Saturday 9 January 2010

Why Yes. My House Does Smell Like Cat Pee.

48G9H8NFAXKN I'm listening to Norah Jones (or "Boring Jones" as David delights in calling her) in an attempt to lull my brain into stupefying dullness that will allow me to ignore the school holiday mess growing throughout the house. Yes, I know. My music choice is more than a bit naff, but I gave up any hopes of being hip or cool a long time ago. Does it count that she is accompanied by PJ Harvey, Nina Simone, Garbage and AC/DC, on shuffle in the five stacker? Or does this simply mean that I have the attention span of a gnat, or that my multiple personalities programed the player? Lets go with eclectic, that sounds vaguely intelligent.

I pretty much listen to all styles of music except for perhaps 98% of the trash that falls under the labels electronica and gangster rap. I have a deep and abiding love for all things mullet rock. There's something about soap-challenged men with mullets and spray on jeans that is simply irresistible. The image of Bon Scott in super tight denim, an obvious attempt to squish his frank and beans up into his diaphragm, as he thrust his crutch at the TV screen will be forever burned in my memory. I often think this image was the true reason why my mum would pretty much break out the rosary and holy water when my brother cranked up the record player. This would be closely followed by me being angrily bustled away from my listening post outside his door. My 7-year-old appreciation of "devil music", like many other things were considered highly offensive to a woman who once thought the use of the word "bloody" was worthy of a wooden spoon. I still feel a sense of childhood rebellion when I listen to Jailbreak, much like the "power to the people" moment I feel when I make a conscious choice to ignore the dust blanket on top of the TV cabinet. Dusting is the domain of grown ups and I refuse to believe I'm a grown up just yet.

My new mantra for 2010 is taken from a four dollar fridge magnet. I am not ashamed. I whole heartedly agree with the magnet that declares "Dull women have immaculate houses". Who knew such Confucian wisdom could be found on a piece of playing card-sized plastic purchased on a whim at the $2 Dollar store. (Side bar question. Why do they call them $2 dollar stores when only a hand full of the products are available for $2? I know it's not exactly right up there with the deep philosophical conundrums of "Why are we here?", and "Does God exist?", but this is the kind of question that keep me up at night. Well that, and will I succeed in my campaign to get Nestle to overturn their decision to cease production of the turd-shaped, cultural icon, know as the the Polly Woffle*?) A quick inventory of my surrounds and I am reassured that I am definitely not dull. In fact I may be the world's most exciting woman.

Recently, due to my previously described encounters with walls named Bob, my mother (also known and the High Priestess of Clean) came to exorcise the dust and debris from my home. She did well hiding her motherly disappointment in my lack of attention to domestic duties. Clearly I was not meeting my cleaning KPIs but she took the softly softly manager approach and got stuck in. My oven looked like the inside of one of those industrial power plant chimneys yet she took it as a challenge. My bathrooms became an episode of survivor and damn it she was not having her flame snuffed out. She did battle with dinosaur sized window spiders in the outside cobwebs and washed a ute load of dog mud off the glass doors at the back of the house. By the end I think she was quite proud of how exciting her daughter's life had obviously become. Well at least I think that's what she meant when she said "Oh, Michelle".

One thing that she was unable to banish, despite the prodigious use of elbow grease, caustic chemical cleaners and holy water, was the underlying smell of cat pee which appears to have infiltrated our house at the atomic level. Our cat is old. Old, demented, toothless and rampantly incontinent. She is perpetually confused, or so she likes us to think. I however, believe she has created her own pussy bucket list, and top of that list is her mission to pee on every square corner of the house before she heads to the big cattery in the sky. She has met the other missions on her list including freak out the girly great danes by sitting one millimetre from their fearful faces (the cat version of "I'm not touching you"). Lull her captors (no one ever really owns a cat) into thinking she wants a pat and then ripping the limbs from their bodies. As she likes to mess with us, she follows her bloody rampage, with sedate rubbing against our legs, in a poorly veiled attempt to entice us to touch her yet again (only the foolish make that mistake twice). And of course, as far as she is concerned she rules the universe.

She pees on bags (school, sporting and shopping), pillows, clothing, towels, couches, cricket gear, football gear, dog beds and in doorways. The cat version of old lady pee is powerful stuff, reminiscent of the Lion enclosure at the zoo on a really really hot day. I'm beginning to think short of a flame thrower or nuclear blast we may be unable to rid the house completely of her rancid offerings. Months of eucalyptus oil, baking soda and expensive pet odour cleaners have not even come close to meeting the challenge. Maybe I should just resign myself to the under-note of wee that permeates the house despite oil burners, open windows and incense. Look out for a bowl of filigree Renaissance pomanders and cold war gas masks by the front door if ever you chance to visit.


