Respectful Insolence

The face of terror

There is a monster living in our house.

Black and sleek, with nasty, pointy, teeth, it lurks, waiting to deal out death and carnage. Indeed, evidence of its implacable thirst for death was left for me when I returned from Los Angeles late Wednesday night, perhaps left in tribute.

Behold, the face of death!

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Fear her! Do not rouse her slumber!

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Oh, no! Too late! (Note the eyes glowing with Satanic evil!)

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Actually, as you probably figured out, that’s our dog. She’s the sweetest, lovingest dog in the world, gentle and, as you can see, greatly appreciative of a comfortable spot to take a pleasant snooze. My wife and I both love her dearly. She’s about as harmless as a dog could be.

Unless you’re a bunny.

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To bunnies, she is the Goddess of Death, come to wreak horrible carnage on the bunny world, with an utterly insatiable thirst for bunny blood. Indeed, were bunnies less stupid creatures than they are (and boy are they stupid, given that they routinely build nests in our yard, in one case doing so a couple of feet from our dog’s favorite place to poop), I could picture them praying to her to try to stave off her horrible vengeance. Every year, several times a year, my wife or I find evidence of this blood lust left in our backyard somewhere, often on the deck in the backyard. Whenever we think there might be rabbits out in our yard, we try to keep an eye on her when we let her out to do her business, but every so often our vigilance wanes, and, a few times each year, particularly in the spring, when the rabbits are starting to become more active, she will claim her victims.

I had hoped that this year might be different. Our dog is over seven now, and she’s starting to slow down noticeably. But apparently the site of her prey is enough to rouse her from her increasing somnolence to brief sprints of the speed of her youth, long enough to corral a rabbit before it can find a spot where it could escape under our fence to live another day.

This year was no different.

And, on Wednesday night, our Goddess of Bunny Death brought yet another tribute to her pack leader (me, I guess), the largest tribute in a long time. It was a large, adult rabbit. We knew something was up when she came back into the house, her head covered in light-colored fur. I hadn’t thought she was still capable of catching a healthy adult rabbit, but she was. In a way, it’s impressive how her speed and instincts are still good enough to accomplish this kill.

But we do get tired of finding rabbit carcasses, especially at 1:30 AM on a weeknight.

Maybe an intervention from Cesar Milan is indicated.

Comments

  1. #1 wil
    April 22, 2007

    Bunnies are merely a vector used by your discordant “Intelligent Design” enemies to deliver a dose of Tularemia to you, suckah! They’ve got you in their sights and they are gunning for you. That your very own “Angel of Death” will be the carrier is delicious irony, don’t you think?

  2. #2 Bob O'H
    April 22, 2007

    Oh no, she must be a creationist!

    Bob

  3. #3 Alison
    April 22, 2007

    Hmmm. Are you keeping a count? Dave, my personal Godless Killing Machine (feline version) brings home one after another all spring until they’re gone, and we have a spot on the whiteboard just for his annual tally. Our dog is useless for this, but we send her in to finish them off quickly. The kids can’t stand to see Dave slowly torturing bunnies to death.

  4. #4 Liz Ditz
    April 22, 2007

    Like Alison, my GKM is a cat…a teeny, frail-looking mottled grey kitty. She is particularly fond of the front halves of roof rats, leaving the hinder parts by my bed where I can step on them as I arise.

    Levitation is real.

  5. #5 Karen
    April 22, 2007

    Alas, it isn’t always bunnies who fall into the jaws of a GKM. A few years ago we had two cats, and I wanted them to go outside safely. Since we have a fenced-in back yard, I rigged chicken wire along the top of the fence so they couldn’t jump over it. Worked great.

    But then the house next door changed hands, and the new owners brought in their Husky. Sweet dog, likes people, approaches strangers for scritches. He’s a digger, too, and dug a hole under the fence just big enough for a cat to slip through. Unknown to me, our more adventurous cat found the hole and began to explore the neighbor’s yard.

    Eventually, of course, Husky encountered this new furry toy, and the result was all too predictable. The only consoling bit is that our kitty apparently died quickly.

    I still scritch on the dog; he really is a sweetheart, and he was only following his instincts. But the current bunch of kitties in my household NEVER go outside unless I’m at the other end of a leash.

  6. #6 Elf Eye
    April 22, 2007

    I only wish our dog would kill bunnies. Instead, she kills skunks!

  7. #7 khan
    April 22, 2007

    My 15 pound black cat prefers mice, chipmunks, and baby rabbits; and every now and then a squirrel.

    Several of the local squirrels have short tails.

    Then there are the hawks that give a whole new meaning to ‘bird feeder’.

  8. #8 Orac
    April 22, 2007

    Oh, our dog loves baby rabbits–to death. She’s found several bunny nests over the years, much to our chagrin. It must be the terrier in her.

    In her youth, she managed to kill an adult squirrel, as well.

  9. #9 Meredith
    April 22, 2007

    Our dog has, over nine years, actually gotten better at killing. She started with voles and lizards, and once some baby possums, and only recently moved up to bunnies. I don’t know if some rabbits had just moved closer to our house, or if it was the first time she could catch them, but she got three baby rabbits last year. Oddly, our other, younger, faster, larger dog has never killed anything, as far as we can tell.

