I finally saw Marcos’ headstone and I must say my reaction surprised me. He is the fifth pet I’ve buried at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, sixth if I count my brother’s dog, Duke. I found his grave immediately thanks to the pinwheel I’d left at the unmarked grave at Easter. Shiny and new, I could read the engraved words before I climbed the hill.
And I broke down and cried – real tears crying. I never cried at the cemetery with any of my other pets. Not even Fremont. Seeing Fremont carved in stone did stop me in my tracks, and have me uttering his name, but not like this. I couldn’t even smile at the Handsome Hunk of Dog bit. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I’ve loved all my cats dearly but I guess this just goes to show that dogs leave a different kind of hole in your life.
Meanwhile back at the House of Mars, life goes on. Summer has come.
So it was down with the storm door
And up with the screen door.
Which has made Marcel and Marceau happy campers
Speaking of the Brothers Mar, they gradually relinquished their claim on Marcos’ beds
so I donated them (the beds, not The Brothers) to the Putnam County Humane Society. Every once in a while Marceau does hang out on the futon, but his days are limited. Come Bulk Garbage Pick-up day in October it will be out in the street. That will be sad, but necessary since I’m in the process of restoring the room to its original status – guest room. But like the rooms at the Bed and Breakfast I stayed in recently, it will have a permanent title – The Marcos Room
As for The Marcos Room, I’ve discovered that taking down wallpaper is a journey.
As for me, yes life goes on. Followers will recall I took at nasty case of poison ivy with me to Key West last year. Well last week I took a case to St Thomas Virgin Islands,
a milder dose, but still annoying.
Oh well, some things just don’t change, do they?
I ended the last post with a question. Are some animals suicidal? If you recall I had found a dead mouse in this bucket.
Now I ask you. Could this be an accident? Oh yeah, little mousie just happened to be walking around the basement and decided to climb a foot and a half up a bucket? Come on!
Not convinced? Okay, how about this? Have you ever been driving about in the country, and there on the side of the road is a dead skunk or opossum. It always makes me sad but it also makes me wonder. These are the types of roads where one car passes by every two minutes, and that’s on a busy day. You mean it’s just a coincidence that as that one car is coming, the animal just happened to be crossing. I know both skunks and opossums are among the slowest of mammal. So does Mother Nature. That’s why she gave them special powers of protection:
Skunks, their odor and
opossums, their acting talent – playing dead.
And then there’s those mice who come into The House of Mars during the winter. I realize their choices are limited –
stay out in the cold
Hunker down in the dreary basement or come up, using whatever secret passage known to mice,
and face these two, or
Marcos, who was still with us most of last winter, a faithful volunteer on Mouse Patrol who usually trotted off with the capture.
I don’t know about you, but I’d hightail it back down into the basement!
And before I leave the subject of death, let me make a confession, there was a death on the Mars property.
I’m guilty of herbicide
You see it’s an ongoing battle when it comes to poison ivy vs yours truly.
Sometimes I win.
And sometimes PI wins. And when she does you don’t want to see me. Trust me. It’s not a pretty sight.
Urban legend has it that back in the old days when our household consisted only of Papa Fair, Mama Fair, and Baby Fair, (that being me) the parental units regarded it as a great milestone being crossed when instead of throwing a tantrum at being told she had to stop playing, or turn off the TV, Baby Bear would sigh and say in her teeniest of baby voices, “I don’t wanna but I will.”
Baby Fair doesn’t know how long this lasted since she cannot remember ever having said those words, but she did get tired of hearing them sin,ce Mama and Papa F. laughed and retold it over and over. During her indignant teen years she regarded it as yet another case of her will having been broken. As the years went by she realized it was typical of the good ole V’ster. Even back then, she had managed to get the last word in.
It doesn’t happen often but I do hear those words come out of my mouth; four times a year, to be precise. And last Saturday was one of those times. As you know, I’d completed every other spring chore that had to be done at the House of Mars, so there was no putting off this one. The time had come for the most dreaded job in the world as far as I’m concerned, the absolute most dreaded job in my whole repertoire of dreaded jobs.
(Could we have a bit of dirge music)
Through the gate
Down some stairs
Down some more stairs (uh oh, stairs need re-finishing)
To the basement door (note to self; door needs painting)
Into the basement
Into the inner bowels of the basement ……
…..to face the dreaded chore of …………
replacing the whole house water filter .
This is probably foreign to most of you. But the lucky ones among us, those who have a well know only too well
Ha Ha – Well and Well. (Oops sorry)
Now where was I? Oh yes, we know that sediment gets stirred up by the well pump and if the filter is not changed regularly, the sand and sediment will get into the water pipes, and from there into our faucets and toilet workings and pretty soon we find ourselves calling the plumber to replace vital parts of the toilets and the faucets…..So every three months, I say I don’t wanna but I will, and I do.
It’s really a simple job entailing turning off the main water valve, removing the filter housing, taking out the dirty filter, washing out the housing, and fitting it with a new filter.
That done, just turn the water back on and you’re good for another three months.
But being prone to what ifs , I worry.
- What if, I can’t get the water back on.
- What if I don’t replace the gasket right and the filter housing leaks?
- What if I replace the gasket right, turn the water back on, go back upstairs and unbeknownst to me, it starts leaking and keeps leaking …. For three months
Thus the ever-present bucket.
And this time I discovered a what if had come to pass; one that I never ever would have anticipated on my most sleepless toss and turn nights.
You see there’s always a bit of water in the bucket but this time there seemed to be a lot of sediment at the bottom. Or so I thought until I looked a little closer, but heaven be praised – not too close.
It was no sediment, it was a mouse who’d been dead for some time.
Under his yellow plastic headstone.
RIP little mousie.
Finding poor little mousie brought up a question I’ve often pondered. Well, not often, but once or twice. And so I leave it with you.
Are some animals suicidal?
Think about it and, we’ll talk next week.
What? I heard that! Who said I don’t wanna but I will?