looking in my “Drafts” area, I found a few I thought I’d posted, but looks like I didn’t hit yhe button. So this one is from almost half a year ago: Sept 30 2019. So enjoy the retrospective story:
Well, it’s been “one of those days” for a couple of days.
Strange smells from “somewhere” turning into “what died?” smells strongest in the “littlest room in the house”…
Skipping a lot of WT?…
So I got to suit up in my worst overalls, shirt, and gloves, done a face mask, and head down the hole.
Under the house, it is a minor forest of bits of fiberglass batting that have started to droop, in wisps, after 30 years of being there. There’s a few fibers in the air, as my nose and eyes inform me when I’m “down there” for long. (Last time was longer, repairing some subfloor a few years back). The “ground” is dead dry dust with scattered gravel just dense enough you can’t miss it all. Clearance is just enough to not be sliding on your belly, but not enough to up on all 4s. Sort of a perpetual pushup position.
I’m thinking I may need to scoot the whole length of the house 2 or three laps to find the “problem”…
I had set up a fan in a window and closed all the others, so there was positive pressure “down the hole”, and so past me and away. That helped a lot. Until I got too close.
The happy bit was that I found it in the first 20 feet of “scooting”. The unhappy bit was that it was, as feared, a dead critter. A squirrel. Perhaps that explains why the dog insisted on sitting near the “grill” of the closest vent for the last couple of days. The one just under the bathroom window. Nothing gets a dogs attention like a squirrel. Even a dead one, it would seem…
Mr. Squirrel had been expired a few days (thus the “notification by odure…”) and the flies had found him. So not just a stinky dead thing, but one starting to disassemble and rich with “wigglers”… Oh Lucky Me – NOT!
I’d brought a garbage bag, flashlight, small entrenching shovel, and a quart bottle of 20% bleach solution with squirt top. (An old rubbing alcohol bottle, re-purposed). So time to get too it.
MOST of Mr. Squirrel came up on the second try to grab somewhere. (Hips worked, tail not so much…) This left a thin layer of “wiggers” on “something” draping over lumps of gravel rock… That all got a very through drenching with the bleach and began to foam significantly. I drenched it some more. I suspect there may be one skin / fur layer still there, but the bleach ought to assure it no longer is “ripe”. I decided not to employ the shovel..
I’d inverted the plastic garbage bag and grabbed through it, then enveloped the “load” as one does “doggy doo”. Never thought I’d be happy for having picked up Puppy Poo, but it was good training for technique… Tied off the top and never even got a smidgen on me.
Now I just had to semi-raised scoot backwards out with entrenching tool, flashlight, bottle of caustic, and “The Trophy” bag…
Eventually I was back in position to practice my “dirt yoga” postures to contort my way back up the access port in the closet…
Now Mr. Squirrel is reposed in the garbage can (with a brief bleach swizzle at pick up time, I hope he can avoid re-ripening before pick up day). Clothes were stripped and inverted and into the washer. Gloves and shovel rinsed and out on the patio. Then I was off to the shower.
I believe the mission was accomplished, as the “strange smells” are no longer present. Or at least my nose was so overwhelmed I can’t tell anymore and the spouse is willing to accept any improvement ;-) But I like to think it is from 100% success…
And now, several hours later, I’m ALMOST ready to think about maybe trying to have dinner tonight. Possibly. Maybe I’ll have pancakes… You wanna get pancakes? (Vague “Reds” reference ;-)
With the deed done, I decided to “kick back” a little. What did YouTube offer me? Weird Al “Foil”. From 2014, yet I’d never seen it. A knock off of Royals. Somehow it was refreshing at the start… then it turned on me, reminding me of my deed for the day. Then it went to Crazy Land:
For those who might not know the original, here it is (USA Version – I’d hoped for the UK version but this came up):
How did the squirrel get there? Well, some larger critter that is clearly quite strong had pushed the screening wire in on one of our vents around the base of the house. I put it back. He pushed it in again. I decided to surrender. I think it was a possum, but maybe something else. At any rate, he sleeps under the house in very cold weather dead of winter (and seems to keep the snails down).
My guess is the squirrel was “surprised” by one of the dogs and instead of heading back up the apple tree, headed for the hole. Or maybe it was just an old tired squirrel looking for place to give up the ghost. Whatever.
It’s over now.
What? Not the kind of uplifting story you expected? Wondering “Where’s the science analysis and computer stuff? Thinking this is maybe kind of “tacky”?
Well, maybe it is: