Dead rats I have known

Yay! I have a summer cold. This enviable situation is improved by the fact that a) we're having a heat wave, and b) there's a dead rat under the floorboards in the lounge. I'm only guessing that it's a rat. It could be something else. But I'm guessing it's a rat because it has that unmistakable dead-rat smell. The first time I smelled it was in my dad's grey Toyota 4x4. The car I learned to drive in (long before I was legally allowed to drive) - we'd take it down to the beach in the evenings and I'd practice releasing the clutch and rolling smoothly forward. And one day, summertime, we climbed inside to go to town to get groceries and there was this faint whiff of...something. We thought maybe we were imagining it, but a few days later it was more pronounced, and a few days after that it was almost impossible to set foot inside the truck without gagging, and eventually we figured out that a rat had climbed inside the engine and died (rats were always climbing around in the cars, but most of them had the dignity to die elsewhere) and we just had to wait the smell out. So we spent a few weeks driving with the windows down.

A few years ago one died under the floorboards in the hall. Impossible to extract without ripping up half the house. Halfway across the world, I felt weirdly nostalgic for my rural California childhood.

Now I keep thinking I should just use my cold as an excuse to enjoy curling up in bed and watching movies all day, but it's actually not that fun to be curled up under a duvet sipping hot drinks and lunching on hot soup when it's BOILING OUTSIDE (not something you often get to say here, to be fair, and my annoyance at being ill during a heat wave has just as much to do with the fact that I'd like to actually enjoy the summer weather as it does to do with physical discomfort). And, also, the coolest, most appropriate sick-room in the house, the lounge, has been appropriated by a decomposing rodent. Yay!