Not so long-ago in a failed attempt to meet single men, I took a wine-tasting course (refer to “Felines and Valentines“). Sauvignon Blanc we were taught, is often described as smelling like “cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush” – and this desirable, a sign of a good wine. I remember thinking how strange it was that as a cat owner of 5+ years I didn’t know what cat pee smelled like. I found the phrase interesting (why a gooseberry bush in particular?) and couldn’t wait until I found a way to use it in a post.
Fast forward to today.
It was a beautiful day in NYC with temperatures in the low 70s. Leaving work I walked through Madison Square Park the Flatiron Building to my right and the Empire State to my left. I felt like a kid leaving school for the day – the night was young. I had visions of dining al fresco but first had to go home to feed the kitties.
Let me back up a moment and fill you in on my foster situation. While picking up Haddie (foster) from Petco Sunday, the City Critter folks asked if I wouldn’t mind taking sweet 8 month old Karina home with me for three days. She’d been adopted but they still needed to conduct a home visit before she could be placed. Being the sucker I am I agreed without giving it a second thought.
Karina is a beautiful grey tabby who’s very affectionate, but I quickly learned upon bringing her home, a bit skittish around other cats (good thing she’s being adopted as a single!). She okay when I first brought her back to my place Sunday evening. But as of Monday morning she’d taken up residence under my bed.
So I got back to my apartment after work today and went to find Karina to make sure she was okay. As I walked up my stairs I noticed a strange scent…it got stronger as I entered my room. There on my down comforter was a pile of poop. But I knew that couldn’t be the source of pungent aroma that filled the room (did I mention we got into the 70s today?).
Without thinking I ripped the comforter and sheets off the bed, dumped them into the tub and ran the water at full force adding Woolite for good measure. I then Googled where I learned I’d done exactly what NOT to do in this situation. I’d successfully turned a small urine patch into an entire feather-filled comforter of eau d’urine.
The I HAVE CAT facebook fans were full of advice. Some said to dry clean but not only was i embarrassed to take a stinking pile of bedding to the dry cleaner, I didn’t like the thought of having it in my apartment all night, giving the other cats the chance to mark their territory. Others suggested using rubbing alcohol, Nature’s Miracle or vinegar. One reader told me I needed to purchase washable bedding (I take offense to that. Why should I have to compromise? If I have children I’m sure as heck not going to cover my sofa in plastic!). While yet another reprimanded me for having a feather comforter in the first place (inhumane I guess?).
I doused everything with Nature’s Miracle which I randomly had on-hand and an entire bottle of vinegar I had just purchased for cleaning the coffee pot/maker.
More pressing, I needed quarters. I hated the idea of going to a bodega (that’s a deli for y’all not in NYC) and buying a soda only to ask for 5 dollars in quarters. Well they say necessity is the mother of invention. I guess something kicked in because without thinkingI flagged down a taxi driver and he gladly exchanged his quarters for my dollars. Then I schelpped a soggy IKEA bag full of laundry next door to the washer dryer in the basement.
Oh, did I mention my comforter is dryclean only? Small hick-up. Everything I read online said to dry the comforter with clean tennis shoes (who has those?). A few facebook fans suggested tennis balls as a substitute. I also recalled my mom having used some downey softener “balls” in the dryer when I was home for Easter. I set out to find one of the two at 8pm on a Tuesday evening. No dice. The closest thing I found after visiting 2 drugstores and a grocery store was a miniature basketball.
I gave it a try, but the ball was too large and heavy and kept knocking the dryer door open. I guess Haddie has a new toy.
With the comforter in the dryer, I stopped by the local wine store to treat myself. The proprietor (thankfully he isn’t Italian or Middle Eastern or I’m sure I would be quizzed as to I’m in there so often alone), began to tell me the store cat Jack was having difficulty urinating (the irony). I was fearful to ask if he’d taken him to the vet as so many NYC establishments have cats as employees (mousers) rather than as pets. Thankfully he had and Jack was on a daily regime of medicines.
I went to pet Jack who suddenly became veeeery interesting in my hand. Just then I remembered that I probably reeked of cat pee myself, having been handing all that laundry. I made a hasty retreat not wanting to stick around to see how Jack would react.
So here I am, at 10:13pm on a Tuesday evening, enjoying my Prosecco waiting for the dry cycle to end, hoping I don’t have to purchase a brand new comforter. The exciting life of a singleton living in the city – with cat (s).
Well, at least now I know what a good Sauvignon Blanc smells like.