Ah, spring. Spring is here, life is skittles, life is beer. Except that this is my life, and in fact, my life seems to be dead rodents. Or, in the latin for you scholarly types: Rodentia Amorphous, Deceased. Four of them in my backyard today ~ Mr. Bill is certainly earning his daily half can of 9 Lives. Don't worry, pet lovers. He also gets all the kibble he can eat, but since I felt guilty last week and got him the slightly higher grade and apparently less tasty brand of dry cat food, he's been on a kind of modified hunger strike. Modified, because he will eat it, but only after a lot of complaining. Mr. Bill, as I may have mentioned previously, is a vocal cat. A very vocal cat, and when he doesn't approve of the cat food on offer, he is not shy about letting you know it. All day. And all night.
Although that's not why I'm all sleep depped and dizzy today. I'm sleep depped and dizzy today because I have fallen prey to the cursed books of Diana Gabaldon and I went to the library yesterday to get the latest damn installment of her saga (you know, when she started this thing, one book covered 20 or so years. But then, her characters began aging in spite of herself, and now she writes 600 pages about one or two days. Gah.) and then I stayed up until 2:00 am reading it, and then, as ever when I stay up too late reading, I couldn't get to sleep because I started hearing burglars. As my aunt once told me, "Stop worrying. If they're going to come in and kill you, they'll just come in and kill you. They won't walk around the house 17 times first." This is true, and good advice, but harder, somehow, to remember at 2:00 am when you're hearing mysterious tapping noises and the peculiar disappearance of your axe from the front porch takes on very, well, sinister overtones.
But perhaps they were killing amorphous rodents with my axe. I am about to go out on a limb here and make a somewhat peculiar announcement: there are gerbils in my yard. Lots of them. Let me explain. It's incredibly warm today and I decided to clear out the vegetable garden and also stare sadly at the encroaching thorn bushes, wish I had full body armor and try to figure out some way to deal with those evil things. In the course of this hard work, I discovered those four dead bodies. Body one was the first dead vole of the season; happy spring, voles. You are no doubt the first of many. Bodies two, three and four were harder to identify. Larger than mice, yet smaller than rats. Hmmm. Light brown. Hmmm again. WTF? Furry tails. Furry tails. . . oh my god, there are gerbils in my yard. This explains a lot, although not the origin of the live rodent that the cats brought into the dining room last January, which was either a very large rat with no tail or a very small groundhog. But let's not remember that. That was awful. Let us, instead, hypothesize the existence of a colony of gerbils in West Asheville, North Carolina.
They're not my gerbils. My mom released my gerbils - that is, they mysteriously "disappeared" and on their way out considerately cleaned their cage with bleach and put it in the basement - in Connecticut when I was 9, so I am not responsible for this plague. However, I have no trouble at all envisioning a similar occurrence here, maybe even in this very house. And there's no reason they couldn't survive, and breed like, well, like gerbils, is there? They aren't tomato plants or begonias, they can survive the frost. So. I have gerbils in my yard. Careful with that ax, Eugene.