A Murder, a Funeral, Parenting and Not Enough Coffee.

This is a cautionary tale for those thinking about having pets or children, or, like me; crazy enough to have both. It is a tale of murder, heart break, a funeral, demon summoning and a missing cat with a Trump inspired comb-over. 

It all started yesterday morning whilst getting the kids ready for school…

As I was making their lunches I asked Tilly to feed the dog. A few seconds pass when I hear her shrieking. I run outside and Ripley (the dog) is in the far corner of the garden, shrouded by shrubs and Tilly is at the other end, hands over her face and crying. I immediately think she has been scratched by the dog and as I grab Tilly by her shoulders and turn her to face me, she points to the ground and wails “Ripley killed a possum!” She pushes her face into my chest, crying hard. I look down and there is the possum. Dead.

Tilly then turns on the dog, seething and rousing on her “Ripley how dare you! Why? WHY?” I had to calm her down and explain that Rip didn’t know any better, this is the nature of a dog and yes, it is awful. Ripley stayed put in the garden bed. I instruct Tilly to grab me a set of disposable gloves, paper towel and plastic bag.

Serious part over.

Gloved up, I set out the paper towel (Viva Paper Towel – super soft and super absorbent) and I gently picked up the body and placed it on the towel and drew the sheet up over it. I then proceeded to wrap it in more towelling and then I placed it in the plastic bag. Tilly hovered over me and when I folded the bag over she asked what I intended to do with it. “Eat it for lunch” is the wrong answer by the way.

Calming her down by telling her I was on a diet anyway (wrong thing to say, again); I said I would bury it after I took her and Mish to school. She looked horrified and begged to wait until after school so we could have a funeral. I agreed. I placed the possum on Mike’s workbench and once again promised I was only joking about eating it. 🙄 Meanwhile Mish was patiently waiting for his now extra toasted crumpets for breakfast. Tilly, understandably, had lost her appetite.

After school I set to organising the funeral. I began to dig into the garden bed, pulling out building material that had been thrown in there when the place was being built. I managed to dig a hole but not as deep as I would have liked. Whilst undertaking grave digging duties, the peanut gallery watched on, offering their own advice. As I stood up Mish says “I am surprised you chose to dig the grave directly under that big Saint Andrews Cross spider. Tilly and I have been watching to see if your head comes into contact with the web. Yep. You touched it just then mum.”

Cue my seizure, kids laughing, and the poor dead possum on the bench getting tired of this shit.

I put on a pair of disposable gloves and gently take the wrapped up possum from the plastic bag. Mish asked to see the body, Tilly punched him in the arm. I placed it in the grave and at the kids insistence, I spoke a few words before burying it:

“We are gathered here today to morn the passing of this sweet little possum; taken too soon from this world. I am sorry our dog got you. May you rest now in eternity.”

Mish piped up with “we are sorry our dog is a see you in the NT!” (paraphrased for censorship)😳 Given the gravity of the situation I let that go to the keeper, but will have stern words with Dad when he gets home because he is the swearer in this house. 😡

I covered the grave up, patted down the soil and hoped the neighbours were amused. As I put the shovel back in the shed I heard Tilly say “and now we make the sign of the cross.” To which Mish says out loud “that is not right! You go spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch. Jesus Tilly you have just summoned the devil.”

I thought about digging my own hole next to the possum…

Anyway, dog was shunned the rest of the night. She was pretty mopey. I felt anxious about putting her in the yard this morning; fearing she would find and dig up the possum. Tilly would implode if that happened. I called my mum and she advised me to sprinkle pepper on the grave and it will deter the dog. Fine, but what about the neighbours? They have witnessed the homicide, homicide investigation, the funeral, subsequent devil summoning and now out I come with the pepper grinder to season it! This poor possum!

Dog has not dug it up. Mish’s hope for a zombie possum is not going to happen. Tilly will calm down. All good, right? No.

