I love collective nouns. One of my all-time favourites is ‘a murder of crows’. (There is something beastly about that bird, its ingratiating hop, and bloodless caw.) Returning from the walk this morning, a school Christmas bazaar was in full swing, and the yard was vibrating with that universally similar dissonance of young humans together. What collective noun to use? A discombobulation of children? A jabber of children? A cacophony of children? The dissonance is accounted for, and the brawl-like quality of it seem to fit. Aside: I just read a brilliant collective noun in ‘The Corrections’ by Franzen; a herd of leather sofas.
I was grateful to note that the cat that had died last Saturday, just as I was happening by, was dumped sometime between yesterday and today. Its lying there dead for four days had a gross indignity about it, for it was clearly not asleep.There is something riveting about death and how still it seems–when there is nothing still about it. Below the surface of skin and fur, a galaxy of larvae and microbes are at work, rippling and writhing through meat, offal and gristle, reducing them to liquids and gas. It was a young cat, and my bet would be on its having been poisoned, a common and gutless solution by the animal haters of Greece.