Dramas and documentaries that depict crime scene investigations turn shock value into intrigue and intrigue into ratings. I've long been a follower of some of these programs, shows like City Confidential and Forensic Files, and wondered what it would be like to write for such shows. It creeps out a lot of people but there's a certain element of comfort for me in knowing that science can catch bad guys.
But, not all of them.
Yesterday, not fifty feet from my bedroom window, something (coyotes or pit bulls) tore my nine year old cat limb from limb while I slept. I heard nothing while they ripped Lucy's little body to shreds and painted my lawn with her blood. They played tug-o-war with her and dragged her twenty feet this way and fifteen feet that way, leaving pieces of her flesh and fur in the wake of what must have been unspeakable suffering. There are no words for how gruesome and sickening the morning scene was or for my own grief as I bagged my little kitty's very few remains and hosed down the blood that looked more like it came from a slaughtered cow than a house cat.
I've seen enough crime scene shows to piece the evidence together, though. My cat never left my yard. Never. She usually slept in the house at night but for some reason she was outside, probably chasing mice and trying to do the same thing to them that was done to her. Irony? Or, circle of life? Either way, the dagger I feel in my chest is the same.
Recently, I've noticed the bunnies missing from the field behind my house. I thought they had gone underground because of the heat but now I wonder if they didn't fall prey to coyotes. When the bunnies ran out, the coyotes probably began feeding on backyard pets.
Or, it was the neighbor's pit bulls. There's no animal control to speak of out here and these dogs tried to shake a puppy to death a couple of months ago. My next door neighbor rescued the puppy and earned stitches for her trouble. But dogs kill for sport. This killing was about food. Lucy was a meal - or so the horror of the crime scene suggests.
Terrifying is the midnight potty break my Chihuahua often takes. She didn't appreciate it last night when I stood over her with a flashlight while she was doing her business. But I couldn't chance the cat murderers coming back for Mexican food.
Yeah, I make light of it, but don't let me fool you. I'm devastated. I jumped at every noise last night and even got up to let the cat in. She wasn't there. When the train went by and the coyotes yipped, I fell to pieces.
Coyotes have become increasingly brazen about boundaries. They've been urbanized out of their homes and in dry seasons, they starve when rodents go underground. Coyotes jump fences, creep into garages and make a meal out of anything wild or domestic that's smaller or slower than they are. Years ago, a little girl across town was playing in the yard with her new puppy when a coyote jumped her fence and snatched the puppy right out of her hand without ever breaking its stride.
Whether it was coyotes or pit bulls that took my Lucy matters not.
I own a shotgun.