You Filthy Animal

I haven’t quite got the hang of posting yet, and I am constantly racking my brain for ideas on what I want to share with the universe.  I try to get ideas from other blogs, but I have no children, so this does not help.  Of course I could include some sort of spiritual insights, but you can’t do that every day.  It seems like people like real stories that are really happening, especially if you can make them funny.  So here’s what is really happening to me.  My only disclaimer is that I am really not a gross person – this is not my fault.  Read on.

It all started one sunny Friday morning in December.  I was chilling on the sofa, mindin’ my bidness, when I heard a scratching sound coming from the other side of my apartment.  My apartment is actually the second and third floors of a really old house, so noises happen.  I’m also not the best housekeeper, so I thought maybe something fell against the wall or something.  But the scratching continued.  I got up to investigate, and the noise was coming from the space behind the a/c return which is above my water heater closet.  Then the scratching got a lot more frenzied.  Then it started moving.  It traveled through the ceiling to the space over the linen closet, then back, then to the ceiling in the kitchen, then to the wall directly behind where my head would be when I sit on my favorite spot on my sofa.  I should add that by this point the scratching had turned into total hysteria.  There was clearly an animal in the wall, and it was not happy.  I called my landlord, which I hated to do for reasons that I will explain later.  She contacted an exterminator, but they could not promise that they would be able to make it that day.  I hoped that they would because I didn’t want to spend a weekend with my new friend. 

I kept listening so that I could keep track of the intruder’s location, and this was not difficult.  The thing was making such a ruckus that it sounded like a sumo wrestler was trapped in my wall.  Then it started making a strange rodent barking sound.  Kind of like that sound a squirrel makes when it’s just sitting there flicking its tail.  But way more dramatic – like a squirrel delivering a Shakespearean monologue.  I had to get out of there.

Saturday morning was more of the same.  My landlord called to see if the creature was still there, and I assured her that it was.  Unfortunately, no one would be able to help me until Monday.  This news struck fear in my heart because I did not think the creature would live through the weekend.  It was still careening around and spewing its best iambic pentameter (and probably a few other things).  Again, I had to get out of there.

By Saturday night the creature had settled into the space behind the baseboard between the hallway and the water heater closet.  It was still scratching and barking, but the frenzy was gone.  The voice that I had come to recognize sounded hoarse, like a baby that has been crying really hard.  The scratching sounded weak and sorrowful, like a prisoner raking his tin cup along the bars.  I felt really bad.  The end was near.

Fast forward to today.  I’m not sure at what moment my visitor breathed its last breath, but it is definitely not breathing now.  Its presence now announces itself by the vicious odor that attacks me every time I enter the front door.  You may wonder why I don’t call the landlord again and demand that something be done about this.  Here’s why: I have only lived in my apartment for six months, and I have called for roaches, a/c not working, leaky ceiling, oven door won’t shut, ants, heat not working, I locked myself out, roaches and ants, and I just can’t bother her again.  I feel like I’ve probably cost them more than my rent.

The newest development is that huge horse flies have now started appearing.  I killed six of them yesterday (well, I killed five – one died of natural causes, I guess).  I am both grossed out and encouraged by this; it can only mean that the circle of life in my wall is coming to a close, and the smell cannot last much longer.  Unless. . .what do a bunch of dead horse flies smell like? 

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8 Responses to You Filthy Animal

  1. Amy says:

    Ok…that is really gross! (and funny – sort of) You must not spend much time at home. You can come hang out at my house anytime! and I must throw a “sorry” in here.

  2. chrissy says:

    You MUST call your landlord, Becky. I speak from experience when I say that this will not go away ‘naturally’ for a LONG LONG time. It will only get worse.

    Poor squirrel.

  3. Stacie says:

    Ditto to Chrissy. A lesson learned when a family of something died in the walls of Wendy’s old bedroom after scurrying away with the poison Daddy left for it in the attic. It does not end. It does not go away. And no amount of candles, mothballs, baking soda, air fresheners, or gas masks will make the smell stop for a looong time. I’m pretty sure Mama tried all those and more.

  4. Ashley Chitty says:

    AHHHH!!!! Dead animals in the wall?? So bad! Remember the office at Scotts that smelled so bad?? The smell got worse in the summer… get someone in there ASAP! I think the worst part has yet to come… I am so sorry. I think I would be a little upset that it died. Especially with the crying.. er.. barking noises. Hang in there!

  5. Rachel says:

    I feel really bad for you……gross anyway you look at it.
    ps- when my house smells bad i use febreeze and clorox…..it may not smell good but it’s always clean! haha. also, please give us a follow up blog once this is settled!

  6. chaotic joy says:

    Oh no Becky! You simply must call someone about this. If you will not call your landlord than maybe you can call someone to deal with this yourself? I am not sure who this would be though. Pest control? Animal control? A coroner?

    But you cannot live like that. Plus, you really aren’t doing your landlord any favor by leaving a decaying animal in their walls? Do they live on the first floor? Seems like the smell (or the flies at least) would make it to them eventually.

    Poor thing. I feel for ya.

  7. BLMOM says:

    I am visiting from Chrissy’s blog. I agree with her that you really must call to get it removed.

    We had a family of squirrels in our attic that wreaked havoc! But we did have them removed before they died. I can’t imagine the smell.

    Great blogging! I have enjoyed reading. Keep it up!

  8. beckyray says:

    Well, the truth is I may have embellished the story a little bit to make it more interesting. Most of the time I walk in and don’t smell anything. I guess it worked since I got so many responses! And it looks like I’m not alone – everyone has an animal-in-the-wall story! I’m going to give it until next week – I only saw one fly yesterday, so maybe it is really getting better.

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