Every year we have had mice coming into out house presumably to find a place to hibernate. We would be perfectly happy to let them do so if they didn’t insist on scurrying around in the walls and invading our kitchen. Then there is the danger that they will chew through electrical cables and start a fire. They already gnawed through a water pipe and caused a flood. So, eventually, we put down poison.
Now, every year, the mice come into the house and they die in the house and, of course, not in any part of the house we can reach. As a consequence, we had to endure the stench of rotting mouse. The first two years this happened it upset me a lot – the stench is an unwelcome presence (only in a utility room and the bathroom… “only”!??!) and takes time to fade.
However, this year, somewhat less hysterical about the whole thing, I decided to just accept the stench in good grace. Strangely, as it has changed (analogously in my mind with the change in flavour that results from my new habit of drinking successive infusions of green tea – throwing away the 1st, drinking the 2nd through to 4th or 5th) it has evolved into a scent that now walks the edge between unpleasant and interesting. Am I becoming a connoisseur of the scent of decay?
And why should such a concept be ridiculous? Consider how many people – especially in the West – aquire an enjoyment, passion even, for the odour and even taste of rotting milk – ie. the more extreme cheeses.