’s collar but he slipped out of it. I snatched at the back of his neck and grabbed him by his ruff. I had his front legs off the ground when he finally realized what I was doing. He dropped the opossum. I didn’t take any chances so I picked Jeffrey up and carried him back inside.

Ensie, who has this eerie ability to remain glacially calm when I’m pulling my hair out, came to the door to see what was the matter. I sputtered out something about a dead opossum and she immediately decided to go check it out. Jebus is my wife good at times like this. She gets all steely-eyed and makes quick decisions. Now, when we’re trying to pick a restaurant…but that’s a different story. I finally put some shoes on and joined her. This poor thing looked like it was toast. He had a puncture wound on his throat and was missing a pretty large stretch of fur. We couldn’t tell in the dark how much skin he’d lost too, but we did see he was missing a toe. I don’t even want to know what happened to that. We did see that he was breathing. Well, now what do we do?

We wait. We went back inside and watched from the laundry room as our battered opossum rolled over onto his feet and sat there, much like you or I would to catch our breath. He limped away. Now I just hope he doesn’t find his way under the house.

We checked on the Jeffrey. He doesn’t seem to have any bites or scratches, but he did have a large tuft of opossum hair stuck in his teeth. He was so wound up he couldn’t stay still, so we ended up having to give him a tranquilizer to get him to sleep.

And me? I’m wondering why nobody warned me about this stuff.

Posted by Frinklin at April 24, 2006 11:21 PM | TrackBack
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