A few weeks ago we started noticing a bad smell whenever we used the oven. Although the oven and broiler appeared clean, I wiped them down. I flipped up the stovetop and scrubbed underneath all the burners. Nothing I did seemed to help. Finally Dan got in on the act and was able to pull the oven away from the wall.
A hole! We concluded that a mouse was getting into the house, but if it was in our oven, where was it?
Dan got out his tools and went about the unpleasant business of taking the oven apart. What he found was a little mouse nest in the insulation between the oven and the panel underneath the stove burners. Fortunately he found no actual damage, and no dead mice - only droppings and urine. But he also found a little stash of acorns.
So...is my cooking not good enough for a mouse, that it felt compelled to bring its own food? Or are toasted acorns a rodent delicacy? (They had cracked and cooked in the heat.)
Anyway, the hole is now repaired, the oven insulation pored through and interior surfaces scrubbed with baking soda, so I should be able to resume baking as usual. All of this, however, calls into question the usefulness of our cat.
Pixel is eighteen years old and has long considered himself "retired" from such bothersome duties as chasing vermin, but we suspect our rodent visitor may also have been eating his food. Poor old gato. In his youth he would slip outside and catch squirrels and now he can't even be bothered to defend his food bowl.
Interestingly, it was Cadbury who alerted us with a thump two nights ago that the mouse had chewed through Dan's first attempt at blocking the mouse hole. Now if only Cadbury could catch mice...