So I get home today and as I pull into the garage I see the internal door is wide open. I freak out because that means the cat is in snooping and could now have very well bolted outside. I close the garage door, run around my car and look under the wheels. I poke about boxes and tools – no cat. I run inside and start calling out for Dwight. No response. Shit! He must be out! I grab a packet of food to take outside when Dwight comes flying down the stairs and head first into my shins. On his head is a tangle of whispy white spider webs, looking like a Trump comb over. He had been in the garage but must have bolted back inside when the roller door started to go up. I feed him, check to see possum is still buried and make myself a strong coffee. Serenity now. ☕️

Never work with kids or animals.

You’re welcome.

**I did have a cry for the possum when I got home after taking the kids to school. 😦

We love our Fur Kids

I love the look we get when we tell people that as well as having two beautiful human kids, we also have fur kids – there is Ripley, our German Shepard cross bull Mastiff, our rescue cat Dwight K. Shrute and the guinea pigs Doctor Who and Mordicai. I am surprised at how many people make the comment “My gosh! That is such a handfull!” To be honest though, it really isn’t. I think if we won lotto tomorrow, we would buy a great big property and fill it with animals. My husband adores the guinea pigs. When they have play time, he lays down near them and watches and laughs as they popcorn, rumble strut and zoom from one end of the lounge room to the other. I love my Ripley – she chose me when we came to look at her and her siblings, and despite still being a puppy, she is MASSIVE and the biggest sook of a dog I have ever known. I love getting hugs from her, and as soon as I come home from taking the kids to school, Ripley comes in the house and we chill out together whilst I do chores around the house. Dwight was a rescue kitten. Earlier last year, my beloved Bobbi cat passed away at 11 years of age. A few months later, I took the family to the local pet store to support a friend who was running the rescue animal adoption day – where we were swamped by beautiful kittens, puppies, cats and dogs all looking for their forever homes.

Whilst standing off to the side talking to my friend, my daughter Matilda came up to us with big tears running down her face. “Mum! Mum! There is this little kitten over there and, and, and, I just want to hold it because it is being picked on by the other kitten!” My friend organised another volunteer to retrieve the kitten and placed him in Matilda’s arms. She melted. The kitten meowed and licked her ear, and she covered his little face in kisses. My son Hamish then asked for a hold and the kitten melted him to coos and “awwws” before my husband, Mike had a turn at holding the kitten. I stood back, a bit apprehensive as I was still hurting from the death of my Bobbi, but Mike placed the kitten in my arms. I was too wrapt up in this little ball of fur to notice that Mike had snuck off and was completing the adoption papers! The kids were thrilled and we came home with an 8 week old kitten who my husband decided to name Dwight K. Shrute.

The guinea pigs were the first though to join our home. At the time, Bobbi was a little on the slow side and had no patience for the kids. To help give her space, I began to look at little pets that would be easy for the kids to care for. We attended a guinea pig show at the local school, and I watched my kids as they handlers showed them and explained everything there is to know about guinea pigs. The kids and I were sold on these adorable little creatures. My husband, not so much. Back home, I joined a local guinea pig site on face book and began talking to other owners and making notes on everything we would need. One of the contributors was about to put her latest little brood of guinea pigs up for sale and I jumped at the chance. I bought two brothers, and upon bringing them home, the kids were in love. Matilda is a mad fan of Doctor Who and her little guinea pig just so happened to have the same swept over fringe as that of her beloved 11th Doctor, so that is what she named her guinea pig – Doctor Who. Hamish named his guinea pig Mordicai Butternubs. I placed the guinea pigs in Mike’s arms and he was smitten. They are such sweet little creatures that can make us laugh with their funny antics, and despite their plump bodies and stubby little legs, they are incredibly quick and agile! I am also convinced they are psychic – I just have to think about going to the fridge and they start wheeking for the bag of salad!

We can’t imagine our family without the pets. They teach us so much about life, love and especially for our kids, responsibility. I love that Matilda and Hamish will grow up with Ripley, Dwight, Doctor and Mordi. Just one big, happy (and fluffy) family! ❤