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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cat Piss Du-Wop

There are many things I love about coming home after a weekend away:
The sight of the sparkling blue ocean we speed past on the way to our apartment.
The relaxing stretch of legs that accompanies landing home after a long drive.
The unmistakable stench of cat piss in the foyer.

Ah yes.

Wait, scratch the last one. I just got caught up in the moment.

You see, we live in a pet free building. A VERY pet free building. Back when I thought having a cat might be a good idea I pleaded with our landlord. Adam and I offered a hefty pet deposit and to put in writing that whatever damages might possibly occur, we would cover. But alas the answer was always no. And as time went by I was almost glad that it WAS no because cats, while darling, stink a little. Well their litter boxes do. Which is something I never noticed as much since growing up we always had an indoor/outdoor cat. You know a cat who hangs out in the house when its shitty out or when it feels like it but also likes going outside for a few hours and usually comes when you call it back into the house. Sometimes. If it feels like it.

Anyway, yes if you have a tiny apartment and if you are not diligent about changing the litter box,, your place stinks. If you don't think it does you either never entertain, or your friends are too nice to bring it up. This is a fact. So in some ways I am glad that the landlord vetoed our idea.

But now I get to experience all the stinkiness of having a cat without the actual fun or companionship. Gee whiz!

One night a few months ago Adam came home and mentioned it smelled disgusting in the hall way and we both concurred it was definitely cat piss. Then for a week or so it was fine. Then again we smelled it. Could it be that someone in the building has a cat? A stinky cat at that? No who would do such a thing? Then one by one the clues came in. Kitty litter tracked in the hallway. The cat piss smell lingered. A Petco receipt in the foyer. The stench grows stronger.

Adam and Sarah: Pet Detectives were on the case.

Oh yes, we deduced, Some sneaky tenant has thwarted our landlord’s heated NO PETS EVER NO WAY NO HOW NO clause and decided to do what they want. I can’t fault them – it’s their lease they are violating, not mine. And it wouldn’t be any of my business but it just so happens they are also violating our olefactory glands as well since lately it has STUNK to high heaven of cat pee in the hallway. And I know that scent well. Anyone who has smelled it once, will never forget it. And it is a nasty, nasty smell.

And you know, we live in a decent building. In a clean building. And I don’t think it’s fair that I have to smell someone else’s lack of pet hygene. And you know me, I was all prepared to address the tenant about this situation. And I had a nice way of saying it. Something like “Oh I wanted to let you know that it s really obvious by the smell out in the hallway that you have a cat…so you might want to do something about it so the landlord doesn’t catch you”. Or something like that. Like try to frame it that I am more concerned the landlord will find out about the cat and make him or her get rid of it, than I am about the fact that the common areas in our small building smell putrid because he or she is a slob and can’t empty a litter box now and again.

The only problem with my plan was: I don’t know who it is that has a cat. I had narrowed it down to the 1 of the 2 basement units since it smells the worst on that floor (coincidentally also where the laundry is). But I thought knocking on the wrong door might cause undue unrest. And I am not the cat police up in here. I couldn’t care less if you have 1o cats as long as I don’t have to smell them from all the way up on the 3rd floor where no smell that I did not create belongs.

Then, luckily, a few days ago the case broke. I was arriving home from work, unloading groceries from the trunk when I spied with my little eye, this guy.



O hai!

I took the picture to send to Adam as proof that we were not imagining things. From the window, I can tell exactly which unit this is and lo, the tenant is the same person whose car alarm goes off all hours of the night. So she is used to offending everyone’s senses. I should have guessed.

In any case now that the case has been solved, it is time to take the next step. I will put it to a vote. If you lived in my building, a vehemently pet free building, and knew someone had a cat whose urine you could smell every time you stepped out of your apartment what would you do?

1) Slip a note under the door perhaps asking if they were letting their cat piss on the hallway carpets because how else would it smell so bad in the building?
2) Just knock on the door and be all concerned about the landlord finding out and asking them to please be careful (i.e. change the litterbox more than once a month)
3) Leave a spray can of Lysol at their door
4) Get over it

I know the popular response will be 4 but it SMELLS SO BAD. It’s embarrassing when people come over that they have to traipse through the dense stench of cat urine to get to our apartment. And I am not going to get the landlord involved, I am not a total dick and I would hate for the cat to be put out.

