Monday, July 21, 2014


Assassins have been around since the beginning of time but thanks to  the wealth of media these days, we are more aware of the trend. Hiring someone else to do the dirty work is not new and murder for hire has become the new divorce. 

Now days, if you find your spouse annoying, there is no need for lawyers, long drawn out contentious wrangling and dividing up the spoils of marriage. Instead, just go to a local bar, seek the guy with lots of neck tattoos sitting quietly in the corner and see if he is up for some quick cash.  Hopefully, you have found your contract killer and not a government undercover guy. 

My question is, should the surviving spouse enjoy freedom from dirty hands by this transaction?? Legally of course not--- but how about morally since they don't do the actual killing??

The reason for the preceding is that I have sunk to a similar low and am now seeking absolution. I have hired such a killer who is tattooless, works for dog food and kind words. 

My  soul searching began recently when I saw Callie jump on something and snaring it in her mouth. Thinking it was another poor fledgling bird, I yelled at her and like a good dog, she dropped it.  

However it was not a bird she dropped but a dreaded garden destroying vole, still quite alive though wet.  The small creature was ever gratefully for the release and scurried for safety under the porch hoping to live another day. 

"Get it!!!" I yelled to a confused Callie, now giving her permission to murder the little beast I had just told her to drop.   She didn't say anything of course but "please make up your mind" was written all over her face. She owns the quizzical look.  

Poor baby, I am sure she was wondering why I was standing there with a perfectly good garden hoe in my hands, doing nothing but yelling at her as the vole ran between my shoes.   

The need for removing these voles has been on my mind for quite a while as the cute little creatures are really destructive. Repellents have not worked nor has trying to find vole resistant plants worked. Seems they aren't picky eaters.   

 Yes, I am too much of a wuss to do the deed myself.   However I am not above encouraging my eager dog to dispatch them and labeling the murder, "nature."  Does that keep my tender heart pure or does that make me a huge hypocrite??   

Though the creature did not go to  vole heaven that day, permission has been granted and I have hired my killer. Am I not on the same level as the disgruntled spouse?? ?? I am afraid I know that answer. 

Do you contract the killing of pests or are you able to do the deed yourself?? 

Or are you truly kind hearted and let them live long and prosper?? 
Sigh, I use to be in the latter group. 

This was sent to me by my Florida friend Sue. Think it sums up most of the comments if you substitute pests for people. Thanks Sue. 


  1. I'm afraid you've struck a sympathetic chord here. One of the large downsides of our cat Satchel's advanced age is that he no longer hunts. Yes, he did get a mole last week, but I'm pretty sure that was only because it ran across him as he lay on the sidewalk.
    Last summer the chipmunks ran completely amok and destroyed a large swath of our hostas.

  2. Depends on the day. Sometimes I let spiders outside and other days I smash with such a gleeful attitude it scares me.

    My farm team does the dirty work outside. Moles, voles, possums, poison snakes, skunks and hopefully, soon the raccoon. I should be hung by my evil intent but not the dogs. They are under my command. They KNOW what makes me happy.

    Am I a serial killer?

  3. One of the disadvantages to keeping all our kitties inside is that they no longer can keep all the small critters away.
    I had large gardens for years that were unfenced. The dogs scared the deer into the woods and the cats kept all the small stuff away. I never suffered any guilt over what they were doing, but did keep up with vet appointments. Now, alas, there are too many dangers waiting in the woods for our 4LEGGERS to be out alone.

  4. Voles have taken over in my yard. Thanks for today's blog topic! I have gone to war. Me, former war protester and peaceful demonstrator--I am inclined to go after them with a machine gun at this point. Wouldn't tear up any more than the voles.

  5. I'm afraid I don't know the difference between a vole and a mole, but those burrowing creatures (whichever they are) have been brought under control by an outdoor cat. I don't know what I would have done had they attacked the garden! You are quite right in dispatching them with an assassin, if you ask me. :-)

  6. You can't divorce a vole so...

  7. My Slim takes care of business without contract. She's go for the moles and voles with a vengeance and can follow them almost to China when she ventures after them into the ground. Slim is without tattoos therefore she is not considered to be for hire.

  8. Well...this is a hard one, dear Patti....Years ago, we had a terrible Gopher problem here in my Cactus Garden---I was told there are snakes, actually called "GOPHER SNAKES" that would take care of the problem---nothing we did before the snakes worked. Nothing. But those very beautiful snakes did the job! And after they got rid of all of them, they left my Garden on the Hill and looked for greener pastures, elsewhere in the neighborhood. I guess I am a hired Assassin, too.....(They actually stayed around in my garden for a good month, by the way---it's a Big Hill...)

