Chapter 10

April 2nd, 2010

Jenny's Brush With Death

I went back to The Cabin on Friday Night, to get away from all the BS I've been subjected to, for the past 20 years. I can't take it anymore; I'm thoroughly disgusted with both political parties; they're just flip-side of the same coin, IMO. I need to get away from it all, weekly, or I'll go nuts. Have you ever been down a "rabbit hole", and survived? I have, once. I don't expect to, more than twice.

After I left the GC&N Complex on Saturday due to severe (L-5 vert) back, at 1:15pm, I went home, laid on the couch and heating pad. Jenny climbed onto the couch and snuggled-in next to me, pissing-off Murphy & Mama Kitty. After a few hours, Gabapentin and aspirin, I loaded her in the Jeep, fed and watered the cats, and headed back to The Cabin. I just needed to get away. Next week, and the coming weeks were going to be full of customer site visits, landscape design and estimates, and I needed some time off before all that crap began.

We arrived at 2:45pm, and I slid the Jeep into the lean-to aside the kitchen door. I had a lot of supplies to unload, so I let Jenny loose on the property to run and frolic. I had almost all

the boxes inside, when I heard her mournful yelps and screeches. I grabbed my AR-10 (7.62 x 51mm) with CBQT Leupold Glass and 2 extra 20-round magazines. I went driving in the last direction I'd seen her scampering, when I came upon a 600lb black bear standing over her, and Jenny lying on the ground, pretty bloodied-up. I shot the bear 3x in the head, with the AR-10 .308cal, for good measure, scooped-up Jenny into a blanket and multiple towels, to stem the bleeding, put her into the Jeep, dialed Adam's Junction's Vet, Dr. Jayson Martin, and told him what happened. He said to get to his Office-OR/ ASAP, and I did, at 90+mph. Along the way, I picked-up two police "escorts", until they saw me carry her out of the Jeep and into the Vet's Office/OR. Then, they were on my side.

We carried Jenny into the OR, and Dr. Jayson had a 3-person surgical team already assembled. They worked for nearly 4hrs, doing repairs. I was finally let-in to see her as they took her to ICU and had her hooked-up to all kinds of tubes, machines and monitors. Dr. Jayson said she'd lost a lot of blood, and almost became a meal, many thanks to my quick action. Seems he had one of Jenny's mom's pups, too, and didn't want to see Jenny die. He asked if 6-10 days would be alright for her recovery; I gave him a credit card, which he refused, and said he'd let me know her progress, day-by-day. I stroked her and left; she licked my hand. She *knew* I was there for her.

I still got a ticket when I left the Vet's Office, but it was for a $250 Townhall Raffle of road/ pothole repairs; I volunteered $500, and they accepted, and wrote me another $250 one. Police Corporal Clay Atler wrote the ticket and I followed him back to the Police Station, where he noticed tears running down my face. I was clearly negligent in letting Jenny run free in the Spring, since so many dangerous animals were coming out of hibernation, and what could happen was easily-predictable, if you'd lived in these parts, but being a *noobe*, I didn't have the background, but should have surmised it could happen. Sherrif Bunce says Dr. Jayson Martin, DMV, was the best there was around, and he'd get Jenny through it, okay. I wrote the $500 road repair check and left; no points on my license.

The drive back to The Cabin was lonely and daunting without Jenny; I'd grown accustomed to her company. I knew she was suffering back at the Vet's, but that the Doc and his Staff would pull her through with all the pain killers and care she needed.

This time, I parked the Jeep right in front of The Cabin, on the circle stone drive, quickly went inside and got my .50cal Beowulf and 50 rounds of ammo, the Remy 11-87 AutoLoader with new 6-round sidesaddle and 20-round bandolier, with 3" slugs, and of course I always carried my 1911 Kimber "Eclipse Target" .45cal ACP, with 3 extra 8-round mags. I put on my LLB Bean 12" Maine Hunting Boots, a Green Barn Coat and set-out walking the property in 2-mile grids, checking every rock outcropping and possible hole den for dangerous animals. I had bright-colored marker stakes along, so I could return with my JD 317 SkidLoader, shove 2-3 lit cyanide bombs inside the dens, and then seal them off with boulders and topsoil. The other options, according to the local Penna Game Warden, were to flush all occupants out and shoot them, or tranquilize them and have them transported to another part of the state. The 2nd option could cost upward of $20,000-30,000, depending upon the quantity of critters found. I didn't have that kind of money. He said that there are "short-form grants" available for that activity, and that he'd pick-up some forms on Monday, in his office and get them to me.

