I found a dead body this evening.
I say found, I more sort of tripped over it. Because lying on the carpet at the bottom of the stairs was the corpse of an absolutely enormous spider, one which – I think – I had a run in with the other day as it ran across my foot on its way to wherever spiders go.
Ordinarily, I would point the finger of suspicion firmly at Peppa T. Cat. She is notorious for leaving mangled and chewed insects and arachnids around the house when the mood takes her. But this corpse bore none of the tell tale signs of cat mutilation. No out-of-place limbs, no chewed upon body segments.
I think she may be entirely off the hook.
Especially given that, normally, she’s not quiet about her insect hunting habits. She’s not subtle. For all people say cats have grace and poise and that their stalking behaviour is a mastery of stealth and slow movement, watching a cat mess around with a spider is anything but. There’s the constant pouncing, the bewilderment as a paw is moved and the creature gets up and walks away, and then the open mouthed chewing. It’s not a quiet sport, spider killing. Not the way Peppa does it.
But there’s been none of that.
She was crazy as anything earlier on today, around mid-morning – but I refuse to believe that we have both managed to come in and out of the house and up and down stairs on several occasions without once standing on said spider. And I refuse to believe it even more when you factor in that I pad around the house bare footed so if anyone was going to stand on it, it would most definitely be me. And then I would be traumatised for several days afterwards.
No, I think this spider has just up and died on a stroll around the house. I think it’s got into the hallway and set about heading over the doormat and into a corner and it’s just, well, died. Of a heart attack. Or whatever the spider equivalent is. I mean, spiders must just died naturally. That has to happen. They just don’t generally die in the middle of a beige carpet, so that they can be seen by everyone and – because of the size – also from space.
I should have looked more carefully, as I lifted it away, to see if one leg was clutching its chest. A pained expression on its face. It’s eight eyes screwed shut in the agony of some sort of respiratory failure.
I didn’t, though, I just got it in some kitchen roll, balled it up and put it in the bin. Being ever so mindful not to screw the paper up too hard because no-one wants to feel themselves crushing a spider through a paper towel. It’s a lot like the Princess and the Pea. I’ve got a couple of paper towels, sure, but I can still feel the spider…