Pipi de chat

I am being driven completely berserk by the fact that I can smell cat pee somewhere in this house. I notice it most in this room, and I am forever in here kneeling and sniffing the floor. If the neighbors are looking in they are now convinced I am spending an inordinate amount of time praising Allah.

I have scrubbed the floor with white vinegar. I have sprayed enzyme spray. I have painted the brick on the hearth, hoping paint smell would drown it out. By the way, the hearth does not look good. Something about how now I can’t tell the hearth is made of brick anymore. Now it just looks like my hearth is made of sheet cake.

Still, I can smell it, the elusive haunting pee de chat. The floor de toilette. I hope to god no kitten peed on this cowboy chair that is just a scratched old leather chair I got at the secondhand store along with my raspberry beret but it’s so comfy and I love it and THESE DAMN FOSTER KITTENS RUIN EVERYTHING.

I’ve asked my coworker to bring in her black light, and also to turn on her heartlight, but she is in a particularly hellish stretch of work and might forget as she did yesterday. I guess I could really get my OWN black light, which would also show off my Pink Floyd posters to perfection, but I hate to spend.

Anyway it’s weighing on me.

I didn’t talk to you yesterday because I slept not at all the night before and didn’t get up till 8 a.m. I’d gone out for coffee with someone on Sunday, at 2 p.m., and I guess I am now officially Too Old® to have coffee at 2 o’clock. I used to snort 10 bricks of blow off hookers at 10:30 p.m. and sleep like a baby and look at me now.

I technically don’t know if blow comes in brick form, and I really need to brush up on m’street lingo if I’m going to sound official, like Huggy Bear or other similarly street individuals.

Yesterday afternoon I took my 3 o’clock walk with Fewks and Griff, my coworkers. Wait, no. It wasn’t Griff. It was Austin. See? That’s how tired I was. Had I not missed 112 hours of work this year due to my concussion I’d have mos def (Huggy Bear said to type that) called in sick yesterday. Instead, red-eyed, I walked with m’coworkers. That’s dedication to work, getting up and walking through the park. Take note, higher-ups.

I ran into Austin this weekend, actually, at the store. I’d gone in for ONE CUPCAKE. I didn’t want to buy four in a package or what have you, because I’m on this diet. But I still had room in my calories that day to get one. But the only place to buy just one was behind the counter and I was too humiliated to do that, like I was asking for condoms or something.

When I turned to leave, dejected and cupcake-less, there was Austin, with of course kale in his cart. He’s the guy who, when you’re starving at work, says, “I have yellow pepper cut up!”

I told him why I was there, and he said, “Kale and Cupcake. We sound like a bad cop show.” Clearly he did not hear I’m Huggy Bear. You know the last character I’d be? Huggy anything. Get the fuck off me.

Anyway, my point is, I went for a walk with Austin and Fewks but not Griff, who hurt his knee or his hip or his bursitis is acting up or whatever old man thing was wrong with him, so he stayed in and listened to AM radio and added Cremora to his coffee and mixed up some liverwurst to put on a saltine.

I mentioned during the walk that I hadn’t slept the night before. “Why not?” one of them pretended to care.

“I don’t know,” I said. “My mind was just racing.” I pictured the inside of my head like a pinball machine. “My mind was just going ‘Ching Chong Ching Ching Ching Chong.'”

There was a silence. “That was pretty racist, June.”

I paused. I know I hadn’t slept, but…what?


“…OH MY GOD I WAS BEING A PINBALL MACHINE,” I yelled, and everyone annoys me. Then we spent the rest of the walk talking about a more accurate pinball machine onomatopoeia, which we decided was, “PING, PING PING PONG, PING.”

Whatever. I’m misunderstood in my time.

I’m tryina think of what else happened this weekend that I didn’t tell you about because I was awake ching chonging all night Sunday.

I went downtown this weekend, which is not a euphemism.

^^ That’s an alley out behind Kit’s store and the bookstore and, you know, behind all stores cause it’s an alley. It finally rained this weekend and is starting to feel autumnal out, which is a relief considering I spent all of September in a bikini.

Well. I mean, I wore pearls and a bikini during work hours.

But soon I can wear little coats and shawls like I’m 90, which I almost am, and boots, oh boots.

By the way, speaking of the photo session with Milhous and the pumpkin, note the guy next door’s house, with the sheet on the window. I GAVE him the curtains that used to hang here. They were nice but they were beige and you know how I feel about beige. But he didn’t put them up. He put sheets up instead. What made him say, “These sheets are so much more charming”? Maybe he hates beige too.

