Bo found a rotting cat's foot out in our jungle of a yard and brought it up to the back deck to gnaw on. I walked right past it several days in a row, but upon closer inspection, I thought it was part of a dead bird. Then I looked even closer and discovered that it was a cat's hind foot and lower leg.
And it was riddled with maggots.
Instead of throwing it in the trash dumpster like a normal person, the part of me that's kin to Victor Frankenstein wanted to examine the cat foot in closer detail. I noticed that part of the tibia was missing, but the fibula was still intact. I hadn't realized how thin a cat's fibula is. Makes me appreciate my veterinarian's surgical skill.
Oh, I should tell you that I was a pre-veterinarian science major for two semesters in college. It wasn't squeamishness that drove me to change my major, but Organic Chemistry. And when I finally settled on Exercise Science, I had anatomy and physiology labs involving animal dissection and vivisection. The first was fascinating, but the latter rather distressing since the animals vivisected were still ALIVE! I took an "F" on those particular labs.
So back to the Weird Science part of this post.
I bagged up the foot, maggots and all, and put it in the fridge for several days until I could get around to this post. I figured the cold air or plastic bag enclosure would kill the maggots, but when I pulled it out this afternoon, the maggots were alive and well and wiggling at the bottom of the bag. So cold temperatures don't kill maggots, but it does seem to put them off their feed since they left the corpse to congregate together. I suppose maggots don't use up much oxygen so the air pocket in the bag hasn't dissipated yet.
I do have to wonder what happened to the rest of the cat?
Maybe possums ate it. Opossums do eat carrion and our neighborhood is home to many possums. Or maybe our dog, Bo, ate it. He is a goat in dog's clothing, although I don't know if goats eat rotting meat. It's a mystery any way you slice it.
But the fun part about all of this is what my husband is going to say when he gets home from his business trip tonight and opens the fridge to find the cat's foot. I can guarantee you it won't be yummy.
Stay tuned for more Weird Science at Casa Sullivan . . .