Hey guys, For the past couple of days (4-5), our refridgerator hasn't worked (apparently, something got stuck in the fan and the compressor overheated and broke)...anyways, the night we found out it broke, we had fish for dinner. The next day, I came home from school and found that the house smelled like fish. I couldn't figure out what the heck it was. Over the period of days, it became worse and worse. After my parents told me that there were tons of flies (It was described to me as "balls of flies") swarming around this window that goes into a crawlspace under our sunroom, I realized it couldn't've been the fish we'd had for dinner that night that was lingering (it also didn't seem possible, but still ). As it got worse, it smelled all over the first floor of our house. We had to seal off the sunroom because it was really annoying, and we called 311 and got some animal control people to say they'd come tomorrow. Originally, we'd thought that maybe an opossum or a cat or something had died in the crawlspace mentioned earlier...the smell was really bad, and were it something smaller, the smell wouldn't have been nearly as noticeable. Our next door neighbor had also recently found an opossum sneaking around in their garage and yard, and this was taken away by animal control. So the animal control people came today, and they ended up saying that they "don't do that." Apparently, they're worried about liabilities and whatnot. So we didn't know what to do. Eventually, my dad said "Ted, let's go get rid of whatever the hell is in there." So we went to do it... We opened the crawl space and it smelled putrid. My seven year old brother, though oddly intrigued, felt really sick, and ended up throwing up a couple of times. My dad went to look around inside (with rubber gloves, a shovel, and a garbage bag), and came out and told my brother and I that it smelled absolutely horrible in there, that there were no flies, he couldn't figure out whatever the hell that was rotting in there got in, and he saw a lump of something he had absolutely no clue about. He went back in after getting a few lungfuls of fresh air (He wouldn't let me go inside with him ), and spent the next 10 minutes or so shovelling the "lump" into a garbage bag...in the light it looked sort of blondeish, and REALLY long, so at the time I thought maybe it was a dog... So anyways, after filling a bag with whatever it was (lots of great looking things like intestines and everything else could be seen through the bag), he chucked it in a garbage can and said it was really bad in there. He told me he hasn't seen that many maggots in one place before, and I think it irritated him that, when he poured bleach all over, they just swimmed in it (I can see how that would appear that they're taunting you). He went in, and finished cleaning up a little more (he says there's still quite a bit more)...Afterwards, he told us that: -It was bigger than a cat. MUCH bigger. -It's fur was a whitish-brown. -It had completely rotted away (it was really really hot yesterday, and my dad thinks it might've decompsed due to the extra heat) -There was a big one and 10-14 smaller ones. My dad said the big one had a very large skeleton, probably about 2 and a half feet from tail to nose...he didn't say much about the smaller ones) -There was a TON of fur, though this was obvious from how much he was cleaning -He doesn't want to eat dinner, and doesn't think he'll be able to anytime soon Now, we have absolutely no clue how it got in. The window of the crawlspace (We had originally used the crawlspace to store garden supplies) was boarded up, and the door that went into the crawlspace that we'd used was padlocked...We've got absolutely no clue, though we think it might've gotten through by going under our porch and forcing parts of the wall apart (The metal there is bent, and it was straight before...looks sorta like it was scratched at, but it doesn't make sense...). There are also quite a bit of droppings all over the inside of the crawlspace... Apparently, opossums are a huge problem in the city of Chicago (This was told to us by whoever's in charge of animal control). We're confused about the whole thing...We don't know if it got under there and had babies and got stuck, or if it had been living there for a while but came back to have its children, or what...it's all very confusing, and, hopefully, we'll have it sorted out soon. So yeah, sorry for the long-winded post... Has anyone else had problems similar to this with wild animals (be they opossum or otherwise)?