Today our lovely white hen Stryker was found dead. We don’t know how or why; when Ralph put the birds in their coop last night everyone was fine.
This might sound callous, but after I absorbed the loss the next feeling I felt was gladness she she did not die from neglect on our part or predation (which feels like neglect on our part no matter how much it might not be; so far we’ve only lost one this way). It is so important to Ralph and I we do not let our animals (or young children) down on the safety front. Now, we do not know what felled this wisest of all birds (OK, she was not wise, perhaps I should have said, “This bird who loved sweet soft fruit with a deep abiding love”) – there was no trauma or sign of distress. Ralph worries she ate a piece of plastic. Chickens are not especially intelligent but even I have a hard time believing she would have accidentally murdered herself. So far: a mystery. Ralph and I are researching but I’m not sure we’ll ever know what happened.
R.I.P. Stryker. You were kind of one of my favorites. You would run SO FAST with your leggy hips bobbing up and down if I brought out strawberry tops or part of a muffin or a very, very ripe banana. I don’t know how you knew when I had something sweet just from when I slid open the back door, but you always did. It was the only time you ascended the pecking order and intimidated the other birds.
Stryker’s nestmate Peepterton is very sad and lonely and shook up.
In other pet/death news last night we deflea’d the cats (newcomer Josie brought a strapping colony with her). We had to put the little ones in the bathroom for the night so the dying parasites could jump to die of poison on towels, not our bed (ask me how I know this). The older cats got to stay outside with their street smarts and impressive fat reserves. Late last night Ralph brought me in the kids’ room to use the new microscope to look at one of the kitten’s dying fleas. Don’t do this. Ever.
Now, I wasn’t particularly grossed out or scared of fleas.