Chicken crap for the soul

Dawn’s been egging me on to embrace my dark side: no more chicken soup for the soul crap, she said. At some point, you’re going to have to decide if you’re Mitch Albom or David Foster Wallace.

When we bought this house, it came with chickens. It didn’t have to, but we asked for them. It was one of the points in Dawn’s offer letter to the sellers that made them cry, along with detail about Dawn’s mom being a recent widow, and this is the kind of house her dad would have loved.

We took possession of the house and the chickens that spring. It didn’t seem like too much work at first. The guy showed me where he kept the bedding and the food pellets, and how he used a metal scraper to clear out their dung. Makes great compost too, he said.

The chickens stayed in their coop overnight, but clamored to be let out in the day. Because our yard doesn’t have a fence, they’d roam around our neighborhood, crap in other people’s yards, and dig up their beds. The one neighbor has a hunting dog who runs off-leash, so we had to think about this. Do I confront the neighbor about his dog? Do we work out a system whereby he agrees to not let the dog out if the chicken coop door is open? It didn’t make good politics.

The chickens had to be put back in their coop before dark. They each had names but I couldn’t really tell them apart, except that one was faster than the other, and ornery. One went missing on a Sunday morning, and I hoped it was the ornery one. All that was left were a few feathers on the side of the house, by the dog-run.

Next, we got cats. We got cats to stave off getting a dog, which only lasted about six months until we got bored with the cats. I feed the cats and remove their waste. One is more likable than the other. The other gnashes her teeth in the early hours, which makes a small, squeaking sound I think only I can hear.

They both try to get outside but we can’t let them, because they’d get eaten or killed. I’d be fine with that if it were a clean kill, but knowing cats, they’d go missing in pieces, which would be costly and hard on the girls.


About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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9 Responses to Chicken crap for the soul

  1. So, you’re saying you won’t be volunteering at the humane society any time soon?


    • pinklightsabre says:

      I shouldI am a sucker actually for animals. I just talk a good game and fantasize about choking them sometimes.


      • I have a couple of cats that have not endeared themselves to me – I have loved and had animals my whole life, but these little buggers have made me re-think ever having a pet again.


      • pinklightsabre says:

        It’s sort of like sunburns, though. You get one once, twice, feel like a dumb-ass and say it will never happen again, but then it does.


  2. alesiablogs says:

    Several years ago when our dog was young- we dropped him off for a week with his “sitter” while we went in vacation. The lady was known for having many animals and her cat had just had kittens. She informed us that our precious Linus had bitten a kittens head off! She had no proof but did blame him! Well maybe there was some frothing! Anyway- Linus has been nicknamed the catinator ever since then .


  3. Dawn says:

    YAY! The dark side!!


  4. rose2852 says:

    Have you thought about a cat run? Doesn’t have to be big. And they can poo outside.


    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s a great idea. And, they can chew all the wiring on anything exposed out there! Thanks Rosehave a great day. I appreciate you reading my blog post. – Bill


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