Tuesday, May 08, 2007

On dead and dying things

Last week there was a smell upstairs. It started out lightly. You'd be walking through the bedroom and catch a faint whiff of something fairly unpleasant. But upon sniffing in earnest to discern from whence it came, the scent would elude you. Towards the end of the week the smell was stronger. You could smell it all the time but couldn't pinpoint it. I had just spring cleaned upstairs two weeks before, so I knew everything was fairly clean, but still inspected corners, emptied wastecans, checked the guest room to look for food left behind by the neices. Nothing. Upon getting out of the shower on Sunday and being met with a particularly vibrant new strain of the stench, I decided that it must be something dead, either in the walls or in the ceiling. There is nothing you can do about something dead in the ceiling or walls. I hoped that later this week it would get very hot so whatever it was would mummify quickly and stop eminating stink. So there I am staring into the mirror brushing, flossing, contemplating the tragedy of some animal dying alone within the walls of my house. Did it suffer? Was it a long drawn out death? Did it's family miss it? Did it live a full life? So very sad. And I look up and see four FOUR! gray hairs sticking out of the top of my head. I will be 37 this year and I have probably been lucky thus far to have not had a single gray hair. But there they were. All shiny and a different texture and OLD LOOKING! And it is totally not a good time to be confronted by your own mortality and irreversible aging when you are thinking about the solitary and probably lingering death of some unknown creature in your walls. I was depressed for the rest of the day.

Later that night I was getting ready for bed. The smell was terrible but it was too cold to open the windows. I saw the cat laying on my pillow and I wondered. I got down on the floor and flipped up the bed skirt. There under my husbands side of the bed was a partially decomposed vole, splayed neatly out on his back. I wondered what his placement meant. At least I knew that it wasn't the awful ending I had imagined. I scooped him up (the cat lazily looking up to see that I discovered his prize, wondering what took so long) and put him in the garage trashcan. He was just fur and bones. The stink went with him.

On a totally unrelated note, check out my Redbud in all it's spring glory.


Blogger El said...

Yikes am I glad the dog and the chickens don't bring voles into the house!

There are no redbuds in Minnesota. Here, though, there are highways named after them, and they certainly are glorious!! Dogwoods, too. The whole dang world is just showing off.

3:26 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I know. It really is shameless at times.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I miss redbud trees! Yours is very beautiful.

Believe it or not, we once had a cricket smell like that in the closet. When my mom finally found it our closet, (the girls bedroom) it was wet and awful. Creepy!!

5:58 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Your redbud looks so vibrant!

(did you pull out the gray hairs?)

7:47 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

You only have four grey hairs? I noticed my first one on my 22nd birthday and have hoped since then that I'd become one of those women who prematurely grey. Isn't that crazy? But one of the most beautiful women I've ever known had gorgeous silver hair and a young face. Like that would be me. Ha!

The redbud? Stunning. I wish they grew here.

The stench? Makes me glad I don't have a cat. ;)

8:53 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

I started to read this early this morning, but I stopped after the first sentence because I was eating my breakfast. Gross! Cats and humans are definitely on different wavelengths when it comes to dead things, but I guess a trophy is a trophy.

Also, I had no idea that dead crickets smell.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Kitt said...

Beautiful tree! I'm glad you found the source of the stink. Such a generous kitty.

I was in a Wal-Mart in Decatur, Alabama, aged 30, when the boyfriend said, "Hey look! You have a gray hair!" I looked at him in horror and yelled, "Pull it out! Pull it out!" as the other shoppers laughed at me.

I won't laugh at you.

11:09 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I pulled them out but they will be back. With friends. I feel so vain and silly, but I love my hair and I don't want it to change. And dying it won't work really, because I will never be able to replicate my real hair. It sucks getting old.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

cats keep things interesting, don't they?

I have about 300 grey hairs, just turned 40 (yesterday!) and wish I could say the grey looks as good on me as the pink does on the redbud!

12:35 PM  
Blogger EFB said...

omg. you were so calm. i would've freaked. at least it wasn't a horse like in the godfather.

our next door neighbor moved out and we inherited all of their mice. i ended up putting poison out for them and am now awaiting the stench. ick. hope i don't regret it.

btw, even though i'm younger :) i have lots of gray hairs now! maybe we can catch up over memorial day weekend.

10:10 AM  

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