Monday, November 12, 2007

Not My Girl

WARNING: VIOLENT POST TODAY...NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

Something awful happened today. The video in my head will not shut off. And worst of all, it has changed how I feel about Mabel.

Mabel is a murderer. I am witness to her crime. I blame myself really.

As we were leaving to pick up some lunch and show off some beads, a kitten ran into the shop yard. Mabel went berserk in the back of the jeep. I pretended not to notice and figured the kitten would jump the wall before we returned home.

I didn't see her when we came back. We went in the house and ate, then back into the shop to press more rubber for my class tomorrow night. When I finished, I decided to nap. I whistled for Mabel. She didn't come. I whistled a few more times heading into the house...no Mabel. Thinking she was being a jerk... she has issues with listening, clearly showing no respect for me as a pack leader... I went into the side yard by the shop expecting to find her snoozing in the sun.

When I didn't see her, I knew and started screaming, "NO, MABEL, NO!!!"

She was practically on top of the wood pile... so high I was afraid she would clear the fence! Then she wormed her way behind the pile... between the wood and the cinder block wall pushing the neatly stacked wood all amok.

As I approached her, still screaming, I saw the grey kitten in her mouth. It was trying to claw her. I grabbed a piece of firewood and tapped her on the spine...trying desperately to get her attention. Knowing I would hurt her, I ran back around the shop to get the hose, knocking over trashcans and nearly dislodging my clothes line. By the time I got back to the murder frenzy, Mabel was off the wood pile and still had the kitten in her mouth, shaking her violently. I sprayed her in the face full force with the hose and she dropped the cat. I grabbed her and ran her around the house, locking her in the yard.

I ran back to the cat. It was shaking and trying to lick. Screaming and crying, I dashed to the neighbors. They have tons of cats. I was terrified it may be one of theirs. They came over. The cat was still in the throws of death. They asked me for a bag.... I was confused. "How can we get her to the vet in a bag??" But she was gone...

If only I would've checked for the kitty when we got home...The neighbors thought she was a stray. She was just looking for a meal of the rats in the wood pile...doing us a favor.

It's just so shocking to know your animal can kill another.

I haven't written about this but a few months ago, a friend in Baton Rouge was brutally attacked by his Akita. He was trying to get the dog to move over in the bed and he must have startled his sleeping dog. The Akita bit him repeatedly in the face and arm. Thank goodness a family member heard the commotion and got the dog off him. It really made me wonder about the safety of sleeping with an animal. But that was months ago and she was not a vicious dog in my mind...then.

But tonight, I'm not looking forward to climbing in my bed. I'm feeling like I should sleep with one eye open, watching the murderer beside me.


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5 comments:

Ordinary Janet said...

Oh, geez, I can imagine what you're feeling. I have to say that this wasn't all that surprising, given how Mabel has reacted to cats in the past. Don't blame yourself, you can't be patrolling for stray animals on your property all the time. And yes, Mabel is a dog and will do doggie things. If it wasn't a kitten, it would be a snake or a rat or something else. Just because it was a cute mammal that is normally a house pet doesn't make a difference to Mabel. It was something in HER yard and she was protecting her turf. But you probably already know that intellectually...emotionally it's different, I know. Mom once said that if Spot ever kills a squirrel, she won't feel the same about him anymore. I guess we're so used to thinking of our dogs as sweet angels that when they do something dogs do, it's a shock.

It'll take time to get over this, but try to put it behind you and remember Mabel is still your angel.

Geez, maybe it's a good thing that Spot doesn't sleep on my bed with me.

CreekHiker said...

Janet, Thanks so much for your kind words. I KNOW she's still my girl but I now know something else about her. A dog is a dog and this is in her nature. It's my emotional attachment to the stray kitten that bugs me so...

Velvet Sacks said...

I understand why you feel awful, Holly, but Janet's right: dogs do doggie things.

Returning from Baton Rouge to Houston right after Hurricane Rita, my niece stopped at her sister's East Texas house to survey the damage. She'd just stepped out of the car, with her tiny Yorkie on a leash, when somebody opened the door of the house and my other niece's Yellow Lab dashed out, grabbed the Yorkie, shook it and nearly killed it. The Lab played with toddlers all the time and had always been extremely gentle, and that incident freaked out everybody for a long time.

I also watched in horror one day as my next-door neighbor's lovable Yellow Lab killed another neighbor's pet rabbit that had strayed into their yard.

And way back in the '60s, I came home from work one day to find my four pound poodle wagging her whole back end in excitement. She led me to my bed, where I discovered in the middle of the bedspread the beak, feet, backbone and a sprinkling of feathers that were all that remained of our parakeet. The cage was up high; I don't know how she got the bird, but she'd killed it and was proud of it.

It probably doesn't make you feel any better, but I think it's just nature, not an evil streak that made Mabel do it.

Ordinary Janet said...

How are you feeling today, Holly? I'm interested to know if you still feel different about her, or if that feeling is lessening. (just in case I have to face something like this someday.)

CreekHiker said...

Velvet, I remember reading about your nieces' dogs on either your or Kim's blog. My mom had the same advice... they are dogs and that's what comes natural.

Maybe if I hadn't seen it happen... I would feel a little better.

Janet, I'm just sad. I had to help the Sanitation man dig her out of the trash bin this morning. I put her in a bag and left her on the curb but they didn't show up to get her last night. Fearing coyotes, I put her inside the bin. She was just a cute little grey girl. It's going to take a while...