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We have three cats. We started with one - Thurman - but I think I've got a touch of "crazy cat lady" in me because over the span of six years or so, we've ended up with two extras (Ava and Meeko). But I draw the line at three cats because I have this thing about my house smelling like litter box. Do you ever wonder if you're those people and don't know it? You know, the people who walk around perpetually smelling like fried food ... or animals ... or cigarettes ... or something else unpleasant (cough*grayhoody*cough)? They seem so oblivious to it. They just walk around, rockin' the pungent scent of stank, blissfully unaware of the nose-wrinkling stench they're imposing on those within sniffing distance. I think that's because they don't notice - they're just so used to the smell that they don't even smell it.

And that, y'all, is why I'm paranoid about the way my house smells. I'm scared to death that it reeks like the inside of a monkey cage in here and everyone who visits is too polite to tell me. I am constantly scrubbing, freshening, and disinfecting something in this joint, but with the volume of excretion going on, you know (not to mention the regular household smells like dishes and trash and laundry and four little dirt-magnets boys and a husband whose socks stay crusty even after a good washing) ... it's hard to keep up with.

Anyway, last Friday night Colin's friend invited him to a sleepover. His dad called and said they'd be over to pick Colin up in fifteen minutes, so we scrambled to get his stuff together. I wanted to put it all by the door so that when they came, I could just usher him out with a quick hug and a wave. Mostly because my house looked like this and I didn't want to invite anyone in:

... and that was just the kitchen.

But then Colin couldn't find his coat. (Like ... how do you lose a coat?) And as I descended the stairs to the front entryway, in order to search through the coat rack again, my nostrils burned with a stench so horrible, so permeating, that no air freshener would have touched it. One of the cats had just taken a particularly heinous dump in the litter box, located in the laundry room, which is just steps away from the front door. You can't see the box from the door, but at that moment you could have smelled it from Califreakingfornia.

And before I had the chance to do anything about it, I heard a car pull up in the driveway. OMG. I went into hurry-up-so-they-don't-have-to-come-inside mode.

"Okay well Colin?" tugging him down the stairs, "Your ride is here honey so let's just go don't worry about your coat you can just wear your brother's it fits," struggling to stuff arms in coat sleeves, "here's your bag the toothbrush is in the front pocket don't forget your pillow," shoving overnight gear into his bewildered grasp, "use manners and be on your best behavior I'll be by at about nine in the morning to pick you up I love you son sweet dreams!"

But it was too late. As much as I tried to catapult Colin out the door, we just weren't fast enough. The doorbell rang. And if it had been a balmy spring day I'd have just talked to the dad on the porch but, well, it's February in Iowa. I had to let them in.

As I opened the front door, the rush of cold, fresh air from outside just seemed to accentuate the poo smell. Mortified, I let them in, my internal monologue racing as I made the required small talk. Does he smell it? Surely he smells it. He has to smell it. Should I explain? Like, oh, sorry about the horrible stench, one of my cats forgot to use air freshener, ha ha? No way, I can't explain. That would be so awkward. I should just not say anything about it and hope he hasn't noticed. Oh please just let him not notice. OMG, is he making a face? Does he look kind of disgusted? Is he thinking, "Geez, this house smells like straight-up shit?" Is he going to go home and tell his wife? What if he thinks it's me?

I never could determine if he noticed or not. If he did, it didn't bother him enough to cut the small talk short. But as for myself, I was inwardly cringing the whole time. And the second after they left, I scooped the offending dump out of the cat box, sprinkled some baking soda in the litter, sprayed air freshener, and lit candles. And then sprayed every soft surface in my house with some Febreze.

Hey, no one's ever been accused of smelling too good.

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  1. I had to LOL at this one....you are your mother's daughter! You know how paranoid I am about how the house smells (and personal hygiene, as you recall). That's one of those moments when Cameron would have said, "Awkward!" in that cute little voice. Your house always smells great to me - and you know what a "sniffer" I am. (Except, of course, for those special moments after a particularly heinous cat-dump.) LOL again!

  2. I always have this fear, too. You can't smell your own house's smell. I don't want my kids to be the stinky ones.

  3. you and me are so alike! At one point i had 5 cats and 3 dogs and wouldn't let ANYONE come over for fear of being "that house"!!

    We now have 2 cats and 3 dogs and i still fight that fear every day even though all my HONEST friends tell me it doesn't smell.. I still light a candle about 30+ min before anyone comes over :-)

  4. OMG! I laughed so hard I cried...My cats used to do this to me all the time.

  5. I understand Reet....between the litter box of just one cat and Lucy's skin issues I have those same thoughts when someone comes t o our door! lol


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