It's All About Me

I'm a young-ish mom to Olivia (on the brink of being old-ish) who looks for humor in most situations but can be overly sarcastic at times.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Smelly Heat

About a month ago, Mocha went missing. She wasn't acting like herself one day so I had planned to take her to the vet but she didn't come home. I'm pretty sure she found a hidey-hole like some cats do when they are sick.

Very sad. Mocha was a good cat.

About a week ago, a putrid smell started coming out of the air vents every time the heat kicked on. I turned on the air conditioning...same putrid smell. It was faint at first so I let it go for a couple of days without too much worry. Each day, the smell was stronger and stronger; it was a sewer smell with just a touch of fishy-ness and some other kind of foul stench. I began to wonder if I had found Mocha.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to Josie on the phone when the heat kicked on.

"Ugh! There is something stanky coming out of my air vents. I'm afraid it may be Mocha."

"I wish I could smell it because I know dead smells and could tell you on the spot. One time, there was a dead cat under our back porch and it stank for two weeks. It wasn't fun getting that cat out from under the porch."

Josie confirmed that there was a bit of a fishy smell to the dead cat under her porch. This information did not make me feel better and I began to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of an investigative journey into the crawl space before the vents burped out a gaggle of flies.

(Who am I kidding? There is no way I would ever go under the house. I'm just pretending to be all tough and capable like that. This is a boy-only task; this is why boys exist.)

Last night, the smell coming from the vents was so bad I thought my eyeballs would melt. I opened several windows, pulled the blanket over my head and went to sleep. This morning, the smell was still there so I looked online to check movie times and began to plan our day far away from the house. I decided to do a search for "raunchy vent smell" and found a question and answer forum. One of the postings was for a situation very similar to mine and one answer had three possibilities:

dead animal, leaking sewer pipe or dried out P-Trap.

Apparently, if there is a drain in the house that doesn't get much use, the P-Trap dries out and can cause sewer gas to be sucked into the air intake for the furnace. Something about the pipes that stick out of the roof. It was suggested to run water in all of the drains and see if the smell went away.

The bathtub in the second bathroom doesn't get much use anymore so I crossed my fingers and turned on the water. I went into the living room, turned up the thermostat and waited for the curtains to start blowing around. I walked over, steeled myself, stuck my face into the air and sniffed. I smelled nothing. I felt a little better but needed a second opinion.

"Olivia, can you do me a favor and tell me what the air coming out of that vent smells like?"

"It doesn't smell like anything, Mama."

Relief! On soooo many levels!

Olivia and I miss Mocha. We have a garden statue for Mocha but haven't figured out yet where to put it in the yard. It will probably go someplace close to the front door because every day when we came home from work/school, Mocha was always waiting for us by the front door. She would also try to open the front door by jumping and then hanging from the door knob. The neighbors told me that her hanging record was 12 minutes.

That cat was cool.

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