  10. #10 a
    April 22, 2007

    Ours is a demon in disguise– the sweetest standard poodle ya ever met– until she sees Boris the squirrel (they are all named that here)…she has brought him home dead for us, tangled with skunks, but her favorite thing to bring home…is..ick– dead deer parts, legs, heads, you name it…she eats it, and stinks of it….

  11. #11 Renee
    April 22, 2007

    Interesting that you would choose a photo of a pet rabbit with a mutation. The above cuddly bunny belongs to one of the lop ear breeds. They have no cartilage in their ears, which is why the ears flop over. For a wild rabbit, this mutation would be less than advantageous, since it leads to less acute hearing, so important to avoid GBD’s.

    But once this lop ear mutation showed up in domesticated rabbits, rabbit breeders seized upon it and went go hog wild developing new breeds: the English Lop*, Giant French Lop, German Lop, Holland Lop, the Mini Lop, American Fuzzy Lop and Dwarf Lop.

    No rabbit breeder has ever met a mutation that they didn’t like.

    *Not to be missed, a photo of an English Lop: http://sunnycide.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/gunshot.jpg.w300h225.jpg

  12. #12 tigtog
    April 22, 2007

    When I was in high school we had a miniature poodle that went hunting for wabbits every spring. He couldn’t catch the adults the rest of the year, but he caught plenty of young’uns before they got the chance to develop wiliness as well as speed.

    Seeing as they’re a feral pest in Australia, we didn’t discourage him.

  13. #13 Jason
    April 22, 2007

    As with tigtog, we’ve got Hellhounds which enjoy a good rabbit hunt here in Sydney. Unfortunately, they’re not particularly good at it. However when our three combine forces with my gf’s dad’s pack of slathering monsters, it’s bunny carnage all round, followed by a good solid roll around in unmentionable piles of who knows what.

    The cat, however, brings in rats at a fairly constant rate, often when we have company.

  14. #14 Graculus
    April 23, 2007

    Eventually, of course, Husky encountered this new furry toy, and the result was all too predictable. The only consoling bit is that our kitty apparently died quickly.

    When I was young one of our less pleasant neighbours had a cat-killing dog which he refused to confine. It got a couple of our nieghbour’s barncats (on their own property, no less). One day, it went after a small (7 lb) momma barncat. The dog had to be buried in two seperate boxes (one for the insides, one for the outsides), the cat rabbit-kicked it to death.

    Our own cat was Shadowy Death That Walks Abroad to the local dogs. 18 lbs of muscle, fang and claw. The few dogs who were unwise enough to tangle with him did so only once. My current cat hunts my dog for sport, but adheres to a catch and release program.

  15. #15 Alan Kellogg
    April 23, 2007

    One advantage of reincarnation is that it stops being an untimely death and becomes an early promotion. Think of it, without your dog those poor rabbits might still be stuck in a dead-end life.

  16. #16 Alison
    April 23, 2007

    Dave does not stick to bunnies, oh no. They’re just his favorites because they come in a multi-pack. We get the voles, the mice, the chipmunks, the birds, but they come at the rate of 2-3 per week. Last Spring, though, he was bringing home at least that per day. Momma bunny doesn’t move the nest when one of the babies goes missing. I think bunnies have the same motto as Doritos. “Eat all you want, we’ll make more!”

  17. #17 josh
    April 23, 2007

    At least the bunnies in question were spared the dive of depression leading to the sort of exploits seen here. Seriousely go look, you’ll lose an hour of your time but scroll down and you’ll definitely get a laugh in.
    http://www.retrocomputing.net/racconti/umor/coniglio/pandora.beptuui.html

  18. #18 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2007

    One of my dogs, I’ll call him Vlad for these purposes, is a noted destroyer of life. He especially likes the raccoons that wander into our backyard but he’ll kill anything smaller than my 110 lbs. black lab that’s on 4 legs or 2 talons and 2 wings that enters the “kill zone”.

    That reminds me I need to update my Vlad kill list.

  19. #19 Lynn
    April 23, 2007

    LOL! Beautiful dog.

    This reminds me of the halloween page I made using those pesky glowing-eyes photos I’m always getting of my cats. Especially the black one. He looks like a truly grumpy demon ;^)

    My cats don’t get to hunt bunnies, poor deprived things. But they’re deadly to anything with six legs…

    Lynn

  20. #20 ordinarygirl
    April 23, 2007

    My cats, both all-indoor, left us several surprises when we moved into our first house. Three baby mice and then finally a moma mouse. The babies were all crushed. One we didn’t find for several weeks (we think) when we started smelling it.

    But the moma was left at the bottom of the stairs (we kept the door shut due to my husband’s allergies) with only its liver missing. To them she must have been the pentultimate acheivement and they had to show off.

  21. #21 Julia
    April 28, 2007

    We had 2 dogs that liked to hunt. I was mostly presented with squirrels. (They didn’t manage to actually bring down a skunk, to the best of my knowledge, but they made the attempt.) I think we had a dead rabbit or two.

    The second dog died last September; the rabbit population is just exploding around here, and the owl that uses our roof as a perch for spotting prey just isn’t keeping up with it. Neither are either of the two cats that I’ve seen roaming about.

    (Having read too many horror stories about people who swerved for bunnies on the way to Burning Man, or maybe the same few stories too many times, I DON’T swerve for bunnies.)

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