The smell showed up sometime in July. It was an odd odor, a little like dog poo, but it also had that bitter acidic smell reminiscent of cat urine. The smell seemed to be concentrated in the dining room, which really isn't the dining room, but a catch all room. The table essentially catches the daily mail and anything we purchase from an errand. In the corner of the dining room (next to the door that goes to the garage) sits all our shoes on a mat.
The first day I noticed the smell, I crawled around on the floor and looked for poo or wet spots. When nothing was found, I went to the table but still nothing. No wet mail, magazines or bags. My purse was dry as well. I mentioned the smell to Danno and told him to keep his eye open for the cause behind the unexplained smell.
All through July and August the odor persisted. Periodically during those months I would stick my nose on the table or a chair and even my purse and inhale to see if one of the cats had peed on that object. I lifted shoes to look for remnants of dog feces. I vacuumed the dining room carpet and washed the table. I even dusted, but the smell remained.
Then this last Friday I noticed a plastic bag in the corner of the mat where all the shoes sat. Why had I not ever looked in THAT bag? I probably looked at that bag almost every day when I put on a pair of shoes. I opened the bag and the smell nearly knocked me over. Yup. THIS was the source of the smell. Inside the bag was a bottle of REPELS ALL that had tipped over and leaked about a tablespoon's worth of its contents.
It all came back to me as I looked at that bottle. Back in May Toadputty and I planted a bunch of plants in front of HF only to have a family of squirrels and probably a rabbit or two make lunch out of most of those beautiful flowers a few weeks later. I went to the hardware store in search of an animal repellent and decided REPELS ALL was the best product to buy to punish those critters and hopefully keep them away from what few plants remained alive. But the bottle never made it to HF because the summer drought fried the rest of the flowering plants.
REPELS ALL claimed to deter Armadillos, Beavers, Birds, Cats, Crows, Chipmunks, Deer, Groundhogs, Mice, Porcupines, Rabbits, Raccoons, Rats, Skunks, Shrews and Voles. Technically, the only birds in North America that have a sense of smell are the vultures (Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures and the California Condor). Other birds, such as CROWS and the like, DO NOT have a sense of smell, but I digress. The list did not include squirrels, but I figured if the animal had a sense of smell, it would avoid the spray. The ingredients of REPELS ALL were Dried Blood, Putrescent Whole Egg Solids and Garlic Oil.
I carried the bag at arm's length and deposited it outside near my flowers. When Danno returned home from work, I told him I discovered the source of that persistent strange odor. He told me that he too kept picking up our shoes to look for dog poo cling ons.
The odor has mostly dissipated from the dining room although every now and then I get a whiff of that terrible smell. The area around our patio where I placed the bottle now smells like dog poo and cat pee, or putrescent whole egg solids and dried blood I suppose.
The bottle should add humans to the list of living things it repels because the odor certainly kept Danno and I out of the dining room.