Monday, January 15, 2007

No Amount of Cat Litter

Nineteen degrees Fahrenheit isn’t that cold even by post global warming standards, but it was cold enough that we both went to bed early. In any case, it was the coldest night in recent memory where we live. One of the most soothing sleeps imaginable is the one you get when you actually have enough covers on a cold night. It’s even better when it’s raining or snowing. You’re in the only place you want to be at that moment and your body knows not to move around too much.

At five in the morning that sleep was disrupted by the most intense smell. One of the animals had apparently decided to use some part of our bedroom as a litter box. I’m told that smell is the only one of the senses that goes straight to the reactive centers of the brain. Perhaps because of this it’s impossible in the presence of a strong smell to think about anything else.

My wife switched on the lights and we then proceeded to inspect the bedroom carpet for the source of our anguish. We looked under the bed, under the bureau, behind the wicker basket in the corner by my side (my wife insists on sleeping on the side closer to the door and bathroom), and at one point my wife even double-checked the litter box itself in our bathroom. After we looked in the less explored reaches of our closet and even pulled the covers off the bed to see if the animal had offered up the ultimate insult, I was tempted to just close the door to our bedroom and just go back to sleep in the back bedroom.

In the meantime, my wife had taken the dog out to the garage and shushed Lily, the oversized Calico cat, out the sliding door to the deck. Somehow she managed to do all this while shouting at me that I wasn’t looking hard enough. This was very primal stuff with animals, warm undisturbed sleep, and our brains on full odor alarm all at the same time. We pulled the bed away from the wall. As I pushed on my side, the futon mattress came up and the smell became even more overpowering. I picked up a u-shaped airline neck pillow from the rug and “yuck”. These pillows are filled with beans or some such, so perhaps Lily had decided on that cold night that it was enough like a litter box. Our older daughter had left the pillow behind mostly because it had been a gift from a boyfriend she’d rather forget. Maybe the cat figured that out and was sharing her opinion?

Cats do appear to be terribly efficient creatures. It stands to reason that would also be the case with their waste product. They use everything except what is truly vile. There may be no household pet smell that is more intense. Days later I can still smell the stuff.

We set to work for the next thirty minutes finding the odor and stain remover and wiping down the rug. I carried the defiled pillow out to the trash bin in the garage followed by my wife’s warning, “Don’t you dare let anything drip off that into the hallway or don’t expect to ever sleep with me again!”

After that, she started screaming that the odor remover had to be on one of the shelves in the garage. It wasn’t, but I couldn’t convince her of that until she found it herself under the kitchen sink. For the next twenty minutes, my wife scrubbed the rug and swore at the cat while I moved random items of furniture so she couldn’t yell at me that I wasn’t doing enough to get the smell out of our bedroom. We wound up sleeping in the back bedroom.

The next morning the cat was on the deck demanding to get back into the house and the bedroom and the cat and I had the following conversation.

Cat: Let me in, I’m your cat in chief.

CL: You made a mess of our bedroom. We can still smell it. We’ll be cleaning up in here for years after you’re dead.

Cat: If you kick me out of the house, the smell’s only going to get worse. Think of the other animals.

CL: But you made the mess in the first place.

Cat: I was looking for weapons of mouse destruction. Besides, you didn’t like the guy who gave your daughter that airline neck cushion anyway.

CL: Yeah, but he’s long gone.

Cat: Do you have a better idea?

CL: Yes, we asked the vet, the same one where we got you and the vet put together a cat smell study group. They said either get you out of the house or fill an entire room with cat litter.

Cat: Yes, but really. Do you have a specific solution?

CL: Look, your idea of adding 2 bags of cat litter isn’t going to work. That smell is terrible. No amount of cat litter is going to absorb it.

Cat: It doesn’t matter anyway. You may think you control the house now, but I can do whatever I want. I’m a cat.

This is what I’ve figured out. This is our house and my wife and I our masters of our master bedroom. While the cat has lived with us for six years, it left an enormous mess right underneath our bed that we can still smell. We’ll still feed the creature and likely be nice to it, but why would we even consider letting it back in and letting it tell us what to do with our house anymore?



At 1/16/2007 09:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't think of the horrors which ought to be perPETrated on the servant who would diss a cat by trying to force some smelly comparison to the Hallucinator in Chief. Fie!

Pipsqueak in Chief is a foul smell, but leaving a cat outside in the cold is a terrorist act.

Do you use EverClean clumping sand? Do you scoop out the offending bits twice a day? Would you like to use a dirty litter box?

Now, dogs are smelly all the time, like Uncle Dick who is talking about the "growing threat" of Iran, his usual prelude to unilateral preemptive action. That really stinks.

At 1/17/2007 04:46:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I don't believe that all cats are magical or above reproach. This cat bombed my bedroom then asked to get back in the house.

We are on good terms with our two other cats. We still feed the offending cat and may even forgive her soon.

Apparently the First Family is much more partial to dogs than cats fwiw. Barbara Bush even insisted on having her dog included in her official White House Portratin, the artist slipped the literacy dog into a portrait on the table next to her.

At 1/18/2007 09:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your not recognizing the Inherent Magicality of PanCat is your short, narrow, myopic, blurred sightedness, naught to do with the PanCat Power which is the lynchpin of the Universes.

Of course the bush Bushes are dogpeople. People who are overweeningly into control are always dogpeople. Cats refuse control, and dogpeople simply can't stand the lack of servility.


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