Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Pet Cemetery

I first noticed the slightly offensive aroma coming from somewhere near my front door when I finally arrived home Monday evening. It was after 11PM, though, so I thought nothing much of it as I retreated instead. Tuesday morning I go outside to water the flowers my parents and I planted the week before. The odor seems a little stronger. I'm thinking something must've died under my cement steps. But I needed to get ready for work so I don't really have time to investigate. I come home Tuesday evening and notice the smell is still lingering. I head into my basement and notice the smell down there as well. I work to eliminate the odor from my basement.

As Wednesday rolled along, I started noticing maggots crawling along my house walls. It appeared the origin of the maggots were from under my deck. To try and alleviate the problem, I pour some hot water with Pine Sol and headed to work. By Wednesday evening, I started to have a fly problem.

I told Eugene about my problem and he immediately went into psycho mode. He was making all these wild animal noises saying that if I go investigate, I may lose a limb. It was part funny but part creeping me out.

I also told Rock about it and he went into protective mode. He mentioned that putting the Pine Sol over the stench may have been making the problem worse. Plus he was concerned that Thursday was gonna be a scorcher and whatever was dead would be stinking much worse.

He was right.

By Thursday evening, I had enough. I decided I needed to tear up my deck and find out the source of the odor. Taking the nails out of a row proved to be a slow task. I had to deal with the heat, mosquitos, and the lingering odor. I wanted to retch a couple times.

Eugene was continuing to tease me on the line as I prepared for my gruesome task. I was just hoping that I picked the right board to remove.

After about an hour, I finally removed the last of the nails and proceeded to remove the board. Bullseye! I found the source of the bad odor. It was an unidentified badly decomposing animal. I had no clue what it could be. I decided to take a couple pictures of it on my digital camera.

My neighbor's mother came outside and I showed her the pictures. She had no clue what it could be and mentioned that my neighbor Felix would be home shortly and she'd ask him. Felix came about fifteen minutes later and after coming over to take a closer look at it, thought it was a cat.

Another neighborhood couple (Mr. & Mrs. Catlover) across the street from me was missing their cat for well over a month. Felix suggested I contact them to see if it was their cat. I was a bit reluctant since I wasn't 100% that it was a cat but I went to look for a flyer that said neighbors left in my mailbox. I dialed the home number but got a busy tone so I dialed the cell phone number and got Mr. Catlover. I told him what I found and that I wasn't sure if it was their cat or not but needed him to look. Only problem was that Mr. Catlover was in Michigan. He suggested I dial the home number again for Mrs. Catlover. I told him I would but decided I needed a shower after that gruesome discovery.

Immediately afterwards I quickly changed clothes and then dialed the home number. This time the line was free. Mrs. Catlover answered and I told her what I found and she said she would be over shortly. By that time it was pitch dark so I turned on my patio lights. About five minutes later she came over to investigate.

It wound up being quite an emotional scene. She used a stick to move the body around trying to see whether or not the animal was her cat or not. There didn't appear to be any evidence of such but she wound up getting quite emotional over it. I wasn't sure what to do so I went inside to get some paper towels in case she wanted to wipe her eyes. I bought it out and had a bit of an awkward moment since she wasn't exactly receptive to the paper towels. Mrs. Catlover eventually told me to ring Ms. Bliss's doorbell to tell her about it.

After a few minutes, Ms. Bliss came outside and immediately ran to the scene. Ms. Bliss and Mrs. Catlover were both remarking on how they thought they saw the cat running in my yard. Both recounted experiences with other cats they owned. After a while Ms. Bliss was looking at the carcass and was beginning to doubt it was a cat. As Mrs. Catlover and I were looking at it closer, we eventually began having doubts about it ourselves. Later on Mrs. Catlover concluded that it wasn't her cat and thanked me before walking off with Ms. Bliss.

I think I may have had a psychosomatic episode because I immediately began eating everything in sight once I went back in the house. You'd think eating would be the last thing I'd want to do considering what I found. But there I was eating Pringles chips & corn on the cob. Nice combo, huh?

The experience was quite the shocker and I still had the issue of the dead carcass under my deck. By now the smell was getting quite unbearable. I decided that I was going to work from home that Friday and hopefully contact some kind of Animal Service to dispose of the animal.

After a bit of the okie doke from my association, I realized that I would have to pay someone to get rid of it. That suited me fine since I had no desire to touch it myself. I contacted a service and the guy came a little after 12:30 PM Friday.

He identified the dead animal as a possum. When he picked it up, though, he changed the identity of the animal to a raccoon. Then he shocked me by saying there was also a dead skunk under my deck. I didn't even see the skunk but sure enough he pulled it out. Disgusting.

I paid for the cleanup and then after he put some bleach on the area, I added some more hot water and Pine Sol on the deck to clean it out some more. By later in the afternoon, no more evidence of my previous nightmare remained. Thankfully the flies had moved on to other disgusting meals.

I went to Home Depot to buy a bunch of granite rocks. Rock suggested the idea to fill up the area around my deck with the rocks to maybe keep the vermin from making a home under my deck. Apparently the idea of rocks was there before but there weren't many rocks currently in place. I think part of the issue is that some of the neighborhood kids may have over the years removed rocks from there. I'm wondering if I may need some chicken wire for good measure. I certainly don't want to encounter another surprise like that again anytime soon.

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4 Comments:

Blogger That Dude Right There said...

Please put up some rocks. I would have vomited all over the place upon seeing anything in a decomposed state.

9:29 AM, June 11, 2007  
Blogger Rose said...

Wow what a story. Glad it was not the woman's cat! She would have been too upset. Yes I agree, put the rocks up.

12:20 PM, June 11, 2007  
Blogger The Captain said...

Very disgusting....

10:39 PM, June 13, 2007  
Blogger Ladynay said...

Yuck!

12:21 PM, June 20, 2007  

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