Morning coffee cup in hand, I stepped onto the patio and caught site of huge droplets of blood tracking across the concrete. With careful, precise movements, I followed the blood trail to the other side of the patio while wondering whose blood it might be. Could it still be alive? If it was, I feared it would be wounded and might lunge at me in an angry fury. Gripping my coffee tighter, I spotted the bloody smear at the end of the trail. Proof! Proof that whatever it was, it had been killed and devoured. No remains were left behind. No entrails, no liver, no kidneys as evidenced in previous killings. No. This murder was of a different creature, one whose entire existence was ordained edible.
Yes. Someone met their demise and was in the process of being digested in Thumper’s belly at the exact same moment I sat down to sip my coffee on his and my love seat. But, what got eaten, and where is my loving, stray boy?
I pondered the droplets of blood further, noting that they had began at the patio door and trailed toward the love seat, dripping smaller and smaller droplets of blood until reaching Thumper’s dining area directly behind our love seat. That is where the feast ensued. That is where, in the past, entrails were left behind for me to clean up afterward. This time, nothing but blood remained.
During the previous year, I studied Thumper’s hunting behavior – learning the different blood patterns and at what stage of death/consumption the stains portrayed. Today, there were no entrails, nor were there feathers. What had he eaten?
The initial large blood droplets were like nothing I had seen before. Typically, upon catching a vole or gopher, there would be one solitary smearing of blood behind our love seat where Thumper feasted upon his prey, and he would leave behind the entrails and anything else not to his liking. Sometimes, he might leave a few feathers, a paw or a tail — such body parts must not suit his palate on occasion.
Such as it is, my detective skills have not yet developed to the point of solving this mystery. What was for dinner last night at Thumper’s Café? I wonder if you know? Thumper refuses to tell.
© 2022 Sue Marie St. Lee