Friday, May 15, 2009


Gareth was in hospital and Olli was at home alone, which doesn't happen very often.

It was late, it was dark and there was a very strange smell in the house.

Olli rang me. "Mum, there's a horrible smell of death and decay."

"Are you sure that's what it is?"

"Oh yes, I'm doing an archaeology degree and I'm used to it. But I don't like it in the house. Stay on the phone while I try to find where it's coming from. I think it's under the bed."

I stayed on the phone whilst Olli tried to track it down.

"I think it's under this side of the bed. I'm looking."

Olli looked. Quite a few things are kept under the bed, as their house is very small.

"I'm taking them all out one by one. No, nothing here. I'll try the other side."

There was the sound of objects being moved for a while and then a sharp cry.

"Ewwwww! Ewwwww! Feathers!"

The source of the smell had been discovered and it was a dead starling.

How did it get there? Well, it doesn't need too many powers of deduction to narrow it down to the likeliest - - and let's face it, the only - - suspect. Wendy the Teenage Kitten.

Olli did not enjoy removing it and I didn't much enjoy the graphic moment-by-moment account of it.

"I'm getting a carrier bag. Okay, I'm reaching out to it - - - oooh, oooh, I nearly touched it, ewwwwwwwwwww horrible!"

Finally the starling was put in the bin outside. Wendy the Teenage Kitten has not apologised in any way.

Just to put the whole thing in context, though, let us consider what Olli is doing today.

In an old church near Fewston in North Yorkshire, Olli is taking part in a "rescue dig" to excavate the churchyard prior to some new building. Today Olli's job is to excavate a whole skeleton - according to the regulations, you can't just dig up half of it and leave it when it's time to go home.

So I left Olli there at eight o'clock this morning in the pouring rain to get on with this fun job. Olli seemed to rather be looking forward to it.


Anonymous Milo said...

I've read that cats do that as a gift for their owners, bringing it into the house etc. Sweet of her really. Though not for Olli :)

And if Wendy can bring them in as a kitten, I dread to think what she'll be bringing in when she's full grown!

You can certainly see why we use the phrase 'look what the cat dragged in!' :D

5:15 pm  
Blogger Kippers Dickie said...

It is just one of those things cats do. I have found that as they get older they grow out of it. One thing I have always done with kittens is to give them a collar with a bell.
It is always sad to lose a little songbird and I have always thought that the least I can do for them, is to bury them in the garden where they used to sing.

8:35 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Disturbing the dead? Olli would probably make a good teacher!

12:21 am  
Blogger Debby said...

Now see...if you'd have kept that dead snake, he'd have been petrified by now and she could've poked the bird out with the snake. Sorted.

2:06 am  

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