I just wish it didn’t smell like a cat’s ass when I opened my apartment door. Is that so much to ask? IS IT!?

36 comments:

Jeannie said...

Go with Option 5): Find a stuffed black cat, stab it to their front door using a big knife, then ring the doorbell and run away. I'm sure they'll get the hint.

AnnaB said...

I vote for #2. Also, allowing the litter box to get so bad that the cat is peeing in the hallway/the odor permeates the hallway could be a bad sign. Neglect or abuse. Maybe you have that crazy cat lady living in your apt? Making an issue out of it will ultimately help the poor cat.

Nicky said...

Tattling on them to the landlord is not an option? I wouldn't worry about the cat being kicked out. It'll probably be given to a family who will actually care for it. Any owner who doesn't care enough about her pet to keep a sanitary environment for it doesn't deserve to have a cat as far as I'm concerned. Our puppy had accidents the first couple weeks we had him, yet you will not find our house stinking like dog pee.

Sarah said...

HAHA Jeanne I love your idea best, I think.

Sparky said...

I like option #2. It's helpful both to them and the cat. Or #1, a little more passive aggressive but you could make it fun by demanding "shush" money or cookies or something...

pigbook1 said...

1) where the note has the following vibe:
We know you have a cat we don't care except that you never change the litter box so can you up your responsibility quotient so we don't have to talk to the landlord about the stench?

Or jeannie's option 5 which should get the message across

Alisa said...

The frosted side of me says option #2. The plain shredded wheat side says number 5!

Erin said...

I would tell the landlord. It's not your problem, it's whoever manages your building's problem. Furthermore, I doubt that this woman will care what a neighbor has to say, passive aggresively or otherwise, if she is such a crappy tenant (the cat, alarm, smell, etc...). You can try to be nice and give her a warning, but if she's not adult enough to take care of her animal in the first place, I doubt your opinion will matter much to her.

Brenn said...

I say #2 first but if that doesn't work then tattle. Or maybe you'll get lucky and she'll move out September 1st.

Amanda said...

I'm a wicked asshole and would probably go with option #5 and tell the landlord. My philosophy is if the landlord is keeping a pleasant, clean building then people need to respect the terms of their lease.

Jenny said...

I say mail this from a different postal code than your own:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3498/3856498586_9561449537_o.jpg

Sarah said...

HAHAHA that is awesome!!!!!

kate.d. said...

hmmm i say #1 - or #2, if you'd rather do it face to face, but not in a faux-friendly kinda way - just give it to her straight! like pigbook's summary above. a courtesy warning shot, if you will.

good luck!

J said...

I vote for #1 because I am passive aggressive like that.

Jackie said...

I would slip a note under the door, therefore avoiding a face to face confrontation (which could make day to day living unpleasant should she get offended). A pleasant little anon note: "saw your kitty in the window the other day, and have noticed a bit of a kitty smell coming from your place. If you don't want to get busted by the landlord, you might want to be more careful!". That way they know that you KNOW and have given them due warning about the smell.

If it continues, one more note with a 'come on buster, smarten up or i'm tattling on the landlord' should do the trick. :)

Heidi said...

Oh, I'd just do what Jenny said! Awesome graphics HA HA!!!

hope505 said...

I'd go with #2 OR #3...I like Jackie's approach too!

For what it's worth:
in the future if you're living in a place that DOES allow cats, or you buy your home, or whatev. it IS possible to teach your cat to use the toilet! I had a siamese for 18 years and after he passed away I decided my next kitty would use the toilet. HE TOTALLY DOES.
* : )

see my blog or drop me a note if you want training tips...

No more smell, no more cat litter expen$e, changing the box, tracking litter, or any of the other catbox fun! It's heaven!

To Be Announced said...

I would go with Option 2. You have a talent of getting your point across in a nice but firm way. If you get attitude back or if things don't change, then I'd totally go with Jenny's pic/note to the landlord! :)

Anonymous said...

Tell your landlord, and hopefully she will have to get rid of the cat. This is in the cat's best interest, since anyone who's owned a cat knows how much worse that alarm clock issue is for the cat than for the neighbors! The poor thing!

Nina Diane said...

