At long last, the war is over–the war with my apartment complex.
Monday, May 5th, I finished my last final/paper for grad school at 11:20 pm, with 40 minutes to spare before the deadline. I uploaded my paper to the class website, and I thought, “Ahh… At last, tonight I will get some sleep!”
But no. That night, some animals got into the crawl space in my ceiling, and their scratching and tapping kept me up most of the night. Based on the sound, I assumed it was either a troupe of tapdancing rats or perhaps squirrels dribbling tiny basketballs.
When I got up in the morning, in addition to the scratching in my ceiling, I could hear fluttering and banging in my chimney. I called my apartment administrators and reported the sounds in my chimney and ceiling. When I got home from work that night, there was a note on my door that read, “bird removed.” However, while the maintenance crew was kind enough to remove the bird from my chimney, they apparently did not deem it necessary to remove it from my apartment, because it was still there. It was a baby bird, with some feathers, but not all. I took the poor thing outside and put it on a branch in a bush outside my bedroom window. (I think their nest is near there.)
But the scratching in my ceiling continued. The apartment people told me someone would take care of it on Friday. The scratching continued through Wednesday night. Thursday night the scratching had stopped, and the smell started.
I’m not sure if anyone came out Friday as promised. No note was left by the maintenance crew–they usually leave a note if they come to my apartment. I the apartment people about the smell. When I returned home that evening, there was a note that maintenance had put bird repellent gel in my ventilation shaft. I called to complain about the smell again. I told them that while I appreciate that the bird repellent gel will stop additional animals from entering the vent, it does not solve the problem of the dead animal smell permeating my apartment. They said they would send someone out to my apartment to assess the situation. Meanwhile the funk had filled my clothes closet with the unique stench of death.
The next day, the apartment administrators told me that they did not smell anything in my apartment other than pet odor. I thought, okay, maybe the smell is dissapating. But it was as strong as ever when I got home.
I tried to get someone to come with me to my apartment last weekend to take note of the smell, but to no avail. They said they would call me Monday. Did they call me? Of course not. I called them yesterday to ask what they were going to do about the dead animals in my ceiling. They again denied any smell other than pet odor in my apartment. Anger was bubbling up, but I remained civil. I change my pets’ litter boxes every week, and I thoroughly cleaned my apartment last weekend, but the smell could not be cleaned away. I told them this. They continued to deny the existance of any dead animal smell, but said that they would be willing to let me out of my lease.
Now I was mad. I asked them if I needed to call the Health Department. They said I should do whatever I felt necessary, and they would let me out of my lease. But I should not be forced to move because my landpersons refuse to maintain a sanitary living environment! I asked them why they would put bird repellent gel in my vent unless they believed that birds could get inside? And if birds can get inside, why could they not entertain the possibility that an animal had gotten trapped and died in there? At this point they had to put me on hold and confer about this point. Upon return, they said they would check my apartment one more time to see if they could detect a dead animal smell, but they said again that if they couldn’t smell anything, they would let me out of my lease.
When I got off the phone, I was so mad I could have chewed up a little bunny rabbit and spit out good luck charms.
But when I got home last night, my clothes were moved around in my closet, and there was a message on my answering machine, saying that they had removed two dead birds from my crawl space.
Well, whaddya know.