There is a place between the earth we walk on and hell. It’s a dark and dangerous place. Dank and smelly. And full of creatures who have bright eyes, sharp, pointy teeth, and they don’t shower on a regular basis.
Am I talking about another dimension? Another world that houses demons and spirits? Am I being superstitious and spouting myths that might make up one of those reality paranormal shows on the SyFy channel?
No. I’m simply talking about the crawl space under my house.
Listen. Do you hear that? That scratching? Yeah, that’s our latest, uh, guest to the Animal Hostel I’m running.
You know those commercials that tells you for the price of a cup of coffee a day you could help some homeless animals? Well, I should be getting a portion of those funds.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t speak any animal language or dialect. But I’m sure if I’m could, I’d hear my name and house address mentioned numerous times by the animals within at least a seven-county radius. And that doesn’t even count the birds. Much like the birds who fly south each winter, we have a sect that migrate to our chimney every year.
It all started when we first moved in. Things seemed great, except for this rather strange odor that seemed to be coming from . . . somewhere.
It turned out a dog had crawled under the house at some point in the last century and died, but it’s smell returned on certain days. Our landlord had it removed.
But that was soon replaced by a family meowing, howling feral kittens. It couldn’t have been much worse if a couple of babies had crawled under the house and cried nonstop, expect I didn’t have to change any diapers.
So once again, a call to the landlord, resulted in a call to the Guy Who Removes Animals from Under the House.
I’ve since bought the house. It seemed like such a good buy. Only, I didn’t realize the animals came with the house.
Last year we had a opossum living under the house. We knew because he continually scratched on the vents and the bathtub. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except he used all the hot water and continually left his dirty towels on the floor.
Seriously, there was a opossum under the house. So I called the Guy again. He set a trap, and a few days later caught . . . a skunk.
A skunk. Under OUR house. The Guy, whose actual name is Michael, came to retrieve the trapped animal while I was at work. He later told me the skunk sprayed continually for about a half mile down the road.
But he didn’t have to tell me. I could smell it. And the smell lingered for about two weeks.
Then he caught the opossum a week or so later. He only charged me $75 per animal. I told him he was missing out on a great opportunity. He should have charged me $75 for catching the animal. Then I would have paid any amount to have him take the animal off to wherever it is that animals are taken off to on Their Final Ride. (It kind of reminded me of the old Bugs Bunny cartoon, where the gangster would take Bugs on a ride to “finish him off.”)
so the opossum and skunk are gone. Only to be replaced this year by the birds (again) and who-knows-what that’s currently lurking under the house. Living there. Breathing. Inviting his friends. And splicing off our cable TV.
There’s just two things that animal needs to know. First, I still have the number for the Guy who can take you out. And second, I don’t get HBO.