A bunch of us tried to get his water back on but it’s sisyphean. And it involves someone driving him down there with two forms of ID. And then one neighbor backed out of chipping in cause he got mad about something the guy next door did.

Meanwhile, this weekend, I was out there trimming my bushes, again not a euphemism, and not only did the guy next door, old sheet window treatments, come out with much bigger clippers and just start chopping the bushes for me, the across the street neighbor also came over even though he’s the one who’s mad at the guy next door, and he pulled out my small dead evergreen that had become an everbrown. It wasn’t even brown, really, it was just becoming mostly twig. It was everbones.

Anyway they worked together despite whatever gossipy hen party thing is going on between them (I know what it is but I’m not telling you because I’m so classy) for no reason other than they were being helpful. And hoping I’d give them beer and/or beer money. Which I did. Look, I wasn’t gonna be able to take down an everbrown myself. The neighbor saw me trying to kick it over and came over with a saw. He SAW the whole thing.

You’re welcome.

Also, note in the photo above that we all have identical trees in our backyards, but how did my neighbor’s just up and die? What happened to his tree? Mine is lush and huge and old and beautiful and his is a stick. Why?

I hope he never cuts it down, though, because there is a big hollow in that tree that all the squirrels live in and I love seeing them pop in and out of their hole like Keebler squirrel elves. Keebler Squelves. Welcome to my mind.

I gotta go. I gotta shower and go to work. I have appointments of some kind every day this week, and that annoys. I went to bed at 8 o’clock last night and slept till 6:45, due to my lack of sleep the night before, which perhaps I mentioned.

Then I got up and praised Allah because WHERE IS THAT CAT PEE SMELL COMING FROM, and now we’re full circle.


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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

48 thoughts on “Pipi de chat”

  1. Can you put the chair in the garage and then see if the odor is gone? That’s how I decided an old armchair was the source of a bad smell.


  2. Praise Allah for YOU, June. Another lovely post. My neighbor had sheets hanging in her living room window. I had some extra blinds I was going to offer her, but she recently moved. Problem solved.


    1. Do people just not think about how much their crappy stuff depresses the neighbors? Like, there’s a young couple across the street. They’re quiet, relatively friendly, but GODAMMIT they have shit on their porch. It’s not a porch so much as it is a utility closet. Old cat condos, brooms, plastic broken stuff. Oh my god, it’s depressing to see.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Looks like the code people would help keep the city from looking like a dump. As much as I hate HOAs I understand stand why they exist.


      2. I wish I could post a picture of the pile of crap my neighbor has by the side and front of his garage. But he might find it and then murder me. Dude is scary.

        He has a set of trash cans the former owner left behind that he filled with garbage and then taped shut. They’ve been there for 18 months now. Add that to the piles of wood he drags home, the sign that he painted that says “road closed-detour” and posted on the 4th of July when he decided he wanted the road closed, the random grill parts, plumbing scraps, loose shinges… it’s a real sight to behold.


  3. Hopefully the blacklight will help. The one I got is only moderately useful…it’s better for spotting the cat puke spots on the carpet than it is at pee. Basically it works better at things that haven’t soaked in too far. Worth a try though! I hate smelling pee and not being able to find it. Could they have peed in that basket? I’d think that would be more noticeable though.


  4. I like how your two neighbors could work together to help you even if one guy was mad at the other. I can imagine across-the-street-neighbor thinking, “Well, if HE’s going to help June, then I am, too. Can’t let him show me up.” How nice to have helpful neighbors, even if it’s for the beer money.


  5. I don’t remember what your litter box situation is – do you have one of those self-cleaning ones or regular? Anyway, plastic eventually absorbs odors so an older litter box will eventually just smell like pee. And the cat pee smell in our little house went away when I got a Litter Genie. I was constantly hunting for the pee smell before that and fyi a black light will show old stains that have been cleaned but they might look paler.


  6. I loved your non-euphemisms. Also enjoyed your sheet cake hearth. Not sleeping is the worst. Weird but that was me constantly before they FINALLY decided I had celiac disease. Thus my love of your sheet cake hearth.

    My 1st floor bathroom smelled like pee all the time. I don’t have cats but I have lots ‘o boys. I blamed them till a guy doing work in my house told me the ring under the toilet – the seal- was bad. Caused the tile to buckle and a constant pee smell. Gross. Good luck figuring it out. I am surprised you can smell it. I go to pet owners’ houses at times and I think ‘how are you not smelling that?’ They seem not to notice. Lady that cuts my hair in her house has several dogs and the house smells HORRID!


    1. The story of the stinky house of dogs, reminds me of the time someone I knew who owned pets was preparing to sell her house. When the realtor came over to meet with her, he told her she would have to get rid of the odor in her house and she had no idea there was an odor. Once you live with it daily, sometimes you can no longer smell it.


