This morning when I went outside, there were smears of blood on the floor in the mud room. That was a bad start to the day. I cleaned it up and went about my business.
Late in the afternoon, Sarah had some folks coming by for Girl Scout business, so she was hanging out outside to handle that stuff, and Sophie and I were out there with her.
Suddenly Sophie cries out, “A mouse!” and heads for the mud room.
I follow her to find Buddy (that would be the cat) dropping a small fuzzy thing at her feet. I called out to Sophie to back off, then went to get a look. It was a tiny, tiny baby rabbit. About four inches long or so, with wounds around its neck and breathing erratically.
Sarah corralled Sophie out of the way and I picked the rabbit up with a shovel and, with not just a little hesitation (it was still breathing, after all), put it in the trash. It was clearly not going to survive.
Then I mopped up the goo on the floor.
Not five minutes later, Buddy was back with another tiny little rabbit. This one, when he dropped it, managed to make something of a very slow getaway, and I chased Buddy off. The rabbit made its way into a corner, cowering in fear. I donned a pair of gloves and picked it up carefully. It had one puncture wound in its side that was oozing some kind of white fluid. Not a good sign. But I put it back out in the woods, hoping (probably foolishly) that it would find its way home.
By this point, it’s pretty clear that Buddy has found a den, because by the time I was done dropping the second rabbit back off in the woods, there came Buddy hopping over the fence with a third one in his mouth. This one I managed to get him to drop, but it was badly hurt and, again, clearly not going to make it.
Sophie was following me around asking to see the rabbits and asking if they were having fun playing with Buddy.
I think I handled it about as well as I could, under the circumstances. Basically, I figured that explaining what was really going on to a 3-year-old wasn’t going to work, so I just said that Buddy was playing with the bunnies and that I had to take them home.
Those rabbits were so tiny, they can’t have been more than a few days old, I think. Poor things.
Of course, Buddy’s just doing what millions of years of feline evolution are telling him to do. Can’t really fault him for that. Still, it’s not something you really want to walk into in the morning.