The cats continue to bring in rodents from outdoors, mostly dead ones. I found a large dead vole in the bathroom just now, then went downstairs to join Mum. We sat watching a cooking show.
My red girl cat Delilah wandered in and sat with us, and I remarked “she has food on her lip.”
Mum gave me a look, and said “are you sure it’s food? It’s probably vole!”
After taking a moment to grimace, I said “she would probably say it’s the same thing.”
Over the past two or three days I’ve been surrounded by a smell. I kept the cat trays clean, but it was getting worse. Even Mum noticed it. She said the smell starts on the stairs and gets worse the higher you climb.
Tcha. I didn’t want to be known as That Stinky Diddums Upstairs.
Yesterday I found an old rug being used as a pee corner (Delilah is the prime suspect – I caught her on the old sofa, and it was probably she who went twice on Mum’s bed), so I told the cats they were no longer allowed into my upstairs sitting room during the night. It’s common sense anyway because of the computers and trailing wires in here. Once I caught Delilah trying to bite through the PC’s connection to the rest of the world (a pretty red cable to the router, now covered with some frightening chew marks. I nearly went through the roof). Cats, technology and trailing wires don’t always mix. But the place still smelled distinctly gamey. Throwing out the rug helped, but not enough.
Eventually, Delilah was seen juggling a sparrow. It was cold, scrawny, tattered and had been dead some time. It definitely smelled, so when she wasn’t looking, I chucked it in the bin outside. I washed my hands, opened all the windows, and brought some coffee upstairs, ready to put my feet up…. and the smell nearly knocked me out. Throwing out the bird helped, but not enough.
In bed that night, with my door closed, I could still smell something bad.
Today when I was coming up the stairs, I finally saw them…. three rodents lying under the desk on the landing. Each was at a different stage of decay, and one of them had soaked into the carpet. We didn’t spot them before because of various items sitting in front of the desk, but today they’d moved just enough for Delilah’s gruesome larder to be revealed to the world.
I have thrown them out and opened all the windows, along with the front door (so that the house got very cold, and then it started spitting with rain, of course). It does smell a lot better now… but I don’t think I will be happy till we’ve done some serious spring-cleaning.
Listening to: Humming buzz and slight whine (tinnitus?)
“They say we are never more than ten feet from a rat” said my mother to her friends, and they all went ‘bleuch!’
The conversation came up because they had all been talking about their fears, and rats figured well at the top. She did not hate rats as much as they do, and wondered why rats should cause more horror than things like heights, crowds, fire, enclosed spaces, deep water etc. Perhaps, as she said, it’s just that ‘we are never more than ten feet from a rat’ whereas most of the other things can generally be avoided.
I would rather deal with a hundred rats than climb a small mountain, face a raging fire, get stuck in a lift or make a public speech. I suppose I couldn’t be a pet minder otherwise – possibly Ace Ventura Pet Detective would disagree, saying any pet minder worth her salt would take all of the above things in her stride.
Mum told me about her friends’ conversation one day when I told her I had been coming home along a busy road (the sort lorries whizz along because they think they’ve left the residential area – which they have not). I was passing a car dealership and there was a narrow grassy verge alongside the pavement, and when I looked down, there was a rat sitting on the grass, almost at my feet. It was stuffing something in its mouth and then, without even bothering to look at me, whisked quietly off into its little burrow.
There you are – that’s confidence worth having. I envy the little soul.
Another thing I was thinking about – they say people on their own talk to themselves, but it’s not true. If you put ‘bugs’ in my house and listened, you would hear the following:
In bedroom, late at night: (Strangled shriek). “GET out of my bed! No, don’t wriggle under the quilt. My bed is MINE. Get your own.”
In kitchen, turning on the light: “Ohh… you’ll catch it if the cats see you eating their food. Don’t you waggle your horns at me, madam. Nobody invited you here.”
In hall: “Oh my! Look at you go! You’re Speedy Gonzales with 8 legs. Just be careful where you go to in there, as I don’t want to squish you in the door. That would be a shame.”
A little while later, in the ‘office’: “don’t you DARE disconnect – I’ve not finished surfing yet. THANK you.”
Do I talk to myself? I don’t think so.