I knew there must be another heated water bucket.
I bought one for Melody when we boarded at Arrowhead Farm, and it didn’t miraculously melt into the ground–so I simply needed to search hard enough to find it. Our small shed in front of the barn either held the bucket or it would never be found.
I turned things over, cleaned out a space, and discovered a Rubbermaid container in a corner. I pulled the large plastic tub out, and noticed it appeared remarkably heavy for an item of its size. I lifted it up, and joy of joys–there lay the bucket. It held a great deal of leaves, pine needles, hay, and other random debris, but I’d found it.
I lifted the bucket out of the container and tipped the leaves out into the Rubbermaid container, intending to burn them later. Instead, two eyes stared up at me.
Either I had a very ugly kitty hiding in the bucket of leaves, or an opossum took up residence.
I gave a very girly, high-pitched scream, then grabbed a container of manure to set on top of the initial container. In my head I heard Giles Corey gasp “More Weight.” I couldn’t leave him like that. I lifted the manure bucket off the opossum’s new digs, and left him alone.
When I came back, he escaped, most likely back to the shed. I couldn’t kill him, nor could I let him stay there. I couldn’t.
I thought about the opossum’s food source, and decided he must enjoy dry cat food. I put some inside a live trap and left it overnight.
In the morning, I discovered that the “ugly kitty” trapped himself.
I don’t hurt animals. I avoid it at all costs. In my hands, I held the life of this so-ugly-he’s-cute animal, and couldn’t imagine killing it in cold blood. I couldn’t even think how to try. I don’t own a gun (the husband won’t let me–it falls under his “Nothing that could rip off and/or injure a limb” category) so the fast-and-painless option simply didn’t exist.
Therefore, I brought the “ugly kitty” to Mike next door. He promised that he’d give the opossum a “heavenly experience” at his farm.
This morning, he returned an empty live trap.
Now, all the stalls have working heated buckets for the winter. The ponies will have enough water. The kitties, too, will not be thirsty. However, outside animals are not welcome when they don’t pull their own weight. They’ll be sent next door to Mike.
(I did not harm any animals in the making of this post.)