The pomander carrying, Bon Scott loving, Michelle :)

* Nothing symbolises the early 80s for me like the Polly Waffle. As a child my parents ran a corner store and I would sit out back after school each day with a Polly Waffle, Bubble Gum Paddle Pop, and a copy of Whizzer and Chips, trying to work out what the hell a "conker" was. Interestingly not one of these products still exist. I fear my apathy may impair my campaign as I am yet to write a petition, send in a letter of complaint or join the Facebook site. I did have grand plans of a nude sit-in on the steps of Parliament surrounded by a sea of Polly Waffles. However, a quick reality check and I realised that I would look like a pasty and saggy, mad woman surrounded by a sea of turds, and the plan was quickly abandoned). 48G9H8NFAXKN


  1. This was quite a treat. "pussy bucket list" on the other hand sounds all wrong, like a list of women a dying pensioner is itching to shag.

    I'm with you on dust. It was Quentin Crisp who said that after a couple of weeks it doesn't get any worse.

  2. What the vacuum cleaner can't reach, the dust can't readily escape from and will therefore remain settled and out of sight for the most part. That's my cleaning philosophy that makes the chore a bit less onerous for me.

  3. Here is the boring bit in the comment box. Is it possible your cat has FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease/Disorder), formerly known as FUS (Feline Urinary Syndrome). Apparently they pee everywhere because they associate the normal places with pain and for some reason think peeing especially I have found on clean washing a possible less painful experience!

    On the dust front - with EDS housework is not a priority for me. I suggested to spouse just yesterday that in this chilly spell the extra layer just acts as effective insulation to help keep us warm. I know I know seriously clutching at straws but it made me feel a little less guilty.

    On the music front - listen to what pleases you, I do. I'm with you fairly eclectic but don't like anything aggresive. Do go through phases of John Martyn and JJ Cale which shows my age.

    I went to a Catholic Convent although not one, so spent a large proportion of my youth dying to confess my sins and a lot of the time convinced I was to go to hell.

    No one apart from immediate family are allowed upstairs in my house it really is too untidy for general visiting rights. We had a chimney fire once and the firemen were convinced we had been burgled (sp).

    I have many rugs covering other rugs on top of carpet in my house due to dog vomit stains. We rescued a staffie and we did wonder when he entered our house why he burped so much, it didn't take long to work out that the feeble excuses about him not liking to be left too long and work commitments were not true - it was his ability to projectile vomit in copious amounts that was the problem. The minute he gets a funny look in his eyes now - he runs to the back door to go out. We worked out that being a dog giving him a little bit of chicken at the very moment of possible regurgitation was sufficient to distract him. We think he did it for attention? Totally empathise on the old, senile but much loved cat scenario - the one we have left is 19 now and very odd indeed.

    Well I am off as ever the reason I don't comment a lot anywhere is I can't do 'short and witty' I have to do embarisingly long, poorly spelled and rambling.

    Forget about the dust - open the doors it looks like we are in for some pretty strong winds. It will hopefully re-settle behind furniture where no one can see.

  4. MLS - Ha. See in my innocent mind I didn't go there. But now it's got me thinking. Do you suppose a randy old pensioner would go for Jessica Alba or would his tastes run more along the lines of Jessica Tandy?

    Suddenly Fourty - At lest I'm finding I'm not alone in my lack of caring about dust. I like to think of it as a eco friendly form of insulation. Though I did read somewhere that about 80% of domestic dust is actually skin cells and that's a bit gross.

    Achelois - the voice of reason in the chaos of a mad mad world :) Our cat is ok except for the dementia. I always joked she was like my nan but apparently there is really feline dementia. Who knew. The vet said we've run out of options with the incontinence so we just keep a ready supply of paper towels at hand.

    Don't worry I'm not concerned about the dust, my apathy far outweighs any desire to clean. Its yet another time I pull the sick card. Hope you're coping with the snow/ice age you're having.

  5. I'm a new visitor. I like your writing style. And I've got 2 cats with your cat's toilet habits. Only they're not old...

  6. Robert - thanks for stopping by. One elderly incontinent cat is bad enough I can't imagine having 2.

  7. Baking soda does nothing for urine odor, and eucalyptus will only hide it for a little while. You want oxygen or enzyme cleaner. A laundry additive is the cheapest solution - in the US it would be Oxyclean or Biz or Clorox 2, Dissolve it in warm water and allow it to soak for a while, then rinse with vinegar and alcohol in water.

    There is a product called Fizzion that works pretty well by itself, but the combination of something to break down the proteins and something to counter the ammonia in the urine usually works pretty well. Add some alcohol to the cleaning process somewhere to break down fats and it works even better.

    Pussy bucket list made me snort. Very funny.:)

  8. Telesma - Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately our little cat has passed away now, but she had a good innings. Luckily one of my Great Danes has taken up peeing in the house in the last few weeks so I may use your tips for her. And "Pussy Bucket List" is one of my personal favourites too. :)


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