CSI: Cat Stink Investigation

This time, I have no one to blame but myself. I could blame the cat, I suppose, but there’s no point in blaming something that doesn’t understand remorse. Or how to use a litter box.

Deb’s the crazy cat lady, I’m not – not crazy and not a lady. At one point we had five cats but lost two in quick succession a year ago, possibly due to predators, possibly due to better offers. Down to three, I foolishly brought a fourth one home; a colleague had to leave the country in a hurry (work-related, not felonious) and didn’t feel his 10-year-old cat would survive the trauma of travel and quarantine.

“My wife would kill me if she found out you had to put him down and I knew about it” I said, “so if you don’t find anyone, we’ll take him.” I’m pretty sure this overture immediately ended my colleague’s search for a new home.

Enhance for dandruff.

Enhance for dandruff.

The cat came from a French household and had a French name that I at best managed to mangle, something that sounded like one of those bug zappers: DSSST! Instead, we called him The Dude, not that he would respond in either language because – and let’s just get this out of the way – cats are stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. This cat wouldn’t flinch if you yelled, “You’re fat and you have horrific dandruff,” which, coincidentally, is also one of the worst fortune cookie messages I’ve ever read.

For the first four months, The Dude hid in the basement. On the rare occasions he ventured up the stairs, he would immediately be chased back down by the dog (did I mention the dog?). Eventually, though, The Dude conducted night maneuvers to establish safe outposts on the main floors, and before long, he was making himself tentatively at home. Even the dog ignored him. We were one big, happy, fur-filled family.

But then, just before Christmas:

“It smells like cat pee in here.”

There is no mistaking cat pee. It’s the Axe Body Spray of the animal world. In fact, it actually may be Axe Body Spray. As strong as it is, though, it’s hard to trace, which is why we spent a  couple of days crawling around on the floor sniffing carpets, upholstery and chairs. On the plus side, I found a quarter.

Then Deb discovered a dried puddle of pee on the boot mat. Over the next days and weeks, we found a succession of pee pools all over the house: on carpets, the Christmas tree skirt, mittens left on the floor. There’s nothing worse than putting on your tuque and discovering it reeks of cat urine, although, after learning his basketball shoes had been fouled (get it?), my son might disagree.

G'day, eh?

G’day, eh?

The pee-pisodes kept occurring. Yet we couldn’t catch a cat in the act.

“It’s got to be The Dude,” said Deb, who seemed to have a knack for tracking down the urine (a urinary track!). “Something must have happened.”

The only thing that had “happened” recently was that The Dude and one of the other cats had begun acting aggressively towards each other. Maybe there was a territorial skirmish going on. Or maybe The Dude was just old and gross.

“I read that stress is one of the top reasons for cats peeing,” said Deb, who became the resident researcher on this matter, learning all about cat urine and the removal thereof.

The last straw was the loveseat. Deb discovered a huge wet spot right where The Dude had been lying minutes before. “Aha!” And “yuck!” She dragged the loveseat out to the back porch, coated it with baking soda to draw out the urine and replaced it with an armchair from another room. At this point, the cat was no longer stinking up the house, he was redecorating it.

But then, while she was out on the porch trying to salvage the loveseat, Deb discovered a pair of shoes had been peed on there as well. But The Dude never goes on the porch! The Dude was being framed! By one of the other cats! Did I say “stupid?” I meant “evil genius.”

Of course, this still hasn’t solved the problem. Deb, who loves the cats and loves her house, is taking it the hardest – constantly eyeballing the beasts to see what their bladders are up to, shutting them in the basement at night, undertaking the unscenting of shoes, clothes and furnishing. I just hope she doesn’t get too stressed or we’re in really big trouble.

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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24 Responses to CSI: Cat Stink Investigation

  1. I think it’s you that is peeing on/in/around everything…

    Consequently, are any of the cats male? We had a cat that developed a spraying habit at age 8…he quickly became an outdoor cat because you can’t get cat spray stanch out of anything. However, I would have to disagree with you, Rosemary, cats are excellent and dogs are, well dogs… Here’s the deal – cats are classy; they eat a la carte, dogs are not classy; they eat buffet.

  2. I feel your pain re the pee-bombings. In general, male cats tend to be the perps, at least around here. Then again, we tend to give our male cats odd names (Doorknob, Wisquatuk, Angus, Ralph), so maybe they feel like they have a just cause. Who knows, with cats?

  3. Kylie says:

    Thank you for strengthening me in my anti-cat resolve.

    My daughter is on a pet-campaign, and I don’t want to clean up any other creature’s pee or poop in addition to my son’s diapers.

    I think we will have to write about pee and/or poop every time we comment on each other’s blogs.

  4. Kylie says:

    I should clarify: I refuse to get a pet because that would entail (get it? enTAIL!) cleaning up yet another creature’s pee and poop. Je refuse!

  5. Ziggy Smallz says:

    Pet ownership is definitely for people who appreciate a good pee stain.

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  9. painterswife says:

    When I had five cats one of the started to pee in the house. I had similar problems in tracking down the culprit, right up to the time he pee’d on an extension lead and got an elecric shock – which didn’t kill him but did send him back to the litter tray for all future pees!

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  13. rossmurray1 says:

    Reblogged this on Drinking Tips for Teens and commented:

    We had to put The Dude to sleep yesterday. After writing the post below four years ago, The Dude had come around. He stopped peeing everywhere, settled in and enjoyed a quiet simple life. He did not like to be picked up or cuddled but would approach for the occasional head pat. His being so inobtrusive made him the cat I disliked the least, even though his dandruff never improved. A couple of weeks ago, he essentially stopped eating. Two nights ago, he hopped up on the sofa beside me. He never did that. I gave him some good head pats. Don’t tell anyone.

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