Mica

I was recently awarded custody of my daughter’s Chihuahua. I’m saving her life but I’m starting to worry about mine. She is a six-year-old, four-pound hairy ball of cuteness. Her name is Mica. Her name should be voracious. She has a food addiction. I can relate.

My daughter also owns a Great Dane, named Jessie, the reason for the custodial arrangement. She doesn’t have a food addiction. Sometimes she’ll stare at her food for hours waiting for it to move, even thought it never ever has. When Jessie finally becomes bored waiting for her morsels to get up and dance, and she’ll turn her back, giving them the cold shoulder. Once in a while she’ll glance over her to see if they have moved. It can take her half the day to eat her first meal.

One glorious morning, Mica snuck into Jessie’s feeding area at the exact time Jessie was busy ignoring her food. Mica believed she had died and gone to food heaven. There before her sat  a mountain of glorious grub. In an instant Mica began munching,  a gremlin in the act of gorging down as many morsels as she could. Jessie heard the gobbling sound. She swung around thinking her food had finally begun the long awaited song and dance. Imagine her surprise at catching Mica in the act? Jessie attacks. Mica leaps for one last morsel. The giant jaws grab the Chihuahua by the tiny throat. Mica is ripped from food heaven and yelps in pain. My daughter comes running. It’s too late the damage is done.

Mica has a smear of blood on her throat, but miraculously no gaping hole from the massive teeth. There is bruising and swelling, and a trip to the vet provides antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. It seems all should be well. It was, until the food and water Mica consumed oozed out of the tiny hole in her throat. With the swelling reduced the food travelled the path of least resistance. Another trip to the vet, resulted in x-rays, exploratory surgery and impromptu sewing and cutting to reform structure from a shredded pharynx and larynx. The vet was unsure of the outcome, there was so little healthy tissue left to stitch together. He even put a few stitches into the esophagus. Mica stayed on IV for the first couple days and then began a broth of watered down high nutrient dog food. We visited everyday hoping she would live and her hair trigger Chihuahua bark had died.

She recovered one hundred percent, even her yappy bark. She’ll live with me until Jessie passes on— as morbid as that sounds. When Mica goes to my daughter for visitation Jessie still gives Mica the stink eye, and Mica cowers under her gaze. The incident left Micas love for food untouched. She is still voracious. She eats three meals a day and still has the desire to chow down on fallen birdseed from my various hanging bird feeders.

A few mornings ago a sharp crack sounded through my house. It was a hell of a bang. I searched for the cause but everything seemed fine, no harm, no foul. I went on with my day. I let Mica out to do her business. She disappeared. I call for Mica from the door and waited. Nothing— the happy little dog with the sparkling brown eyes was MIA. I shake my head wondering where the little rascal has gone. I head out the door and traipse around to the backside of the house calling out to her all the while. Around the corner I find Mica. She is surrounded by feathers aggressively ripping into a prairie chicken much bigger than herself. The chickens neck is twisted to the side, it must have flown into the window— the clear cause of the early morning bang.

“Hey Mica, you little turd, you already had your breakfast. Come here,” I order.  Mica gives me a dark eyed stare. She dares me to take away her prize, exposing her fangs as she easily tears off another chunk of bloody bird breast. I shake my head. She has already eaten her way deep inside the body. I see bits of birdseed in the hole, the prairie chickens last meal. I bend down to remove the bird from the savage little beast. Mica growls at me, glaring with murder in her eyes. I take it away despite the death threat. Considering Micas aggressive desire to eat I’m not sure I feel safe sleeping with her anymore. My husband might come home to find me with a hole in my chest. I’m thinking I should renegotiate the custody agreement. Maybe Jessie would like to come and live with me.

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