My animals have been treating me lately to their wonderful animal ways. Yesterday was a strange day for Bodhi. She was hi-jacked from the house at my behest by Paula. The furnace inspectors were coming and she needn't be there to cause a stir. Paula took her home with her, only to have Bodhi act the fool-rolling around in the pond, tearing up the yard, and whimpering with no end.
At lunch, I brought her to school where she was forced to lie under my desk. The strange sounds and smells must have been unnerving to her sensitive disposition. She looked frightened and confused. At the end of the school day, I took her home. The car ride seemed to do her some good. I walked in the front door with my sidekick in tow. The waft of stale air hit me at once. That smell still lingered in the house.
The smell that has been there for days. The smell that everyone notices and is a source of embarrassment for me. I have cleaned the carpets. I have laundered dirty clothes. I have done dishes and poured bleach down the drain. I can't stand that smell. I need to get it out, but what is it? I change my clothes, take Bodacious for a quick walk to let her tinkle and dash out the door to meet Josh. Dinner and a dvd later I return home dreading walking into the smell that promises disaster. However, instead of noticing the smell, I walk into a different disaster.
There on the floor in a slobbery, shredded pile are a pair of my Steve Madden's. Not just any pair mind you. It is THE pair. The pony hair, leopard Regaals that I got for Christmas last year. The shoes that everyone loves-that i love, that are impossible to find now. I am livid, beyond angry. My emotions take the best of me. I try to remember that Bodhi must have really been upset to go into my closet, choose a pair of shoes to chew and then proceed to chew the heel to a pulp. I try to remember this, but it is hard. I am really upset. Holding the shoe to her nose and face, I yell, "NO!" I holler at her and send her cowaring in the corner. In exasperation, I throw myself on my bed and onto my new shirt that I wore to school that day. I hastily left it in a crumpled mess when I changed earlier. I feel wetness under me. What? The shirt, covered in slobber and tattered with holes has also suffered the wrath of Bodhi's anxiety. Another round of "bad dog" follows. In disbelief, I leave the room and settle on the couch to find a center, to decompress. Sleepiness ensues, but not early enough. Anger and sadness kept me up til past midnight.
A late start the next morning sends me rushing around to make coffee and a smoothie. Still upset at Bodhi, we share our morning walk. I consider my outfit for school while our six feet pad the asphault. It is Friday-dress down day. Jeans it is. The clock is ticking and I am slow to get it together. How funny that just two hours less sleep on a night can throw me off so much. Ready to walk out the door I slide my left foot into my high-top, eighties-style Vans. Crunch! Disturbed, I cannot take my foot out of the shoe fast enough. A pine cone? A bug? What? Upon looking into the shoe, the source of the strange and mysterious smell is revealed to me.
Nose down, fully desiccated, is the tiny carcass of a mouse. it's bodily fluids have oozed into the sole and fabric of the shoe. The rot has attracted bugs that have consumed the flesh and died there as well-probably not before depositing their eggs in the decomposing rodent body. I tug on the tail. Gray fur clings to the inside of the shoe as the deflated creature is exhumed from his cobbled grave only to be unceremoniously tossed into the yard. I congratulate myself on unexpectedly finding the origin of the malodorous funk that has infiltrated my house. I congratulate my cat on another successful kill. There is no use in rubbing his nose in his handy work. I soak the shoe in a mist of Lysol that makes me choke and Bodhi sneeze. The smell of death lingers. Chucks then for today. I plop the wrecked shoes on the porch, grab my keys, lunch and bag, and rush out the door for school.
How funny animals are. The source of my pets' pride and comfort is the spring of my biggest horrors. At least the smell is gone, for now.