By: Jamie Marchant
That smell. You know the one I mean. The odor of death and decay. It fills my bedroom, making sleep difficult. Kasey hops onto the bed and kneads me, purring loudly. I pet her absentmindedly. She seems so sweet, so innocent, but I know she’s responsible for the aroma. Beneath her soft fur lurks vicious predator. A killer who toys with her prey.
Unable to sleep, I cast off the covers and go to the open luggage closet, fearing a rodent rots at the bottom of the pile of suitcases.
I haul the luggage out piece by piece, struggling not to allow that leaning tower to collapse on top of me. Kasey sniffs at the suitcases. Finally, I lift the last piece, and there lies a chipmunk looking merely as if it’s asleep. No obvious wound marks the body, no visible decay. The only sign of death is the stench.
I understand the law of the jungle, the rules of predator and prey. Some animals must die to give life to others, but this chipmunk’s death profited no one. It did nothing to sustain Kasey’s life. I am complicit in this death, for it is I who rescued Kasey from the humane society. It is I who allows her to roam freely. In rescuing Kasey I prevented one senseless death. But how many more am I responsible for?