Monday, November 15, 2004

Snow White

   pest control vignette

Kitty Corpse

Not all aspects of pest control is pristine and clean, but I guess you’ve noticed that.

Read no further than this if you easily get an upset stomach.

The gorgeous snow white dead cat, for instance, behind the dining hall dumpster. I remember that! He was curled up by the dumpster and didn’t even look dead until I got close. Half of him was the same cute pure-white kitten he’d always been, but his rear end was now white only because it was covered by crawling maggots.

One could guess that it had been a little beauty when alive, but was only weirdly so in death. He had a kind of uneven Elvis-snarl on his de-animated face, and his ass was eaten out by hundreds of clean-looking, almost beautiful, shiny white maggots. I sprayed Elvis Kitty and the surrounding area to eliminate the maggots. I eased the blade of the shovel under him and tested his weight—he was somewhat jello-ey. Ick. I shoveled and otherwise manipulated him onto a plastic bag and placed that bag inside another bag. Even though there was a garbage dumpster right there at hand, it was one of several behind the main dining hall and I didn’t want to hear any more complaints about it later, about dead animals associated with the food service locations on campus! I put the corpse in the back of my truck and disposed of his icky self later in one of the dumpsters back at the physical plant compound. Out of sight, out of mind.

A Bevy Of Barfy Kitties

While unoccupied during a long summer, one of the dorms had obviously been invaded by a mother cat. Mamma Cat had somehow gotten above the ceiling tiles and given birth to a litter of kittens. Then she didn’t know what to do with them. I don’t exactly know when the pest control operator became an animal control officer and a mortician as well, but nobody else was going to do this job.

Now there was a bevy of dead kittens above the ceiling in one of the entrances. What became of Mamma Cat, I don’t know, but by the time I saw them, only some of the fuzzy-wuzzy baby kittens were recognizable as anything other than decay—putrescent, semi-solid. In some of them, chunks of hair were long gone. Insects had been at work, I presumed.

I took it from their varied appearances that they died at different times. I couldn’t see how the mother cat got in there, but then neither could she apparently figure out how to exit with her kittens. If she was dead or alive elsewhere in the building, I never found out. My best guess is that she just left them there and didn’t come back—maybe it was a young cat, with motherhood interruptus.

They may have been dead before she left or not. I only partly remember the ghastly means of cleaning up that mess. Needless to say, I wore a cartridge respirator and heavy rubber gloves. The tiles where the cats had died weren’t the original ceiling, but the original wasn’t very much higher. Therefore, there wasn’t much room to work in. I remember scraping and mopping, but not what tools I used in that tight space. I don’t exactly want to recall that picture—my stomach is more easily upset now than it used to be. After their removal, I deodorized and cleaned and deodorized some more. Fortunately that day I had a cast-iron stomach.

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