I do not like cat pee.

Sadly, I’ve been dealing with it for a while. And I’m tired.

So tired.

Cats are territorial, which creates difficulties when you try to introduce a mature cat into a home that already has mature cats. They don’t want to share space. Or litter boxes.

When my son taught school for two years in Mississippi, he gave the name Crookshanks to the small cat he took in, the one who greeted him at the end of each day and gave him a sense of family. She was an odd little animal who held her head at an awkward angle and had a broken tooth, perhaps from being hit by a car. She was Chris’s faithful companion and he couldn’t leave her behind when he finished his program and returned home to prepare for his wedding. After their honeymoon, Chris and Jen stayed with us until they found a place of their own, making Crookshanks a part of our household.

With our large, aggressive dog, Prince, and two cats, Daisy and Tristan, it made for an interesting summer. I don’t know if each of the felines was trying to mark its space or if they were simply taking the path of least resistance, but after Chris, Jen, and Crookie moved out, we discovered several spots around the house that had been used as potties…spots that were not litter boxes. The main spot was behind the entertainment center, a place we didn’t notice until we started looking for the source of the odor.

Yes, the odor. Of cat pee. Few things smell so bad.

Especially when they go unchecked for long periods of time. The pee and poop had been piling up for weeks. Ick. All the enzyme spray in the world is not going to eradicate that odor, especially when it has soaked through the carpet, the pad and the subfloor.

We eventually noticed pee in other places…behind my husband’s recliner and in the dining room.

The dining room. Where we serve invited guests.

Dying for an invitation, aren’t you?

We worked hard to erase the odors after Crookie left, but where cats have peed, other cats are bound to pee. If Prince were standing guard at the top of the stairs, keeping the cats from their litter box, my cats would simply pee downstairs, in the dining room or behind George’s chair.

We tried to discourage them from going near those areas. Once, when George was sitting in his chair with Tristan about to sneak behind, George called to him and patted the foot of the recliner. “Come here, Tristan! You don’t want to go back there. Come here!” Tristan hopped up and, as George was about to say, “Good boy!” Tristan peed on the recliner, right beside George’s feet.

Nice leather recliner.

Poop. Or, I should say Pee.

We’ve been battling the smell for years now. We’ve placed alarm pads near the danger zones in hopes that when the cats stepped on them, the sound would drive them away. We added another litter box, downstairs, so the cats could relieve themselves on either level of the house. We’ve used scented candles and enzyme spray almost daily.

And now, even though we still have two animals, Prince and Tristan, we decided it was time, finally, to replace the carpet, removing years of wear and tear by children and animals. We’ve been making preparations for days, moving lamps, decorations and small tables so the carpet guys only have to move the big pieces. We’ve ripped out some of the peed-on carpet to check out the condition of the subfloor. Stinky, of course. So, we’ve resorted to painting Kilz on the damaged areas to kill the cat odor, while praying that fumes from the primer don’t damage our brains.

We’ve begun to understand why retired folks downsize or move into rental retirement communities…without pets. We’re too old and tired for this shit…and pee.

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