  9. We have a "back door" neighbor who was always a hoarder. They moved in before my parents did in 1961 and there were boxes in their garage that they never unpacked. You get the picture. Anyway, the oldest daughter was even worse than her parents and so my cats and dogs have always had the murderous duty of mouse killing. When the oldest daughter died last year and the youngest had the placed "cleaned out" I can't even tell you what Jameson and Ellie Mae dispatched in the yard but I do know that Uma and Princess Toadstool had a hellavu good romp inside when the mice came over to our house and went under the house. At night the mice would attempt to come in the furnace room. Screams and cries of the ordeal could be heard every night for several weeks. I am sure glad I had these kittys and dogs. They did their jobs very well. I don't have the least bit of remorse.

  10. Does hiring an exterminator to regularly take care of household insects count?

  11. I like to outsource the work. One of my favorite things about having cats in my life over the years was their ability to keep any place I lived free of mice.

  12. In my opinion, moles, voles, spiders and poisonous snakes are fair game and if you can find a dog to do it - have at it. I think the Lord wants us to subdue the Earth and that's a good way.

  13. HA HA ---I want to 'hire' Callie to come and capture some of our scads of Chipmunks and Squirrels. They drive us bonkers..... They dig up our bulbs and the chipmunks will dig tunnels in our flowerbeds...

    My son had moles/voles (don't know the difference)---and he NEVER could get rid of them (until he moved)....

    Good Luck...

  14. Back in the days when I had a yard I was quite the tyrant when it came to gophers and moles. I'd kill em in a heartbeat if I got the chance, which I never did. I wouldn't let my conscience bother me over this if I were you.

  15. OMG.... No. I have absolutely no guilt about doing away with garden pests, either by hired killer or doing the job myself. I've relocated some pests with Haveaheart equipment but I never use poison.
    My big bug-a-boo now would be the crows. They swoop right through the air and kill the little song birds that i've lured into my flower gardens. They leave the bones of the sweet little birds in the bird baths. I wish they'd eat those too and choke on them.

  16. Max would on occasion get a gopher for me, then he would place it by the door. Just to make sure I knew he had done it for me.
    I have no problem dispatching varmints.

  17. Chancy pretty well keeps things out of the yard around here. If they can't run fast enough...and they have to be very fast...he will get them in a heartbeat. Hubby has no problem taking care of the unwanted pests that we rarely have. If I were in your place sweet Patti I would let Callie have it and neither of you should feel any guilt. Those voles can mess up a yard and quick too. Callie deserves some extra hugs and nose kisses so we are sending some for her. Hugs for you and nose kisses for sweet Callie and sweet Minnie

  18. After reading all the comments, I think I may need a cat! The voles really tore up my garden through the winter when they could go undercover with the snowpack. I was appalled when the snow melted to see all the damage. Or, maybe I could just buy Callie a plane ticket. Sorry - no remorse here.

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  20. Marty Damon,
    I enjoyed that post of his "capture" a lot.

    Ha ha, I think that makes you the Mob Boss.

    That is a shame your perfectly good hit-critters have to stay in because of the bullies that could harm them. We do what we must.

    Ya know, a machine gun blasting into the ground just might get them. Let me know if it works.

    Cats are the ultimate weapons. A vole is cute and eats plant roots, a mole is really ugly and eats grubs.

    Then I am good to go huh??

    Grannie Annie
    Ah but you feed Slim. That might count. You could hire Slim out if you wanted.

    What a clever idea. I will Google vole killing snakes today. Thanks.

    Linda W,
    OMG what a living nightmare!!! Thank goodness you had such efficient assassins.

    Ha ha, think it does but hey, it works doesn't it??

    I like that word "outsource." Sounds so much nicer than killer for hire.

    You are right, it is in the
    Bible--or is it? Regardless,lets pursue subduing.

    Good to hear from you. I know what you mean by the crows. I have them here also tormenting the smaller birds.
    I also humane trap what I can.

    Hey, you are armed and dangerous not so they had best beware.
    I really do love those at-the-door presents.

    Well I hate to hear what happened to your son. I'm too old to move:))
    Callie would get the creatures but she also digs up the yard looking. Don't think that would work for you.

    Thanks, all the comments are making me believe this is a necessary thing to do.

    Sometimes just having a dog in the yard is a deterrent. I'm hoping that works. I really have a lot of them and they need to go.

    Doesn't it make you sick to see all the damage those varmints do? If Callie is like me, she won't fly but a cat sounds like a good answer. Maybe even a neighbor cat?? Those are the best kind. They work for free.

