Sunday, March 5, 2017

An Incident At Home

A couple of days ago I noticed a strange smell in our bathroom. Actually, it was a horrible smell. First, it reminded me of burnt red cabbage combined with something industrial like turpentine, but through the day it grew stronger and became positively vile. No, VILE, like rotting flesh.

My husband came home, smelled the air in the bathroom (I kept airing it and the adjacent bedrooms as the smell started spreading there, too; but the moment I closed the bathroom door it came back). My husband agreed it was vile and payed a visit to the neighbour who had been remodeling his house. The neighbour had no smell in his bathroom and neither did he work with any strong chemical substances.

Our next thought was our sewerage system, after all it's an old house we currently live in (I probably should say "vintage" as it's from the 1930s). I suggested that a mouse crept into a pipe to die or something even worse, while my parents who phoned at that very time, were talking about the sewer gas. We checked the plumber trap by the sink and it was full of water. We plugged both the sink and the bathroom but the smell didn't go away. We took the washing basket contents apart and smelled them but noticed nothing in particular. It didn't come from a garbage can, either.

I said it must be the ventilation system and my husband said it couldn't be because the bathroom and the WC below are connected but there is no foul smell in the WC. He asked me why women were prone to being hysterical about some minor stuff. I asked him why men are so obstinate and think they know everything better. He said it's because he does know everything better. By this time, were were both talking rather louder than normal.

I went inside the bathroom and started sniffing. I noticed the smell was the worst by the door. Then it dawned on me. I picked up a mat and voila, it smelled. No, stank. It was wet, too, but then someone had just taken a shower. I took it out and placed it on the radiator in the spare bedroom, closed the door and opened the window, but the next morning the whole bedroom stank. The mat was dry by now and when I examined it, I suddenly understood what it was all about. The cat had peed on it!!! I remembered him sneaking into the bathroom the day before.

And so the riddle of the horrible smell was solved by me. I'm not quite a Miss Marple, but getting there:)

BTW, I saved the mat, too, by washing it at 60*C though it did come out rather wrinkled (it's supposed to be washed at 30*C I think), but at least, it smells decently now!


  1. Years ago our kitty did that on a small rug that we had at the front door. We were certain the kitty did it, as we had no other indoor pets at the time. We, too had a search for the mystery stink. It didn't take us too long to figure out where it was coming from. It was an inexpensive rug, so I took it out to the garbage can.

    A few years later, after the stinky memory wasn't so fresh in our minds, I got another small nonslip, rubber-backed rug for in front of that door. It was there for one night and the cat peed on that rug, and so did our dog, who was a new member of our household at that time. I imagine once the cat did it there, then the dog came along and did the same thing. It was even more awful than with the first rug.

    The cat is in kitty heaven (not because of the rug incident, but old age. He died at 17 years old) and our dog is 11 years old now. I haven't put a rug in front of the door since then. Maybe there is some sort of chemical or glue that they use in those rugs that pets react to in that way. I have heard of other people whose kitties have done the same thing.

    I have a much keener sense of smell than my husband has. The "discussion" you and your husband were having, sounds similar to my husband and I. We have been having those types of "discussions" occasionally for nearly 43 years now.

  2. Susie, lol! Our cat is (or used to be:) a tomcat, and he's done it a couple of times before, after which we had him neutered. I probably should have suspected him right away, but the smell was nothing like, in fact, it was just terrible. I kept thinking that something died and was disintegrating, or that some poisonous gas was being spread around. May be, it had to do with the rubber underneath the mat, getting by turns dry and wet again, I don't know...

    As for my husband, you should have seen his face expression when I came downstairs and had to admit it was neither the sewer pipe nor the ventilation system - smug doesn't begin to describe it:)

  3. I'm so glad your kitties are ok. I was afraid the story would end up being about a dead cat.

    I have a 15 year old cat who I adopted when she was 12 and she has a thing for peeing in trays. We would always have a boot tray out by the door but once we got her, we can't have it anymore because she will pee in it.

    I can't complain. At least peeing in a tray is neat as far as cats peeing on things go. :-)

  4. Dawn, no, thank goodness, they are both doing great:) The one is still an ahem, "man", and he mostly goes outside to do his stuff. The other one, featured in the picture, has figured out that a cat litter box is warm and cosy, so now we have to clean it twice a day.But he still likes dark corners, so I'll have to keep an eye on him.

  5. Housewife OutdoorsMarch 6, 2017 at 6:03 AM

    In animal households, the first suspect is ALWAYS the animal if there is a case of Mysterious Odours.

  6. Well, I've learned it now:)

  7. If your kitty continues to pee in the house when she usually does her business outside, or if he chooses odd places like the bathmat rather than the litter box he is accustomed to, this could be a sign of illness. It might be indicative of a UTI, especially in male cats. I would keep an eye open - and your nose attuned for smells! Since you didn't suspect the cat right away as the cause of the odor, he/she probably has not done this before, and to do so again might indicate it's time for a trip to the vet.

  8. Thanks for your concern, Joyce! He's definitely done it before, simply this time the smell was by some reason very strong (probably because of the interaction with plastics/rubber underneath the mat).

    The reason for this behaviour in his case is most probably the fact that both our cats till recently were not neutered males. They also fight and steal each other's food, I'm afraid. Tarl (that's his name) wanted that his smell dominated, and boy, did he succeed:) He was also constantly outside, fighting. Now that we had him neutered he's getting more quiet, but it takes time I suppose.