What the hell's that smell?

This is truly mundane and pointless so, this should fit in real nicely.

Mrs. Cat and I were watching TV last night and caught a whif of something, well, smelly. I asked her if she knew what that was. She said that she had smelled it earlier, but just cleaned the cats’ litter box, thinking that was where the smell was coming from.

“Maybe it’s the flowers you gave me.”
Well, I did give her those flowers a while back so, maybe they’ve started decaying. Mrs. Cat throws the flowers out.

“Nope, I still smell it.”
Yeah, I still smell it too. It seems to be coming from under the couch.

“Do you think one of the cats could have pooped under the couch?”
I don’t know how they could. I’ll check.

I see something under the couch, but can’t tell what it is. I have Mrs. Cat check it out while I lift the couch.

We have a screened in porch off of our apartment and we let the cats out there from time to time. The bottom of the outside wall of the porch is gapped about a half inch, to let water out.

Now, our cats love getting all sorts of toys (stuffed mice, string, etc.) and stuffing them under the couch.

That being said, the best we can figure is that a mole had gotten through the gap in the porch, one of the cats got it and killed it, and played with its corpse until it was stuffed beneath the couch and they could reach it no more.

So, yes, what I saw and what was making that horrible smell was the decaying body of a mole. Part of me is proud of the cats for being such fine hunters and part of me is just disgusted.

BTW, the cats seemed quite put out when I threw the mole away.

Ewwwww!!! Reminds me of an equally disgusting story… At the “old” house, we had a problem with rats. We lived on a bayou and these cocky sumbitches would come in our house and eat our food! Right in front of us! So, we got this stuff. Some kind of poison. They were supposed to want water or something and leave the house, whereupon they would die. Worked great. Until this one time. I smelled this smell, and I’m sniffing all over the place. I get to the little alcove where the washer and dryer are, and I determine this is it. I climb up on the washer and look behind it and lo and behold, dead rat. Grossed out bloated dead rat. Conveniently, hubby was absent. I get a broom and attempt to push/pull/poke this nasty dead rat out from behind the washer, thru the small space between the side and the wall. All the time smelling this nauseating dead rat smell. Gagging, I finally pushed its nasty ass out, swept it into a garbage bag, and disposed of it in the outside trash. Then, guess who finally comes home? Well, I don’t have to tell you what I said to him! Gross dead things are definitely a man’s job! Yuk!

[Edited by Coldfire on 12-18-2000 at 05:15 PM]

One summer, my mom was in the hospital for an emergency operation and would be there for a week, so dad was taking over the cooking, the laundry and stuff. After a couple of days, we noticed a weird sour smell coming from the laundry room, like a wet bathing suit had been left out (my sister and I were notorious for this, but we were quite innocent in this case). Gramma was blaming the cat (she always hated the cat) not using the litter box.


It got to the point where dad had to open up the back of the washer (we narrowed it down to that) and pinpoint the source. It was a mouse, very crispy, curled in the fetal position, in the timing mechanism of the washer.

Just before mom went into the hospital, dad helped our next door neighbor knock down an old shed and cart away the debris. Evidently, a small field mouse had been living in the shed and had to find a new home. It had crawled into the back of the washing machine, and had been electrocuted (and re-electrocuted) whenever dad did the laundry.

Dad did it, dad got rid of it.

My two kitties (sadly passed away last year) , one wouldn’t touch rodents of any sort (she was above that sort of thing), the other considered them really cool toys, and seemed bummed if ‘the batteries ran out’ .

we then moved in with SO who had 3 cats, two who would go out, the third, a champion mouser. Now all three of those would catch all manner of rodentia (there are no chipmunks around our home), and eat all except moles. Now, they’d catch and kill moles, but would leave them intact.

Apparently "they ain’t good eatin’ "

You people really thought the odor from a decaying carcass was fecal matter? The two are nothing alike. Granted, I have more experience with dead things, but I’ve never confused the two.

BTW, let Dolores Claiborne’s experience be a lesson to all of you: don’t use poisons to try to get rid of rodent problems. You don’t know where these things are going to die, and frankly, Dolores was lucky it was somewhere she could get at it. If the rat had croaked inside a wall void, she wouldn’t have had access to it, and would have been forced to live with the stench for more than a week.

Not only that, but if mice come upon the bait, they’re going to stash some of it for later (they’re notorious for hiding bits of food). I know technicians who have discovered rodenticide pellets in customer’s shoes, pockets of their clothing and even under their pillows. Don’t risk contaminating your entire house via these little buggers. Use traps. I know it’s oogie to have to pick up a trap with a dead mouse (or rat) on it, but at least you know it’s dead and out of the way, and you won’t have to worry about rotting corpses in the recesses of your crawlspace.

Just a bit of defense for my (and my SO’s) olfactory abilities. No, the scent of cat poop and a dead animal are quite different. It’s just that when you have a bad scent, you tend to go to the most likely candidate first. Then, you try to narrow your choices. Once we saw it was nothing immediately visable or close at hand, we started looking harder.

You are soooo correct, Dave. My parents once discovered a cache of rat poison pellets in the air filter of their Ford Explorer (they don’t drive it much). The buggers had evidently decided to nest there.

To add another bit to DAVEWOO71’s advice: If the poisoned rodent dies somewhere where your pets can find it, they may eat it. If it’s a rat full of strychnine or whatever, it may find its way into your pet’s system. A little dog I once owned ate a dead, poisoned rat in our backyard and we had to rush her to a vet to get an antidote. I don’t know how dangerous a poison is to animal 2 after the substance has been ingested by animal 1, but the vet felt we did the right thing. It’s traps for me – but place them where the woofers can’t stick their noses in them!

“Just grab it by the tail”, eh?

Tell that to the little bugger that’s been raiding my appartment for the last 4 months. Faster than Schumacher, smarter than Holmes.

Mouse traps? He JUMPS OVER THEM. Cheese, peanut butter… he ignores it. Catching him BY THE TAIL? Not a bloody chance.

Coldfire, who advocated catching them by the tail? Certainly not I.

Now, about the traps you’re using…are you using snap traps or glueboards? Where are you putting them? How are you positioning them?

Repeat after me: the rodent is not smarter than the human. My guess is either you are doing something wrong (or at least not the best way it could be done) or else your dwelling is so pockmarked with little crevices through which mice can enter that you might as well be living in a giant sieve.

If you want, I’ll give you a quick cyber-course in trap-setting. Just let me know. I’m a highly trained specialist with years of experience.