I covered 6 square miles, located 3 dens and marked them. I'd be back tomorrow morning with the cyanide bombs to finish the job. I have a lot more territory to cover in the next few days and weeks. As I was walking back to The Cabin, I saw a mother mountain lion and 3 cubs patrolling about 250yds from me, obviously just coming out of their den for a Spring feeding. Neither my Beowulf .50 or the Remy 11-87 had the range to hit/kill the four of them, so I backtracked their prints to the den and marked it for destruction, tomorrow.

I was tired when I got back to The Cabin, and had a couple calls on my cellphone. One was from Sherrif Bunce that he'd like to talk with me before I engage in all this "wildlife carnage"; the other was from Police Corporal Clay Atler and Firefighter Mike, who also had a "better idea" than the complete wildlife extermination which I was planning. I called all three back and asked where we should meet. The consensus was at my Cabin, so they could show me what they were proposing. I agreed for tomorrow, Sunday, after Church.

I fired-up The Cabin Heater, lit a roaring fire in the giant hearth, made dinner, and cleaned-out Jenny's bowls and litter boxes in BR2 on the tarp, since I didn't know how long she'd be in-hospital, recuperating. I'd planned on going everyday I could, to see her, pet her and soothe her. I felt the guilt for not know ***what damned wildlife*** was out there to do her harm and possibly death. Now I knew, and was determined to take revenge and clear the 43-acres area for good. I poured a Brandy, lit a Cuban Cigar (don't ask), a nice roaring fire at the giant hearth, and delved into "Foreign Enemies & Traitors", by Matthew Bracken, aka Jeff Head. I stayed-up until 10pm, and then crawled into a freshly-laundered made King-sized bed, sans Jenny this night.

I got up Sunday morning, laid-out my hi-po weapons — AR-10 (7.62 x 51mm) plus 10 x 20-round mags; .50cal Beowulf with .300gr round, 11 to a magazine, and my 1911 Kimber .45cal ACP with 3 extra 8-round mags — plus I also stockpiled 200 cyanide, fused-tunnel bombs, for final disposal. I fueled-up the JD 675B SkidLoader to seal the dens and tunnels after the remaining animals were found, and poison embedded in their Winter boroughs. I hated the thought of killing wildlife, but after what a 600lb Black Bear did to Jenny, I was PO'd! Then I remembered it was *my fault* for not going with her, to protect her, especially at this 'critical time of year', when wild animals wake-up from hibernation, have cubs to feed and are looking for *food*. Jenny almost became *food*, thanks to the AR-10. I could have shot a few deer and left them for food, but instead Jenny became a target. That f•cking wouldn't happen again, dammit!

I had property the plot laid-out on the 6ft x 10ft Oak DR Table, showing all structures, ready-to-go on Sunday morning, when the 3 officials got there for the meeting. Sherrif Bunce, Police Corporal Clay Atler and Firefighter Mike showed-up on Sunday afternoon, after Church, in 3 official cars, around 1pm. Each of them had their own theory of how to handle wildlife on my 45-ac property. 1) Don't let Jenny or any other house animal run free wo/ my direct supervision, 2) Flush-out, tranquilize, trap and relocate the wildlife to other areas of Penna, 3) Not allow house animals to run free on the property, 4) Contain all human activity to The Cabin, since food will draw wildlife to a picnic etc, 5) Move to a development not known for its wildlife and give-up my privacy. None except #1 were acceptable to me, as I poured them gourmet coffee, when they'd never had before. "I will do what needs to be done, dammit, to protect myself and my charges. And I'm not spending $20,000-$30,000 to move these animals. If the FedGov has free grants, I'd consider that option. Otherwise, I'll just donate the meat to the local foodbanks via the country butchers, the pelts/ heads to the local taxidermist, and I didn't want anything from it.

Sheriff Bunce unexpectedly brought-up a "sore subject" of some 35-37 years ago: my Vietnam tours. "I have your DD214 separation papers (honorable discharge), 3 Silver Stars, 2 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and In-Theater Ribbon and a list of other decorations. You were a real bad ass under CIA control while in 3rd Special Forces Group (Green Berets), 101st Airborne, from '71 to '74, doing counter insurgency work and retrieving our POWs. You can fly a Huey, a Cobra gunship, you were a extraordinary sniper with 752 confirmed kills, and had a very high price on your head from the VC and NVR, when your 3rd tour was over", he said. Please don't let that color what you're going to do here; please keep a level head. You're not "John Rambo" any more, John. I agreed and explained that's why I asked for their consult and advice before proceeding any further. That settled them down.

Roy Bunce continued, "I have a feeling you could have killed every one of the militia crazies who visited you several weeks back, but we're darned glad you didn't. He smiled. "We don't have enough body bags or toe tags for them all." I chuckled. "Chief, that was a long, long time ago; I'm 60 now and doubt I could have gotten every single one of them. A few might still be in your clinic and hospital." Roy said, "you have one of the most awesome arsenals any of us have ever seen, though you say you merely use them for target practice, these days. And from your Sniper days, you know that humans are targets, too." I did, but didn't answer his question.

