The Smell

Nera and Tabby

It was a hot day, the hottest in the Summer and Mrs. Human decided to rest on the porch with the sun shade down. She was busy on her computer and gradually did not feel so comfortable. An unpleasant scent seemed to be in the air. Her first thought was that it was probably because throughout the Summer meals had been served on the terrace and now the weather was so hot and stifling, the crumbs and residue between the paving tiles were making themselves noticeable. She also noticed that a congregation of flies had began to assemble, buzzing around as if it was the annual attraction of the year.That could not be, something must be wrong somewhere. Mrs. Human always cleaned after a meal and now and again the tiles were even washed down with the hose. So what could it be?

It was then that Mr. Human came out on the terrace.

“Mr. Human, come and sit where I am sitting and sniff around. Somethin smells, no, it just plain stinks.”

Mr. Human sat on the chair previously occupied by Mrs. Human and began to search, noticing that something in the air was not right.

“No wonder” he said, “there is a dead mouse in the corner, didn’t you see it?”

“Of course I didn’t” answered Mrs. Human. In the meanwhile the flies had decided to appoint the mouse as a prospective maternity ward.

“Tabby, Nera, Fluffy” and three cats appeared.

“What’s the fuss Mrs. Human?” asked Nera, the leader of the pack.

“Who deposited that dead mouse in the corner. It has started to decompose and stinks.”

“Of course, it is decomposing, that is a natural process of nature. Whether it stinks or not, is a matter of interpretation. It might stink for a human nose, for a cat nose, it smells appetising. Anyhow, I did not kill it, must have been Fluffy.”

“Nera, Fluffy has been blind for nine years, she might be able to smell a mouse, but certainly cannot catch one.” was Mrs. Human’s answer.

“OK, don’t get worked up Mrs. Human, then it was probably Tabby. She is the best mouse catcher here.”

“I don’t remember catching any mice” said Tabby.

“So now you have your answer Mrs. Human” said Nera “it wasn’t one of us, must have been the cat next door.”

“Nera the cat next door moved away with her family a week ago. She doesn’t live here any more. So which one was it? I warn you, your monthly ration of tuna fish depends on it.”

The three cats looked at each other and if Mrs. Human could read telepathy she would have noticed who did what.

“OK Mrs. Human, it was probably me” said Tabby “but it must have been yesterday so I just cannot remember. We felines have short term memories, carry no grudges and what has happened has happened. We just wipe it out from our memory. Anyhow one way or the other, this discussion about who did what is not going to bring the mouse back to life, make it disappear to mouse heaven or whever they go, so let’s just forget the whole thing.”

“Tabby is right” said Nera. “What is the point wasting valuable time discussing the departure of a mouse. There must be hundreds still here somewhere.”

“The point is Nera, that the mouse has been laying in the corner quietly stinking away for a day, which is not hygenic or pleasant.”

“Then clear it away Mrs. Human. We are not a waste disposal unit, we are cats. We catch the mice, assist with the reduction of vermin in the neighbourhood and all the thanks we get is a tuna fish ban. You should be thankful for our hunting instinct. Come cats, let’s go back to sleep. Again we have been disturbed by a human panic. I will never understand those humans.”

So Mrs. Human was left to a cleaning and scrubbing session on the tiles whilst Mr. Human picked up the mouse with tissue paper in an inverted plastic bag. Yes Mr. and Mrs. Human had experience in disposing of unwanted decomposing mice. The plastic bag was knotted and then placed in a larger garbage bag and Mr. Human then took the garbage bag to the container at the end of the street. The three cats were sleeping although watching the burial process with one eye. They were sure their tuna fish ration would not suffer. Humans have short memories as well.

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