Here's the update:
It could be better. It could be a whole lot worse. I'm not going to beef, 'cause it's better by any calculation!
I was on the phone at 7:01 AM, and I learned that The City of Kansas City does not pick up animal carcasses on private property. I f I put it at the curb, they'll come get it. THAT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN!! They did give me a list of companies who do removal services. By 7:23 I had an appointment for 1:00 today. Hurrah! Then I got a call just before 11:00 saying that his 11:00 appointment had canceled and if I want (IF I WANT?!?!?!?) he can be at my house in a few minutes. Yes, yes, yes!!!
At about 11:10 he arrived. He was not what I expected (burly, scroungy, stubbled, already smelly dude?), but was a nice young man, very clean cut, pleasant guy who talked with me briefly about my experiences and jumped right under the deck and got to work. BTW, the smell was still minimal after I covered the hole previously. When uncovered, however, it quickly became really vile again, so I was right about the location. By the droppings. he identified that an opossum or a family of, lived in the hole.
He had one of those grabber things, similar to the ones that we might use in the house to get to top shelves, but much sturdier and capable of pulling on a significant weight. It was about 5 feet long. He probed and poked around as far as his arm and the grabber would go, intermittently just grabbing randomly just to see if he could find something, but he came up empty each time. Apparently this critter had hollowed out quite an extensive apartment under the concrete steps!
Being unable to remove it, he came up to discuss alternatives with me. One was to have a company come in, tear up that part of the deck, jackhammer a hole through the concrete steps and pour the cavity full of concrete which would encapsulate the carcass and immediately stifle the stench. Then I would need to rebuild the deck, of course. Folks, this is a large deck, about 22 feet by 14 feet, screened and enclosed all the way around. Rebuilding would be impossible for me, even if I chose that solution.
Second option - He would soak the area with a pressurized PineSol solution then fill the hole back in to minimize the smell, and let nature take it’s course. It should take about 2-3 weeks to completely decompose, and the worst of it is probably already past. During this time, I might have occasional odors, but not strong nor consistent. Meanwhile, I watch the area for a few days, and if something digs again in that area, I call them and they will come out and place a trap.
I had to think for a long while, about 20 seconds. We did the second. Of course! We, the furby’s and I, can now go outside without gagging or fighting off the bazillion flies that were there yesterday! Hurray, again!! And this solution cost me a pittance compared to solution #1 or if they’d been able to find the carcass to remove.
In the middle of all this I got a call from the painter. This is the reliable but expensive one. He was out of town last week when I called him, and he said he would call me on his return. Great news! Not only did he actually call me as he promised from his vacation in Texas, but another job canceled, and he remembered my situation, being stuck in limbo with a half painted house. On his return another family has to delay their job till fall, so . . . hold you socks, kiddies . . . he will be here with his crew on Wednesday . . . yes, THIS Wednesday . . . and will be finished in 3-4 days!! The gods are finally smiling on me!! Now I have a call in to the floor guy, and I’ll schedule him as soon as I can. Between now and then, I’ll get the basement painted, and the upstairs cleaned and polished and ... can you believe it? ... I can finally list the house and begin the next leg of my Never Ending Journey!! I am ecstatic!
So I’m off to do something productive on my list, the never ending list, I might add. Don’t get me wrong, when the painting and floor are finished, whatever is inside might not get done. I am so out of this house!!!
PS added at 8:00 PM - Margarita's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (see Terri Lynne's comment), and please, please, more puppy prayers. Margarita is the sweet baby that looks like her daddy, Ali, in the picture on my profile.
Here are some picture of Ali (on the left) and Margarita ( on the right).
Notice they have identical toys! And they know whose is whose. Not that they don't steal from each other on occasion!
You can not believe the work to make them stay so still for the "look-alikes" pose.
When they're standing, it is hard to tell them apart.
So put this sweet face up there in your prayers. She is a very dear little dog. Disposition of an angel, I swear. She needs all the rememberences possible right now. Thanks every one.