"Not to worry," I said. I just want some peace and quiet in my life at "The Virtual Cabin"; that's why I come up here from York. I'm not here to cause any trouble. Scout's Honor, and I showed them my tattered & laminated 1962 Eagle Scout Card." That put their trepidations to rest, for good.

I loaded Sherrif Bunce, Police Corporal Clay Atler and Firefighter Mike into my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee "Laredo" and we set-out to see the 3-4 dens I'd marked for destruction, and we spotted a few more along the way, and I marked them. Badgers? Hadn't thought about them; they're dangerous and vicious, when provoked, as are bears. Another wild critter to deal with. Damn. By the end of the day, we had 14 Winter dens ID'd, and I have enough cyanide bombs and hi-po guns and ammo to deal with them. I'd start tomorrow. Sherrif Bunce, Police Corporal Clay Atler and Firefighter Mike left at dusk, after making them 10z prime AB filet mignons, baked beans, brussel sprouts and crusty Italian Garlic Bread, for dinner. I also served a 2oz glass of 50-yr of Brandy, to each, but no Cuban Cigars. The all smoked Marlboros cigs or their own personal brand; they did not want any expensive Cuban cigars. Go Figure.

I sat by the massive hearth, and for the first time in many, many years, anguished at what Jenny was going through with her injuries and pain. I picked-up the cellphone and called Dr. Jayson Martin, DMV, and got his receptionist, even though it was just after office hours. I asked about Jenny's progress, and she took the portable phone into Jenny's semi-private recuperative area, and I heard her whine and bark when I talked to her. Louise said she even licked the phone. I knew she was going to be okay, and hopefully come home in a few days, after healing some more. She was lucky to be alive, had I not happened upon that 600lb Black Bear and ventilated its head 3x.

I didn't feel like reading; just drinking some old Brandy, which BTW was running low. I'd have to pick-up another couple 750ml bottles when I got back to York. Adam's Junction only had a beer store; no wines or spirits to be had.

I went to sleep early, as I had several lscp appointments on Wednesday, and needed to be prepared to handle some complex jobs. It didn't take long to fall asleep. I was up at 5:30am, made Eggs Benedict and Gourmet Coffee, and left for York.

I decided to drive-up to The Cabin after work on Wednesday, since we're still on Winter Hours (Mon - Sat, 10am - 3pm; Closed Sunday), and visit Jenny. I drove straight to Dr Martin's VetCare, and asked to see her. Dr Martin personally led me into Jenny's room, and her bandaged tail started wagging furiously. She whined and barked when she heard me coming, and before she could get up, we both gently held her down on the thick bed of towels, so she wouldn't get stressed or tired. He graciously left and I nuzzled her, and stroked her, being careful of her wounds. She is a strong spirit, and knows I'm sorry for leaving her roam loose, without supervision in the Spring, with all the true wildlife roaming and looking for food. She'll make a good recovery, and I promised her that wouldn't ever happen again.

I stopped at the General Store and stocked-up on a few pantry items I was running low on, and headed back to The Cabin. I pulled the Jeep into the circle drive, went to the front door with the

boxes and put them on the picnic table, turned back to the Jeep to get the other box and my keys, when I saw the same female & male mountain lions and their cubs heading straight for me, across the lawn. All I had was the 1911 Kimber .45cal ACP; the Beowulf and Remy 11-87 12ga Semi-Automatic AutoLoader were in the Jeep's back compartment. The lions were no more than 200ft away, and they could cover that distance on a sprint, in 2-3 secs. I unholstered the Kimber, chambered a 160gr HP round, and fired-off two shots, which landed just in front of them. They scattered back into the thicket, foiled again for another "bad-tasting human meal". I ran for my long guns, scrambled back up on to the porch, disarmed the burglar alarm, and grabbed the boxes of pantry staples and guns and quickly got inside.

By now, I was nervous that they were going to lay-in-wait for me to come out, when I left to go back to York, to attack. I flipped-on The Cabin heater, went from window-to-window, all around The Cabin, looking for their eyeballs, then flipped-on the massive spotlights, on a four sides of The Cabin. Again, I went around to all windows to see it any eye reflections were looking back at me. Nothing. So I unloaded the pantry staples, decided not to build a hearth fire, as I would be leaving in 30-45mins, to get back to York. I had lscp appointments on Thursday and needed to get a good night's sleep. Damn; I was down to 23 Cuban Cigars. Time to call "my man in Miami" and get a reload.

I loaded the Jeep, tuned-down the heat, armed the building and headed back to York, to get some sleep and get ready for a very busy day.

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