When we first moved into our house, I didn’t understand why on humid days a part of the house smelled like we had a cat. I assumed the previous owners must have had a cat and were not very good about cleaning up after it. At least, that is what I thought until I had boys.
Well, not right away actually. For the first few years, my sons, like all kids were in diapers. (Except for, of course, those most superior children who are born to those most superior mothers who teach them how to empty their bowels on command and never, ever let a diaper come near their tiny bottoms.) While the kids were in diapers, the smell from the Diaper Genie (or even worse the smell of the Diaper Genie liners) made me forget about the cat smell – except on the most humid days.
Then, I would scrub the bathroom with the offending smell. I tried Pine Sol and bleach. I lit candles, sprayed air freshener, scattered about cottonballs soaked in vanilla extract, even made crafty little pomanders from fresh citrus and cloves. All the while, I would curse the prior owners and their cat and wonder where exactly they put a litter box in such a small bathroom.
A few months after my sons were potty-trained and taking a special glee in learning to “pee like daddy”, I started to notice the cat smell on days that weren’t even humid. I also started to notice it as I walked by the guest bathroom and the master bath. I suddenly realized the previous owners of the house didn’t have a cat, but they did have a son! A son who was about 4 years-old, a son who had been potty-trained in this house, a son just like my two sons – a son with bad aim.
I was mortified. Worse than my house smelling like a cat on some days, my house smelled like little boy pee! My little boys’ pee, their little boy’s pee! I ran around the house opening windows (no matter that it was only 40 degrees out – I would bundle the kids up.) I scrubbed each bathroom with Pine Sol and bleach. I lit candles, sprayed air freshener, scattered about cottonballs soaked in vanilla extract. I even hung up the crafty little pomanders of fresh citrus and cloves that I had made.
By the end of the day, my house smelled like a candle shop. I was pleased with myself. My boys would not turn my home into a cat shelter even if I had to race into the bathroom after every pee to make sure I removed every offending drop. And, I did. For awhile anyway.
But life got busier, my boys got bigger. They didn’t want me standing outside the bathroom door, santizing wipe in hand. I’ll do it later, when they can’t see me. Later would turn into minutes, which would turn into hours. At last, the pee had won.
While I try to keep the bathrooms as clean as I can and wipe everything down as often as I can, the fruits of my sons’ bad aim have taken hold. I have tried every way I can think of to exorcise the pee smell from my home. Every way that is, short of calling an actual preist. I don’t think they would come to my house for that.
I have finally accepted that I will need to replace every floor in every bathroom in my house. I am waiting until they move out – I don’t want to have do it twice. Until then, I will scrub and spray and scent. And, ask my guests to watch for my cat as they leave the driveway. I just don’t know where he’s gotten off to.