Success comes in many forms and in some cases the mark of success isn’t always apparent to others. Most recently, the bowels of our home were home to some number of rodents – big ones. I don’t know how many, though I hope the number was three. I first knew we were in trouble when sounds of gnawing could be heard from the air conditioning vents. The cats and dog were all very interested in the vents all of a sudden. I went into the crawl space of our home to find havoc wreaked upon our floor insulation. They had apparently been building a nest somewhere from our insulation and enjoyed in its progressive destruction. Plan were underway to erradicate the problem. I dropped two cats into the crawl space to see what they could do. Cats 1, rats 0. One down, though I didn’t think myself fortunate enough to have killed them all yet. I probably could have just locked the cats up in the crawl space, though I felt that bad for the cats somehow. Instead, I plugged in some sonic pest deterrants in the house to keep them from coming inside. Of course, the cats live in the house and it would probably prove fatal should rodents enter. My final step was to introduce poison into the crawl space. I thought it simple, effective, and undetectable by the critters. My plan worked, though the results were not something I had quite thought through. The smell first came in slight wafts and faint drifts. I thought maybe our garbage had gone bad, so I emptied it. The smell got worse on New Year’s Eve and my wife was the one who smarlty said it smells like a decomposing rat. So my New Year’s Day task was to get under the house and find said offal. I queued up some dark and grandiose music on the Zune (such as The Wheel of Fortune – O’ Fortuna as performed in Carmina Burana) and went rat hunting, which incidentally is the name of the playlist I created on the Zune. The smell was bad, but not unbearable. I burned a candle and began pulling insulation down that had obvious signs of being tampered with looking for the nest. That work was futile in this effort, though necessary in the bigger scale of things. I had pretty much nailed down an area where I believed things to have gone down, but had trouble zeroing in on the scent. I finally noticed another hole in the insulation, this one was the blanket wrapped around our water heater. There, in the cozy warmth of our water heater, lay two massively dead rats. It was nasty and satisfying at the same time. They’ve since been disposed of safely away from the house, and a great deal of insulation too.
The smell of victory isn’t something everyone can understand. Some may think it’s a bit like decomposing animals, but I thought it more of a Freesia perfume.