When we were planning our new house, we made the decision to spend a little extra to put in an additional set of stairs that lead from the garage down into the basement. That has already proven to be one of the best decisions we made, as it keeps a lot of dirt and/or sand out of the house. During the winter months, it will keep snow and cold air out as well. Steve uses this staircase a lot.
Over the last couple of weeks, we noticed an odor coming from that stairwell. It wasn't too noticeable at first and only when one reached the last few steps. However, it soon got to the point where it wasn't just mildly unpleasant; it REALLY reeked!
Now, we know that when a new house is built, it's not uncommon to have little critters get inside during the construction process. Those little critters sometimes get sealed up in the walls - only to die a short time after the homeowners move in. The stench will last a few days and then go away. We didn't think we would have that problem, as our wall cavities are filled with foam insulation. We were really only expecting to smell the odors of pine and new carpeting this summer.
When the guys (not Steve) built the set of steps leading from the garage down into the basement, they built them with treads but no risers - and they didn't clean out the items that had accumulated under that area before they built them - such as pop cans, lunch bags and building debris. Before the odor even began, Steve had put a note on his "to do list" to remove 4-5 stair treads in order to clean out that area. When the odor became too much for his nostrils to handle, he moved it to the top of his list.
So. . . Steve removed some treads.
That was no quick task, as the boys had really secured those treads well. He had a broom, ShopVac and an extra light on hand, so he could make sure to get every bit of trash - fully expecting to find someone's decomposing lunch.
He found pop cans and some other trash along with construction debris, but that didn't explain the smell of decomposition.
Decomposition was occurring alright, but. . .
it wasn't someone's sandwich, and. . .
it wasn't someone's potato salad, and. . .
it wasn't even a mouse.
It was. . .
That's what I said. A rabbit! Dead! Deceased! Decomposing! Ashes to ashes, dust to dust! Relax - I won't show you how it actually looked. I don't want you to lose your lunch!
Mr. Bunny Rabbit probably hopped innocently into the garage and Cocoa chased him down the steps. Mr. Rabbit was able to get under the steps (no risers), but he couldn't get back out again. Thus, he starved to death. We're certain that Cocoa was involved in this situation, since (1) she loves the taste of bunny and (2) she's been sleeping in the garage all summer - but she wasn't talking!
Oh well, that entire area is now spick and span and the treads are back on. Cross that job off the list.
All is well in the Keweenaw.