Monday, October 26, 2009

The Dead Squirrel

It began as a bad smell in the basement on Saturday night. Josh and I assumed it was the cat box smell that just needed to be cleaned out or that Crocket did her duty outside the box in the laundry room. We watched a movie, enduring the odd smell mixed with the smell of the dinner we cooked that night. We went to bed, oblivious to what was lurking in our basement. It grew in the night and we were unaware. We woke up, we went to church.

An hour later we returned home and Krista was the first one in the house.
K: I smell something that smells bad.
T: Me too.
J: We need to find out where it's coming from.
T: Hopefully nothing died in our exhaust spout on the roof or in our basement, like a mouse or squirrel or something. We don't want to deal with a dead squirrel.
K: Mommy, where's the dead squirrel at?

We began the search and our noses brought us to the basement, where we initially smelled the bad smell. It wasn't in the laundry room with the cat box. It wasn't in the family room. Oh, bam, there it is - like a smack in the face - in the toy room. We tried pinpointing the smell, but it was elusive.

K: Where's the dead squirrel?

I smelled in the closet, but nothing was there. Of course, this is the room with piles of toys on the floor, a doll house, toy kitchen, vanity, and other child accouterments - so the smell avoids detection of the source, for a while. I get on my knees to smell around the bookcase, suddenly my knees are wet. Ah ha, the floor, the carpet is the culprit. That's right, no dead squirrels this time, it's nice, wet and moldy carpeting and it smells awful.

A couple hours later and we pulled the carpet up in strips and thrown it outside. The source of the water was a detached gutter downspout outside and the water leaked in from the foundation with all the rain we had last week. We mopped the floor with bleach water and we waited. We left the house, picked up the kids from Aunt Angie's, and entered the front door again. The smell is gone, hooray! Plus, we now have incentive to paint and get a new piece of carpeting for the tiny room.

K: Did you get the dead squirrel?

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