I know it’s been a while. Things have been buck-nutty here and I just haven’t been able to post recently. But worry not. I’m taking a course on writing creative nonfiction and just finished with my first assignment. I figure that over the course of the semester I’ll post anything I think is half decent.
My family moved in on a Monday in August, but the cat had been waiting in the yard for at least a week. Racing down the pebbled steps leading to the front door, my brother and I were the first to smell it. The stench was sour and foul like nothing either of us had ever smelled before. It carried on the slow arid breeze, making the hot summer air seem heavy in our noses. Making sour faces at each other, we ventured around the bushes and into the backyard from where it came.
We found the cat there where it lay on the yellow grass, dead and covered with bugs. All kinds of bugs. I saw flies and ants, but my brother still swears he saw a millipede crawl out of the cat’s open gut. The flies buzzed about frantically, each one taking off and landing a million times as it searched for the best resting place among the animal’s mangled black and white fur, which, caked with dirt, stuck back against its lifeless body. We ran away and into the house.
I did not dare to go back there again until the next afternoon when the horrible smell grew stronger. The cat could not stay. I quickly grabbed two plastic supermarket bags and dashed out of the front door and straight towards the rotting cat. Even while holding my breath, I could feel the dead cat in the thick August heat and on my skin. I knew what had to be done. It was not long before the cat, double bagged, sat at the bottom of the dumpster at the end of the block and I stood in the shower, still thinking about flies and mangled dirt-caked hair.