For each of these critters listed I have at least one story to tell... and if you're interested I'll tell them all, but you're probably not. So I will link my bad luck streak in the previous two days' stories with my fuzzy friends story.
After several big and small incidents of bad luck I decided to stay home and work around the house on Saturday. Our yard definitely needed some spring cleaning, and it was a beautiful day (sunny with at high of 86!!!). So I went out back and opened the garage for the first time in several months (I know what you're thinking -- if you have a two car garage and two cars, you should probably park them in the garage. However, we don't have an automatic door, and we have PLENTY OF DRIVEWAY even with our two cars sitting there. So in the winter it's actually easier to brush off our cars and let them 'protect' part of the driveway from the several feet of snow we get than it is to park in the garage. You might not agree, but you probably don't have an average annual snowfall of 96 inches and a 75-100 foot long driveway.) Anyway, as I opened the door I saw a black and white cat lying on the floor. I had seen this cat around our neighborhood and even in our back yard several times before, so I thought it had just squeezed in to chase a few of our many mice. (Because our garage doors have a tendency not to open very easily we often leave one of them slightly open so that we can always get back into the garage.) Then it hit me... the cat was dead and the garage stunk. Yuck. It must have gotten in to chase some mice or avoid a winter storm and either didn't or couldn't leave. For a moment I felt really bad, but there was really no way for me to know it was there or prevent its death. I did check to see if it had any tags or a collar on so that I could contact its owner, but it had nothing of the sort.
Over the past year we have had a bit of a curse on our house. We have had a LOT of animals die on our property. Since last spring I have had to dispose of several dead mice in our house, a dead shrew in our garden, a dead rabbit on our front lawn/sidewalk, a couple dead starlings, and now a dead cat. For the full year a half we lived in this house before that time I only had to deal with one mouse that was caught in a trap. I feel like its somehow my fault, like I poisoned the property or something. Kenta lived here for 3 years before we were married and didn't have any of these troubles. The only bonus is that I now feel like I am a bit of an expert in how to remove dead animals from your property without touching them -- not something I'll ever put on a resume or list of hobbies though. To be fair though I didn't remove some of those animals. We were never able to find an unknown number of mice that died somewhere inside our basement ceiling/first story floor. It smelled so much worse than individual dead mice that we had previously found that we were convinced it had to be at least 5 mice. We had to keep Fabreeze in our entry way where the smell was the worst and spray it every time we walked though. To this day we can't stand the smell of that variety of Fabreeze because it reminds us of dead mice. Yuck.
I dislike reading blogs without any pictures to compliment the story, but I really didn't think it was appropriate to take a picture of the smelly, dead cat in my garage. So instead, I'm including a couple pictures of myself in the garage two years ago when I was making our picnic table and benches, a not so attractive picture of myself with some of the hundreds of tomatoes our beautiful garden produces each year, and, lastly, a picture of Kenta's car and his mother's car in our driveway after a spring snow storm last year (you can see where my car was before I dug it out). Thus ending on a happier note than dead animals. :)