I would go with the option you didn't put up....I would tell the landlord. I would not tolerate smelling that awful smell

Anonymous said...

I would go straight to the landlord. If you confront this lady now and nothing changes and you go to the landlord later, she could retaliate.

If your living situation is that bad it's the landlord's responsibility to rectify it, and it's not your problem if she faces consequences for violating her lease.

chriz said...

Is the cat wearing a Top Hat?

Just get a strong air freshener for the hallway! Don't tattle or else karma will get you back SOMEHOW

Erin said...

Don't confront the tenant. Simply share your documentation with the landlord. He'll take care of it from there I'm sure. I just hope the poor cat doesn't end up in an animal shelter now :(

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for cats whose owners don't change their litter boxes. It's cruelty to animals.

That said, I feel sorry for people who live in a pet-free building. Something cold about that.

Sarah said...

I agree anon! If we don't end up buying a place soon, I know our next apartment will be a pet friendly zone for sure.

The Missus said...

I say go with option #2...Unless your gut tells you it will have no impact. Then just go straight to the landlord.

there's nothing wrong with "tattling." And you certainly don't have to "get over it." If there is a nasty smell in the building, it affects everyone in that building. And it's the landlord's job to make sure the rules of the building are being followed.

Kelly said...

Seriously, leave an anonymous note saying "we KNOW you have a cat, in violation of your lease. If you don't rectify the smell problem within 2 weeks we will notify the landlord." And then DO it. Some people don't aviod pets because they are mean, they can also be severely allergic. Those people seek out pet free buildings for that reason. If you had an allergy and moved into a pet free building then found out a cat was living there, how would you feel? And I wouldn't worry about the cat being sent out, I'd rejoice that an inconsiderate neighbor will have his/her lease terminated. Without return of their security deposit.

Anonymous said...

Go with Option 5. "Get a dog".

Red White and Single said...

I would also vote for #2. I wouldn't want to talk face to face in case they get irate, but you're paying to live in the place too. If she doesn't do anything maybe send an anonymous tip to the landlord.

Jen said...

I like Pigbook's note. Hopefully they'll be embarrassed and clean the kitty box better. That picture cracks me up. To me it looks like a monkey with a top hat on! haha

Anonymous said...

Are you sure the landlord will do anything? We live in an elderly housing facility that has gone completely no smoking. The buildings are small, with only a few apartments in each building. The apartments are very poorly constructed. Smoke travels easily through the poorly fitted doors and windows.

New tenants have to sign a statement that they understand they can not smoke. A new tenant moved who either fooled herself into believing she could quit or else simply lied. Anyway, she still smokes at least occasionally. Even if she smokes outside the back door, the smoke drifts back into the building or can be smelled on the second floor. Even worse, the new tenant moved into a unit, the previous tenant of which burned herself out and almost burned the building down. This had nothing to do with smoking, but it made the whole building terrified of fire.

The management was informed immediately that the new tenant was smoking. She was smoking much more often then. However, the management has done nothing.

Anonymous said...

OMG "chriz" -- I thought the same thing! the cat in the hat!!
poor thing...hope it's safe and loved. no kitty deserves to be "the stinker"!!! imagine how HE/SHE feels!
I agree with the "not fair to allergy sufferers" (not to mention landlord) concept. I'd go to the landlord and have an animal-centric approach, something like, "please promise you won't do anything that endangers the animal, like forcing her to remove it immediately" or something.
and yes, I have been a landlord before, and no, it's not easy. tenants always want things you don't want, and can do amazing amounts of damage in short periods of time.

Anonymous said...

I think you should tell your landlord. Everyone moved in with the belief that they would be living in a pet free environment. The landlord has kept it that way even in wake of some pressure. If the tenant with the cat wants to keep the pet, there are plenty of other buildings in the city where he/she can move where pets are accepted. You and the others made a choice to live pet free, and that choice has to be respected.

Rebecca Jill said...

I say #2 or #3, and if those don't work then tell. I guess I like to be nice first, but at the same time, it is a courtesy that your neighbor should recognize, since there aren't supposed to be cats there in the first place.

I now have "Smelly Cat" from "Friends" in my head after reading this. Fun times!

Anonymous said...

Tell the landlord...why should they have an animal if you cannot and have to endure their poor hygiene.

Anonymous said...

...So what did you do?????