It’s not what it looks like

Someone said this to me the other day: “You have such a glamorous life.”

And I laughed, because I assumed it was sarcasm, but she said it with such sincerity that I paused and said, “Really?”

And she said, “Oh, you know, maybe exciting is a better word- all the travel and….well, the trips and stuff you talk about.” She paused, tilted her head to the side, and realized she was talking to a person holding a grocery bag full of mops and Zero Odor. I was, in fact, on a trip as we spoke. To the grocery store. Which has been the  extent of things lately, as tends to happen sometimes.

It was ironic to me that the person chose this day of all days to make that statement, because this is perhaps the least glamorous day I have had in some time. Apollo has been engaging in some marking behavior the last few months, and if there is one thing that turns my normally mild-mannered spouse into the Hulk, it’s the acrid stench of cat urine in the entryway of the house. Can’t say I blame him. So here we go again, off on a cleaning spree and figuring out what has so disturbed Apollo’s little kitty-brain that he sees no other option than to back on up to the nearest wall and let loose.

The offending area was easy to spot, a Niagara of urine splattered on the wood of the front door, pooling underneath and soaking into the grout and the tile. A lovely way to greet new neighbors, by the way.

I mopped it, dizzy with the fumes.

I mopped it once, I mopped it twice, and still not smelling very nice, I went ahead and mopped it thrice. Even then, it was no dice. My feelings then were not so nice.                                    -Dr. ScrewLoose

After about 18 rounds of attempting to clean the area, including liberal doses of Anti Icky Poo, I could still smell it. I wondered if perhaps there was another area I was missing. I got out the blacklight and investigated the entryway, but if you are anything like me I have no luck with that unless it’s already pitch black in the house, and who wants to clean at midnight? So I went old school, sticking my nose to the ground and trying to ascertain if there was an errant area I was missing in my cleaning attempts by olfactory input.

Did I mention I have a glass door that looks right into our entryway that you pass on the way to the front door? It’s pretty private, which means you have to be in the middle of walking up to the door to see anything, which means of course that any time I’m doing something I’d rather not have witnessed, someone invariably shows up.

There I was on all fours, nose pressed to the ground sniffing like Scooby Doo looking for a Scooby snack with Brody dutifully trailing behind, when I heard a polite cough from the region of the front door. This seems as good a time as any to mention I had just gotten back from a run and didn’t see the point of showering before cleaning up cat pee, so I was in stinky gym clothes and my hair pulled back in a sweaty ponytail while I crawled around smelling my floor. I pushed up to my hands to see the UPS man trying hard to look anywhere but inside the door, well aware that I was probably going to be “sight of the day” at the UPS locker room this evening.

I took the box and shut the door. Sometimes explaining “It’s not what it looks like. I was just sniffing for cat pee” is not the correct answer.


So there you have it. The glamorous life of a veterinary writer looks a lot like the life of any person with a grumpy cat, bad timing excepted.

If there are any small favors in life to be thankful for, it’s that I was discovered by the UPS man and not, say, the neighbor kids who already have one story too many to share about the weird lady on the corner.

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  • If he’s spraying by the front door, maybe there’s a cat outside spraying? Which could also be adding to your urine smell?
    I feel for you. My cat is so darn picky if we change litter or even add anything like baking soda (to keep odor down) he quits using his box until things are the way he likes them. Sometimes I wonder why we bother to keep these overlords of ours around. j/k I love my guy to death.

  • carolinegolon

    Any bobcats in the area? 🙂

  • Susan

    at least it’s not your couch. That’s where my cat goes when he’s… well, pissed. 🙂 He aims for the intersection of the two bottom cushions and two back cushions (which are sewed in place). And since there is a crack there, it goes through to the bottom of the couch and then the floor. Zero odor is my best friend. good luck!

    • I really love Zero Odor, like, a lot. It’s amazing.

  • Lisa W

    Love it! Thanks for the laugh – I needed it today. 🙂

  • Cathey

    Love it! I think this falls under the category of “Murphy’s Law at Work For YOU!” Thanks for a hilarious picture in my head! (PS-this type of thing could certainly be me at any give time.)

  • But you DO have a glamorous life – who else could tell these amazingly funny stories? 🙂

  • Amy Sunnergren

    Ah yes, the glorious odor of cat pee. I currently have a foam mattress soaking in vinegar and Woolite for pet odors. I also purchased an organic pet odor remover, too and have been spraying that on it too. Thank heavens it is an Ikea mattress, is only foam and is only 4″ thick. My mother insisted that we could go away over night and it would be ok. I disagreed and unfortunately am proven right. He refuses to use a litter box. If I have to go away overnight again, he will be locked in the bathroom. It is faster to repair claw marks on the door.

    • Oh MAN! My sympathies.

  • my middle dog Blake is marking in the house because my ten year old Aussie, Astro, has lymphoma. knowing why he is lifting his leg on the door frames, the frig, the kitchen cabinets, random walls, and now my leather recliner, isn’t helping me deal with or stop this misbehavior.My house stinks! all my animals are rescues, so Blake just laughs at me when i threaten to throw him out.

  • darchole

    If you’ve got trim in the area the urine could have gotten under there. You can use a small crowbar/prybar and a hammer to carefully pull the trim off to check. One of my cats had a UTI and I locked him in a bathroom and even with multiple rounds with different cleaning products including an enzyme cleaner and nearly a year later I still catch a whiff of UTI urine smell sometimes.