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Tuesday, October 05 2010

There are few things that I consider myself an expert on, but the smell of decomposing tissue is one subject that I know a great deal about. So when I drove into my garage barn last week and the smell of decomp assaulted my nose as I climbed out of the truck, I felt that I could safely report, "There is something dead in the garage!"

The problem was that I couldn't find it.  The garage shed is attached to the goat barn. There are also lots of hidey holes in old junk where a small animal could crawl off to die.  My concern wasn't so much WHERE the critter was, as WHO the critter was.

Here was my first concern:

Lovey hadn't been seen in a couple of days.  This launched an all-out search at 1 AM for a tabby calico cat. I called and I called and I called.  (Yes, I'm sure my neighbors hate me.)

I really worried that the dogs had caught her in the ever-popular, "Let's chase the cat and try to kill it" game.  Faith likes this game, but Lovey is not a big fan.  (She's not as good at the game as Faith.)  So I continued my hunt for Lovey.  A can of cat food at 1:30 AM finally produced three calico cats who climbed out of the rafters of the horse barn.  One of them was Lovey.  I could go to sleep.

Perhaps the victim was Remus, the banty rooster who survived multiple Boogey Beast attacks:


  Remus used to spend his evenings roosting in the Goat Barn until daybreak where he would trek across the pasture to greet my mother's hens as they began their day.  "Hellllloooo Ladies!"

I worried that perhaps Remus had met up with Blue Heeler in his journey across the pasture.  Or Briar could have loved him to death.  The result is about the same.  (Again. . . it depends upon your view of torture.)  Or . . . Remus could have been killed by whatever attempted to kill him a couple of weeks ago when I thought something was after the goats.  I moved Briar into that barn, only to discover that Something was after Remus, not the goats.  But I left Briar there anyway.
So I went to bed that night, The First Night Of Decomp In The Barn, comfortable that Lovey was okay, and slightly annoyed that Remus had finally met his demise. The next morning my mother reported that Remus was alive and well, and spending his nights in an oak tree above her chicken coop.   At this point, since everyone in my Family Fold was accounted for, I quit worrying about the smell of decomp in the garage.

 Until yesterday . . .

I asked Other Half to feed the dogs.  He couldn't find Briar.  We hunted and finally found Briar hunkered down in the driveway paddock.  My heart skipped a beat . . .   Briar had something. . .

Fearing for my calico cats, (and Mom's calico kitten) I cautiously approached.  Briar looked over her shoulder and happily grinned at me.  She reeked of decomp.
That ruled out the calico cats and kitten.  Now what did Briar have?

Warning!  Warning!  Warning!   GROSS ALERT!!!!!

This was what Briar had been working on like an All-day Sucker:


It took me a second to identify the victim, but this cleared it up.

Now it's possible that the opossum lost the Let's Kill The Kitty game and crawled off to die.  "Look!  A cat with a skinny tail!"  I doubt Briar tried to love it to death.  It is also possible that it came to kill Remus and Briar caught him instead. (Oh well . . . sucks to be him.)  Regardless, he ended up dead and Briar finally dug him out of his death bed.

The down side to my job as a crime scene investigator is that I cannot throw down the Girl Card and get Other Half to dispose of gross items that are too horrendous for my delicate sensibilities.  (You forfeit "The Girl Card" when you play Twister over dead men for a living.)  So I had to dispose of the dead opossum while he changed out a broken tail light on the flat-bed trailer.
Then I had a more important task at hand . . .

Do City People have to do this kind of stuff on a Monday afternoon?

I'm just saying . . .


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 06:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Poor Briar, you never let her have any fun! She needs to go get an egg from Grandma to make it all better. :) Now, I'm one of those weirdos that would have taken that skull home and dropped it in a bucket of Clorox. My kids love nature finds--no matter how stinky. I never realized how big opossums canines were.
Posted by CeeCee on 10/05/2010 - 08:50 PM
I know! Poor Briar! She never gets to have ANY fun!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 10/05/2010 - 09:29 PM
Who knew opossums had such HUGE frickin' teeth! Good dog Briar!
Posted by Wendy on 10/06/2010 - 07:57 PM
I KNOW!!!! Those are some frightening canines in that skull! They would make me think twice before messing with it.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 10/07/2010 - 11:01 AM
And to think they are related to our little furry and cuddly possums. Protected marsupials
Posted by liz (Aust.) on 10/09/2010 - 12:23 AM

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