  7. I dust my walls about every three months. Not that I want to but if I see dust on one spot and clean it, my husband swears the whole house is dusty and he’s sick. I try to hide but he catches me everytime.


    1. “Sisyphean” triggers a memory. A fourth-grader taking a reading test I was proctoring had a question telling the myth of Sisyphus; he was to choose the best answer for the meaning of sisyphean. He asked me how to pronounce Sisyphus. I said I wasn’t allowed to say, but just do the best he could. He said, “Okay, when I get to that name I’ll just call him Bob.”

      I loved that kid.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel ya for the cat pee smell. I can’t rest until I find it. Drives me crazy. Now I need to dust my walls.


  9. Loved this post, well, not the part about the cat pee. Once you get the black light you will be able to locate the problem areas. Then apply…are you ready?… denatured alcohol. I KNOW I sound like a broken record, but that stuff works.

    Not being able to sleep is miserable! That’s why I have stopped consuming any caffeine any time of the day, not even sweet iced tea (southern table wine), so now it’s herb tea or water. I’m off to have a cup of water.


  10. I do that sniffing everything routine on the regular because one of my dog is an a**hole. If it rains or even looks like it’s threatening to rain, he will NOT go outside. The diva will wait until no one’s looking, then pee in the house. One time I couldn’t find where the smell was coming from – first the kitchen, then the living room…. Turns out he’d peed on the hoodie that my middle daughter was wearing (not while she was wearing it, one would hope). How did she not realize it?!?! So gross.


    1. I just read somewhere that the reason dogs don’t like to go outside is the sound of rain hurts their ears. If that’s true they need to get over it.


      1. I read that too. Mine will go out or not depending on how hard it is raining so I’m not sure if I accept that theory.


        1. I think some dogs don’t like rain because there is something from the sky hitting them in the face and they don’t understand what’s going on. Some get used to it, some don’t.


    2. My little dog is a no-go when it’s raining, too. Well, no go outside that is. It’s a total go in the house. My theory is she doesn’t like the wet grass touching her belly. She will happily go in the front yard though, which is weird. But there’s no fence, so that’s a last resort when I need her to go out and pee before I leave the house on a rainy day.

      She always pees in the same place – on the throw rug by the back door – so it’s not a disaster to clean up. But the last time I washed the rug… still smelled pee. Washed the floor UNDER the rug. Still pee. Finally got my sniffer down there and discovered she had peed DOWN THE REGISTER. That was fun to clean out.

      Why do we live with these animals again?


  11. This post is a delight! But omg I spent whole time thinking your mentions of Huggy Bear = band from 90s. Hello confusion. Hello Google. And now I cannot unsee those outfits. The 70s can’t possibly be real. (*I also think now cannot possibly be real so, you know, nothing personal 70s.)


    1. Your houses look so lovely, even with the sheets in the window next door. Will there be trick-or-treaters, one wonders? It’s good to have neighbors that will help with the landscaping (not a euphemism). Love to Eye-Riss.


  12. Great post, June. Glad you got some good sleep, finally. Man, not getting enough shut eye makes everything more irritating. Cute pics of Milhous, too.


    1. Been there, had that. Also, to my shock and horror mice had come into the house through the gas pipe behind the oven and they scavenged the house at night, I guess. Now I am going to tell you all a great big secret nobody else knows. I couldn’t get rid of the smell so I decided it was coming from UNDER the house and I insisted that all the old insulation be torn out from under the house because surely a critter or two was living under there, and new insulation and a new vapor barrier put in. $$$$$ later, smell still there. Tracked it down (finally) to (this is too embarrassing to tell) a mouse “latrine” set up behind my huge oak bachelor’s desk in the bedroom. They were coming through the house to get occasional spilled bird seed from inside the back porch. I finally found their droppings back there with seed hulls. I silently cleaned up the mousey droppings & pee spots, disinfected everything and all the baseboards, had a handyman find the entry point and never said one blessed word to my husband. Not a little mousey peep did I make–ever.


  13. Whenever there’s a mysterious smell I can’t get rid of, I Swiffer the walls. Sounds odd, I know, but it helps a lot. I’m always shocked by how dusty the walls are. My theory is the dust traps odors.
    Now I’ve made it sound like I have a stinky house! I DON”T. But let’s face it, sometimes there’s weirdness.
    Great post, June! I love your tales of afternoon walks.


    1. I live in an old house and have forced air heating so I also Swiffer my walls, at least once a year when the heat goes off. And/or inbetween if I see dust just hanging down.


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