(Warning: the following post will be unpleasant and disgusting. Continue reading at your discretion).
A few nights ago I went to the garden to feed my strays. There was a smell of something rotting, but I could not really place it, and it was too dark. The next night the smell insisted, and the next was even worse. So I looked with the aid of my nose and located the remains of a cat I used to feed. It was a black one-eyed feral cat, perhaps less than a year old, who always looked sickly and I took extra care to give him or her food separately. As it turns out, in vain. It had died on some old woollen clothes I had placed in a space protected from the rain for the cats to sleep on, behind an old motorcycle. So I was faced with an interesting question. How do you pick up the rotting carcass from the narrow space between the motorcycle and the wall?
I put a plastic bag inside another and tried to put the carcass inside without touching it. Oh goodness gracious, the smell. And just as I had managed to cover the body, wrap the bags around it, and raise it in the air to slip it inside the bags, I realised three things. One, the body was lukewarm. I think it has to do with decomposition. Two, I would be lucky if pieces didn't fall off, like a leg, or the head. Three and worst, it was raining maggots. Fat, long, writhing white maggots, that landed on my shoes and the ground and kept writhing. Great.
I managed to bag the dead cat, and then I was faced with the realisation that the old woollen fabrics were saturated with the decomposition fluids and consequently full of maggots too. Oh joy. So after I threw away the bagged carcass, I had to pick (very carefully, from the corners) the fabrics, the pillow, and everything else. Second trip to the garbage bin. The excitement was palpable in the air (in waves of eye-watering stench). But there was nothing I could do. If you feed them, then you should also deal with the less enjoyable tasks of spaying them, giving them medication, or disposing of their remains. It's in nobody's top ten of favourite things to do in their spare time. At least nobody I know personally.
Right now I have in my flat a blind black kitten. I think it is a she. Her mother gave birth to two. The other kitten, also blinded by the same infection, did not survive. This one might. I don't know how I am going to feed an extra mouth, but you can't leave a blind kitten in the garden with a busy road ten meters away. I don't think anyone with a conscience can. I will try to capture and spay the mother soon, to prevent her from giving birth again in the future. This world does not need more blind kittens. It really doesn't.
Sometimes I feel I need ten arms and six legs (and 48 hour-long days) to deal with everything. But that's life, or that's my life. What can you do? I've repeatedly tried to win the lottery, to replace my set of problems with a different set of problems. No success as of yet. I will inform you if that happens (probably by publishing a glowing and rapidly changing colour fluorescent middle finger as a blog entry, intended as a message to The Powers That Be). Until then, have fun and may Lady Luck abstain from placing decomposing cats on your path. Spirits of dead cats are fine, they give good advice and are very protective. More importantly, they don't reek.