Friday, January 16, 2009

Pretty Sure our Little House Lizard is Dead

Haven't seen him [her?] in a while. I assumed he - we'll call it a "he" - was content living under one of the refrigerators in the kitchen. He could come out at night in relative safety to eat food that the Kids leave on the floor - my Kids are very, very messy eaters. I'm guessing it was warm enough for him under the refrigerator, even if it was dark. At least he didn't have to worry about The Boy getting him since The Boy's paws are too big to fit underneath the refrigerator and there is no way he's getting his snout under there.

Yesterday morning our kitchen smelled kind of funny. It was a strange smell - but one that I've experienced before. Please don't let it be that smell! The Houseboy was here and since Thursday is Kitchen day - he cleans the cupboard doors, inside and out, cleans the outsides of the appliances, the stove top, cleans the trash can out, all those kinds of chores - I rather figured that by the time I got home from doing errands the smell would be gone and in its stead would be the lovely smell of clean, bleach! Umm. No. I walked in the back door and was assaulted by the odor.

DH got home from work at about one o'clock. He came in through the front door and not the back. His first words were not, "Hi, Honey, I'm home," but instead, "What is that smell?" Yeah. You smell it too, huh? "Where is it coming from?" I have no idea, but it smells even worse in the kitchen. DH asked me if I had checked under the refrigerators. No. So, he grabbed a flashlight and tried to see underneath them - which was impossible - so he pulled both of them out. Eee-gads. What a mess. No one has cleaned behind the refrigerators in months. [I'll be speaking to HB13/16, Inam, on Sunday morning about this.] Do you have any idea how much dust and gunk collects underneath and behind refrigerators?!? A lot! There was no lizard - alive or otherwise. Plenty of lizard poop, though, in the dust. DH helped me clean up the mess - we swept, vacuumed and cleaned behind the refrigerators. He wasn't particularly happy about it, either, since ultimately he is the one who is paying Inam. "Why are we paying the someone to clean and then cleaning ourselves?" Good question. Apparently I'm not doing a very good job supervising the Thursday cleaning.

The smell lingers heavily in the air. I have no idea where it is coming from. DH thinks it could even be in one of the hot-air vents. Great. How is it that we have experience with this particular smell? Quite a few years ago when we had our Land Rover, DH was driving along and something "fell" in front of him. Something much, much bigger than a bug or a bee. At the time, DH said he was lucky he didn't get into an accident when it happened - it was one of those "startling" moments that happens so quickly you don't have much of a chance to react. What was it? It was a lizard. A gecko. And, where did the gecko go when DH was trying to shoo it away? Underneath the dashboard in the truck. Gone. But not really.

The truck - the Land Rover - they are all trucks, to me - sat outside with its windows shut in the sun for a day or so, maybe even a couple of days before we noticed it. And it wasn't something that could go unnoticed. I do remember it was hot - July or August - and we went to go get in the truck and - Oh My Gosh - the smell was so overpowering it was nauseating, gagging! You had to hold your breath and breathe through your mouth - only you didn't want to do that either, because the smell was so bad you could taste it. Apparently the gecko got itself trapped in the air-conditioning unit where it perished. DH spent several days taking various pieces/parts of the truck apart to try to locate the poor thing - and to remove it. He never found the gecko. But for a good six weeks, both of us dreaded having to get in the truck to go anywhere because of the nasty after-effects that a small reptile leaves when it dies in a vehicle and gets baked in the heat and sun.

I am so hoping that it is not going to take six weeks, in the house, to remove the smell. We can burn incense and candles, and spray Febreeze and put plug-in deodorizers in all of the outlets - but all that is going to do is intermingle with the odor of what is a pretty unpleasant smell so that instead of the house just smelling like something rotten, now it is going to smell "sandalwood, pine, fresh rain and rotten" at the same time. The smell did not seem to be so overpowering this morning when I was in the kitchen making coffee. So, either we did sweep, vacuum and clean up the remains [unknowingly? he wasn't a very big lizard] yesterday afternoon, or else I'm just getting used to the smell at this point. Guess we'll know in due time whether or not the smell is gone. Surely if a friend drops by then we'll know if the offensive odor is still with us... Hopefully no one will be polite enough to just not mention that our house reeks something awful!

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