History of Fort Hill, Part 2 (2008). Mural by: Loray McDuffie, Taylor Saintable, Edwin Perez-Clancy, Christine O'Connell, Julia Andreasson, Jorge Benitez, Divah Payne, Lucy Saintcyr, Laua Dedonato, Gregg Bernstein.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Feline Yin and Yang on Fort Hill

Two of three rescued kittens.
We've buried more than our fair share of stray cats.  It's usually during a harsh winter.  Sometimes it has been after a collision with an automobile in the summer.

It's never pretty.  It's never easy.

In the winter, one has to pick a location, clear the snow, and hope the digging isn't too difficult.  It can be a hard job of work to break up the frozen ground with a pickax or mattock.  Never mind the trouble shoveling through the damned Roxbury rocks.

In the summer, the grave has to be dug deep enough to discourage Nature's  recycling scavengers from picking up the scent, digging up the carcass, and settling down to a tasty, foetid bite to eat.

In summer or in winter, after rigor mortis has set in, it is hard to sensitively balance respect for the remains of the deceased cat with digging a reasonably sized hole for the grave. In the absence of rubber gloves, and in a howling wind, fitting the furry body into the too-small hole using only the business end of a shovel...is...well, emotionally taxing.

As we said, it's never pretty; it's never easy. And, we always hate it.

So, when Mother Cat and her litter of three kittens showed up on our porch, it seemed necessary to do the right thing.  To treat with respect the feline co-inhabitants of our little square of green space in the city.  To reduce the chances of another mid-winter burial.

And, to return thanks for the colony's work to thin out the verminous squirrel population:  three carcasses, and counting.

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