Articles

Hiding the Evidence

Terisa Tribble, 127

Hiding the Evidence…

I have a few neighbors behind my home.  One of whom has chickens and roosters.  Very vocal chickens and roosters.  But, I’ve since become desensitized to their crows and squawks.

A short while after Screech and I moved into this house, she caught her first bird.  A small quail-like bird that’s common all over Thailand.  I knew about her catch because she brought it back into the house in her mouth.  At the time, she was still somewhat small and the small bird looked huge in her mouth as she squeezed between the window bars with her prize.  I wasn’t sure what she had, I just knew she was bringing something back into the house.  As I followed her, she immediately went into the bedroom and held her catch down onto my small foot rug by the bed.  This is where she likes to bring the geckos she catches and plays with for hours before she eventually eats them.

Anyway, as she kept her mouth clamped down on the poor bird, I noticed it was still alive.  I took it from her and threw it out the bedroom window with the expectation that the poor thing would recover from the shock and fly away.  Honestly, I was proud that my little cat could catch a wild creature and I was equally horrified that she did AND that she had brought it back into the house.

Within seconds of my “freeing” the poor bird, the neighbors dog, Coco, came along the side of the house and scooped the bird up and proceeded to eat it.  Ughhh!! I felt so bad for the little thing.

Fast forward to a few days ago…I went outside in the mid afternoon to discover a large object along the side of the house (my side of the house…).  Out of curiosity, I went outside to see what it was. Wasn’t really expecting anything unusual.  The two dogs next door tend to bring garbage back into the lot, next to the house, and chew/eat anything and everything from wood, plastic, paper…I even saw them tugging over bottles.  Needless to say the lot next door is pretty junky from these two dogs.

So, the large object turned out to be a large half-eaten rooster.  It was disgusting.  My first thought was that it might have been either my cat or the two dogs next door that killed it. Either way, I’m sure it came from the neighbors in the back.   Feeling protective of all three, especially my cat (I didn’t want anyone to kill my cat out of retaliation), I found a large bag and disposed of the rooster at the street communal garbage cans.  Feeling furtive and guilty all the while.

For a while, I kept wondering if my cat actually could have brought down a mature rooster by herself. I’ve seen her hunting/stalking skills.  I think she got extremely lucky with that first small bird.  Also, when I went out to pick up the caracas, she was outside with me.  She didn’t go over to it as if she was aware of it.  She surprisingly wasn’t curious-just her usual hypersensitive (to sound and movement while outdoors) self.  I still wasn’t sure until this morning.

As I was preparing to get on my bike to ride to school, I glanced out my bedroom window as I usually do.  The two dogs from next door were, as usual, outside my window.  They like to play in the lot next door.  They’re comical.  It’s kind of nice to see dogs playing.  Not a common occurrence, here in Thailand.  At this point, they weren’t doing much but just laying there surveying their little kingdom. I had got into the bad habit of feeding them so, to poor Screech’s consternation, they tend to linger outside my windows, in the shade.

As I zipped up my jacket, I noticed a hen and her chicks down the block.  Kind of unusual in this small neighborhood.  Don’t see many hen and chicks just walking around on the street.  Up the block, on the main street, yes (it’s more populated there).  But, strangely enough not on my small little street.  Never thought about it until I saw her and her chicks.  I glancingly noticed that Coco and his little charge also noticed the chicken and her chicks.  As I put on my backpack, I heard loud chirping outside my bedroom window.  I looked out to see Coco with a chick in his mouth.  I said “No, Coco.  No, Baby…”  Yeah, Coco looked at me and just kept somewhat gently biting the chick in his mouth.  It was like he was sorta playing with it.  I rushed into the kitchen and grabbed some chicken bones that I keep for Screech and the dogs.  I went out the back door and attempted to coax Coco into dropping the chick.  At this point, it was still chirping.  Coco took this as an opportunity to play “Keep Away.”  Fortunately, the companion puppy came from somewhere and started begging and jumping on me.  Knowing how competitive they both are, I fed the little one some bones and Coco grabbed one (with the chick still in his mouth!).  He had to put both down in order to eat the bone. When he dropped the chick I scooped it up (it was dead at that point).  I wrapped it in some of the random garbage in the yard and disposed of it with my kitchen trash at the garbage cans on my way to school.

I couldn’t help think about this incident as I rode to school.  I was disgusted.  The dog was bored and took the chick from its mother.  He played with it and was probably going to tease the little one with it for a while before he actually ate it (this is what he had done with the small bird that I set free in the yard).  His competitive nature makes him tease the smaller dog with whatever he has to try to make the little dog interested in the object so they can play together.

At least, I now know who caught and killed the rooster.  Don’t think this is going to turn out well.  I know both cats and dogs are predators.  The two neighbor dogs are, by my American standards, better treated than the typical Thai dogs that I have seen in the year that I have lived here.  These two dogs are bathed, fed, taken indoors during the day and always at night.  Because they are pretty, the small neighborhood knows their name (or at least Coco’s name) and call out to them whenever they pass the house.  I’ve seen neighbors on mopeds call Coco’s name as they rode by (he was indoors at the time).  Neighbors, stop and pet them, feed them.  They are well liked in the neighborhood. Most, if not all, Thai dogs are ignored. They are more apt to be kicked at and yelled at than to be pet.  No, these are not your typical stray Thai dogs.  Coco was killing out of boredom, play and competition and I hope my cat does not experience any of the repercussions.

I’m not sure if attempting to explain to my next door neighbors, and owners of the two dogs, what Coco is doing and teaching the puppy is worth trying to explain.  Based on my experience, Thai people tend to have a laissez-faire attitude to most everything.  I really doubted they could or would do anything, if it was possible, to correct his behavior.

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