  21. As long as Callie will finish the job I say go for it.

  22. Hi Patti,
    We are missing our dear departed Ginger the cat. He was a specialist in dispatching rats, and without him we do have a problem here. Young Nigella Stopit was still in training when he died, and had learned how to catch mice... but not kill them, and had not progressed to more difficult targets. I did see Ginger at work on several occasions, and he had the amazing ability to "materialise" out of nowhere, without making a sound, and was lightning fast in his grim task. When he was training Nigella to catch mice or young rats he would get her to "flush them out" from hard to reach places, and he would kill them. I saw him once fell a young rat with a crunching blow from his right front paw, just like a heavy weight boxer landing a knock down punch. To be honest, I really hate killing animals, and have even developed a great respect for rats, even though they are a terrible pest and their numbers have to be kept in check here. Where possible I would prefer to adapt and get on with animals, but I know that this can't always be the case.

  23. Here it's not voles, but moles. Yesterday a mole uprooted a plant I had just put into the ground...TWICE!. Tom put out the mole trap last night, so is it digging there today? of course not. Yes, I do murder for hire. And there was that rat in my house that I stabbed myself!

  24. I condone your hired assassin approach 100%. I'll gleefully kill snails myself by pouring salt on them, but anything more than that I leave to 4-legged professionals.

  25. I say that if something is destroying our property or things we've spent good money on such as flowers or vegetable gardens, etc, then we have a right to defend it from the marauders! Go, Callie!!

  26. If Callie ever gets caught, make sure to disavow all knowledge of her activities. It's often the person who "hired" the killer that gets the tougher sentence :)

  27. If they come into my house, they are toast and I will do the deed myself if no one else is around.

  28. NCMountainwoman,
    I agree, at least she doesn't play with her food. That I wouldn't like.

    I agree with you and admit that rats and voles are smart and survivors. Gotta give them that. If they didn't carry disease and reproduce faster than bunnies, I would say live and let live. Too bad Nigella didn't get completely trained. It is a learned skill.

    Linda R.
    Wow, you went hand to hand with a rat and won? I am impressed.

    I agree, the 4 legged ones are so much better at it than we are.

    Well I am giving her free rein. Otherwise I won't have a plant, bush or small tree left. Yep they even do in small trees by eating the roots.

    Ooh, great point Keith. I know nothing and am sticking to it!!!

    Ah, you are so brave. I wish I weren't such a wuss. I need to pass the chore on.

  29. There is a hawk that sits in one of the big trees and watches for anything moving in our yard. I'd happily provide plate and fork if it had a taste for voles or mice. As for the squirrels and chipmunks. . . the can have them--just not when I'm not watching, please!

  30. I had mice in my house years ago, and I set a trap for several evenings in a row When the trap would snap (often right after I went to bed) there would often be squeaks so I'd put a pillow over my head so I couldn't hear. I felt awful that the mouse suffered but I couldn't bring myself to put it out of its misery. Of course by the 11th mouse I didn't care anymore....I just wanted them all to die!

    Good luck with ridding yourself of the voles!

  31. I'm happy to learn Callie wants to keep her place of residence vole free. She is just doing what is right. You didn't hire her. She lives there. You just happen to live with her . All is fine and as it should be. Natural!

  32. We have an armadillo that is digging little snout holes all over the yard. I would gleefully contract a hired killer to be shed of him!

  33. We have a pest control service here in the Arizona desert where scorpions abound. My conscience is clear. Scorpions are seriously bad news! So glad you have Callie to do the dirty work! You're right -- it IS nature!

  34. marylee,
    I am like you. If it happens, don't make me watch or worse, hear.

    Oh mercy, that had to be awful but they do say you get hardened in time. I am hoping I get to that stage.

    I like your way of thinking. Now if I can just think like that also.

    How has he survived the road? As the old joke goes, "Why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the armadillo it can be done." May a car solve your problem for you.

    Dr. Kathy,
    Scorpions stings hurt like crazy. Don't miss having them around at all.
    Wonder what eats them in nature?

  35. Oh ...ha, ha. You had me going with the start of your entry. I was wondering if you knew someone in that dilemma !
    As to your question... I don't hesitate to eliminate pesty flying critters ...that is, unless my daughter and her naturalist husband are here. He actually tenderly catches flies and releases them outdoors. Can you believe that?

  36. I think if any creature is causing damage to your house or garden it's acceptable to to kill it. I have to say I wouldn't want to do it but if another animal comes along that's happy to to, then that's fine by me. It's natures way of controlling things really. I don't hold the same view when it comes to human life of course, or pets.

  37. Just discovered your blog site and love your witty style. After reading about your cute little dog, I'm loosening my grip a bit on my decision not to replace my recently deceased beloved elderly sheltie.

    Thanks for sharing. I'll be following your adventures.

  38. I have a feeling my daughter would like to hire your Callie to take care of the chipmunks that keep digging holes under their foundation.