Lest you believe that my life is glamorous and full of spectacular shopping trips in Europe, allow me to acquaint you with the current state of our home.

It smells like cat pee.

Okay, let me preface this by saying that we love our kitties very much. Dave (left) and Ruth (right) are a sweet brother and sister who bring us a lot of joy.

You know: usually.

Lately, though, Mr. Dave has been peeing/spraying in multiple areas of the house. This started last week. There was a smell that was impossible to ignore with a source that was difficult to locate. The process of looking for the source of a stink is a deeply unpleasant one. You wander around, sniffing dramatically, picking up objects and pressing them into your face until you realize that pressing them into your face is a bad idea.

We finally located a source and I did a massive clean-up in the corner of our dining room and really fixed it. Frankly, it wore me out, and I went upstairs and took a little rest, reveling in my triumph. And then, an hour or so later, I went back downstairs, and clearly, there was still a smell.

I located a second source, this time in the living room, and spent more time moving furniture around, laundering curtains and blankets, and wiping, re-wiping, and disinfecting every possible surface. At this point, I felt good about the cleaning that I’d managed to get done, but I could no longer trust my nose. One minute I thought everything was fine, the next I was sure I smelled cat pee somewhere else.

Then Cute W got home and confirmed that yes, it looked like the jam-packed closet by our back door was also a stench source. This was worse than the other corners, since there was so much in there that could potentially get destroyed. A pair of my hiking boots are still hanging outside. Various closet organizers that were already nearing their end begged for a merciful death after this most recent onslaught. Over the last few days, Cute W has probably cleaned the closet about five separate times. Right now, the contents are dispersed around the house. It’s chaos.

We’re afraid to put the closet back together again until there’s a solution. And we’re afraid that we won’t find a solution.

Poor Dave went on a trip to the vet earlier this week, which did not make him happy. As soon as he saw the carrier, he knew that he didn’t want to be anywhere near me, and so it was a battle of wits to catch him (I triumphed with the old close-all-the-doors-upstairs-so-there’s-nowhere-to-hide trick). Then, because he was terrified, he promptly peed in his carrier on the way to the vet’s office.

I am so tired of cat pee.

A urine sample revealed a little infection, although Dave’s bloodwork was fine. We are now giving Dave antibiotics twice a day, which makes him deeply unhappy, but it is going about as well as can be expected. It appears that he’s at least moderated his tremendous output, but he’s not quite back to normal.

I also ordered extra Feliway diffusers, which everyone, including our vet, recommends for a high-stress cat. One of the most common reasons for cats to spray around windows and doors is to mark their territory from other cats or creatures, which seemed like a possible cause, especially now that windows are open. Dave is a scaredy cat, so we’ve ordered these before, but the truth is that I can’t really tell how much of an impact they make, and they are expensive. But at some point while I was waiting for the vet appointment, I’d decided that a bulk purchase of diffuser refills certainly couldn’t hurt. Because a house that doesn’t smell like cat pee is priceless.

Meanwhile, my Facebook account was talking to my Google searches and presented me with an ad for a cleaner that claims to annihilate cat odors, and of course the sponsored post had amazing, gushing comments, so I ordered the special starter pack. Straight from the ad’s link, this “special introductory offer” was considerably less expensive than other options I might normally have used, like Chewy, but if I had understood how much slower the shipping would be, I might have ponied up the extra cash just because, perhaps you’ve heard, a house that doesn’t smell like cat pee is priceless.

At the moment, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern as we take a few more days to dose our little buddy with antibiotics and I await what I am hoping will indeed be a miraculous cleaner. Until then, please send your good thoughts our way, and if your home smells lovely, or even inoffensive, take a moment to inhale deeply and rejoice.


  1. Claire

    You do realize that you’re ruining my son’s chances of ever being allowed to have a cat?

  2. oh NOOOOOO!! Claire, I swear, we’ve had at least one cat for 15 years and this is the FIRST time this has ever been a problem! They are unbelievably low-maintenance, especially compared to their canine brethren.

  3. Claire

    That’s why I was warming up to the idea (if my son’s allergy immunotherapy is successful), even though I’m not much of an animal person. But what you’ve described would put me over the edge.

  4. If he can bear the goodbyes, there’s fostering. No long term commitment and you just keep giving them back until you fall Deeply In Love. But yes, this has almost put me over the edge. But I think (knock on wood!) the medicine is working. This is reminding me that I think at some point you were recommending some restaurant (Chinese? Thai?) and saying that we should meet there someday, and at the time I was busy/distracted, but I’d be up for it sometime if you still are. When/where?

  5. Claire

    Ala Shanghai in Latham. Really good, authentic Chinese. Friends of ours who grew up in China swore by it when they still lived here. Good luck with the cat situation!

  6. Claire

    OH my gosh, I must have been sleep deprived when I read your comment, because I totally missed the part about me meeting you there! I feel a bit guilty about that, because the place is in walking distance from my house, whereas you have to drive a fair distance. But yes, I could definitely meet you there for lunch, if you’re free on a weekend (I homeschool during the week and can’t really get away in the middle of the day). If you shoot me an email, I’ll give you my phone number (obviously, I don’t want to post it on a public internet site), and in the meantime I’ll find out if they’re open for lunch on weekends. Also, they have a tiny outdoor eating area where we might be able to snag a table if the weather’s nice.

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