Something Rotten at Footlights…

There was a smell in my bedroom.

The weather had been wet, the windows closed, the heat on and I put it down to damp wood, or dusty corners; cat fur or lingering cooking smells; laundry or standing gutter water.

Then it turned into an off kind of scent, touching on the acrid.

I recognised it as the day wore on but I couldn’t place it; all I knew was it was getting stronger and more offensive and that I’d smelled it before.


Like something rotten only I couldn’t put my finger on it.

After another day I watched Magic at the water bowl in the hallway outside the cat room.  It has a one gallon reservoir that replenishes the bowl and keeps the water fresh.

He was approaching it cautiously and pulling back as if he was stalking something hiding in the corner.

‘Not another critter inside the house,’  I thought as I walked over to investigate.

I looked in the standing water and saw a swirly film on the surface and as I leaned down I realised with a start that it was the source of the offensive smell.

Magic ran off and I saw a drowned mouse slowly bloating and giving off a wild, putrid odour enough to make the stanchest stomach turn.

“Where did that one come from?” Hubs asked as I walked into the kitchen carefully carrying the stinking water bowl.

“We can figure that out later,” I said wrinkling up my nose, “for now we need to get rid of it.”

Hubs carefully carried it outside to dispose of…I know not where!


I spent the next 30 minutes scouring the bowl and reservoir with ammonia to ensure there was not a germ or trace of rotting mouse left anywhere.

Then my brain located the sensory memory.

We had experienced the same smell in our house in Garland.

Each year there were squirrels in our chimney and attic, we waited for them to vacate when their babies were old enough but some found themselves trapped when we battened down the vents.  They ended up dying and rotting in our walls.

There was no way to get to them to sprinkle lime so we used cotton balls drenched in essential oils in our closets to cover up the awful smell.

Eventually it would dissipate.

Wow!  I haven’t smelled that in a decade or more.

And why was there a dead mouse in the cat’s water bowl?

We’ll never get to the bottom of that!


The cats aren’t letting on!

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