Subourbon Mom


Princess and the Pee

Coming back to reality after Spring Break—a snow storm in March (Are you kidding me?) naturally sucks. Coming home to find the cats have spite-peed on your daughter’s bed REALLY sucks.

And it’s also kind of funny, in a twisted way.  Just stick with me on this one.

In my house, the pets have aligned themselves with family members.  Hubby gets the psycho kitty we nursed from the time she was 3 days old; Daughter #2 has the beast in the barn; Daughter #1 gets Isabella FATrice (Izzy), our pudgy, orange cat who treats everyone like staff; and by default, I get The Dog.  Never mind the fact that I’m the one who gets up at six EVERY MORNING to feed them and let them out. For the most part, they simply tolerate me.

If Izzy (the orange cat) were to be on the game Survivor, she would probably be voted out near the end—she’s a leader who gets things done by being vocal and acting like she’s in charge, but in the end, it’s The Dog who would win, because The Dog flies under the radar, also getting what she wants but without the attitude.

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The Dog: note the super-soft blanket and matching manicure (thanks Aussie Pet Mobile!) as she lounges on my side of the couch.

For years I’ve been secretly jealous of Daughter #1 and her relationship with the princess pussycat.  It is like being in middle school all over again.  The popular girls (Daughter #1 and Izzy) hang out exclusively, draped all over each other, gossiping and messing with each other’s hair.  If I come in with some silly request like, “Please take the sheets off your bed so I can wash them,” I am met with an irritated meow. Pushing up my glasses (these days they’re “cheaters”), I retreat to the unpopular kids’ table (i.e. my room) and sulk.  I’m clearly the lowest creatures on the social totem pole in our house (except for maybe the fish). By asking Daughter #1 to move Izzy, I have clearly imposed my presence on the popular girls’ space.

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See? She even looks like a Mean Girl!

But as I took a bath on our first night home to ease my quads that were still burning from all the Spring Break hiking and zip-lining, I heard Daughter #1 through the wall:

Daughter #1: “Oh my God! Mooooooooommm!”

Me: (silence—I was ignoring them—bath time is sacred)

Daughter #1:  “You guys, come in here and look at this!” (thumping as Daughter #2 enters the room.)

Daughter #2 starts laughing.

Both Girls:  “Moooooooom!” (still silent)    “Daaaaaaaad!”  (also wisely silent)

Me: (I sigh and get out of the tub, knowing the alternative is a visitor, and all the bubbles have gone—always awkward.)

When I got to Daughter #2’s room she is nearly in tears.  Apparently, despite having a litter box handy the whole time we were gone, one or both of the cats spite-peed in her bed—a massive puddle that told me they’d been saving for at least a couple of days. (The Dog hd been farmed out to my mom’s.)

I looked at the clock—it was late, and I was NOT going back to the store.  So, I looked on-line for what I could use in the house, and quickly made up the extra bed for Daughter #2.  (I’ve copied the instructions below, in case anyone else ever has this issue—it worked!!)

The upside of the whole event was watching the Popular Girl drama play out over the next couple of days.  Izzy was banned from Daughter #1’s presence, sitting outside the bedroom, meowing, looking miserable and triumphant at the same time, like the best friend of the popular girl who managed to steal the popular girl’s boyfriend—the victory was soooo worth the short-term social ostracism to follow.  When that didn’t work, Izzy switched “besties” and went to Daughter #2’s room. She took to hanging out there, sleeping on Daughter #2’s stomach all night. Daughter #2 was happy enough to have the company, but she’s never needed approval from the popular crowd.

Even though Daughter #1 might not admit it, Izzy’s defection bugged her. Eventually, she relented, and Izzy was accepted back into the popular girl club’s good graces, trailing after Daughter #1 all day like a remora near a shark, making mean-girl comments to anybody who walked by (me).

Now, if the cat does it again and I can’t get the stench out, the she will be expelled, or at least placed in some serious detention. But until then, I’ll just keep hovering in the social wings of our pet-centered home, hoping that maybe The Dog will let me have my spot back on the couch.

Here’s the recipe from Animal Planet for de-funking cat pee (it really worked!):

  1. Blot dry or if already dry, get wet with water and blot dry the excess urine.
  2. Soak with mixture of water and vinegar. Vinegar is great for killing bacteria. This mixture is perfect for both old and new stains. Try 1 1/2 cups of warm water and a ½ cup of vinegar. Pour this concoction over the stain and soak for about 3 to 5 minutes. Note: vinegar is not good for marble or stone.
  3. There’s nothing like good all-purpose baking soda. After the water and vinegar solution is dry, sprinkle the area with baking soda. How much is enough? A lot.
  4. You’re not done just yet with the homemade remedies. Mix 3/4 cup of three percent hydrogen peroxide (you know you have some under your bathroom sink) with 1 teaspoon of dish detergent. Sprinkle this solution over the baking soda and test a small spot. You need to do this because sometimes peroxide can discolor or bleach fabrics (source). Work the baking soda into the fabric or carpet.
  5. It’s time to let the mixtures dry for a few hours (I did 36 hours). Once the spot’s good and dry, vacuum the excess baking soda. If the stain is extremely tough, repeat the entire process again.
  6. If homemade mixing is not your thing, there are commercial products on the market that work well too. Make sure to look for cleaners that contain enzymes because they work to break down the urine and neutralize the odor (source). Make sure you follow the instructions carefully on these products.
  7. Just because you can’t see the stain, doesn’t mean you can’t smell the stain. Deodorizing must be part of the equation. Once again, baking soda and a mixture of detergent and water will help minimize odors.


Lucy the Licking Wonder Dog
November 22, 2013, 1:50 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The holidays are upon us, and for most people that means lots of food, shopping, and visits with family. If you’re from The South, that means re-hashing behind kitchen doors the latest escapades of our eccentric relatives, and saying “Bless her heart” a lot.  Those same relatives serve a very important purpose during the holidays: they are the people who keep our own families from going at each other across the table. Why pick on your sister when the easier target just shot three holes in his roof while chasing an opossum that turned out to be Cousin Elgin’s old beaver hat?

The holidays also mean one other thing—cleaning.

I don’t just mean taking a swipe at the dust sprinkled on the dining room table. I’m talking about on-your-knees, hip-throbbing, “Oh My God There’s A Mouse Under The Bed—Oh Wait, It’s Just A Dust Bunny” CLEANING…

Mostly, I just let things go until company is coming, or the family is plucking that last nerve, and I clean to prevent infanticide. It just doesn’t bother me as much as some people. Years ago, one of my friends gave me the nicest, back-handed southern compliment ever when she said, “I just love how you’re so comfortable with your house like this.” But now, the holidays are here, and it’s time to break out the old elbow grease and see how much damage has been done since the last time I cared.

Polishing the silver is my least favorite part. Not only did I have to promise to use the silver (or it would be hauled back to my mother’s house, where it would once again have a loving home nestled in velvet), I had to promise to never use the instant polish. Not using the instant polish means that for one evening, usually during the Sunday night football game, I am camped out on the living room floor, rubbing silver with a toothbrush. If you’ve never polished silver, here’s something you may not know—it sucks all the liquid out of your skin for days, leaving you looking a zombie with withered, gray, corpse-like hands. Three days after the scrubbing, rinsing and wiping, I can still still smell the chalky, coppery scent on my fingers, and I incessantly rub Pond’s hand cream into the cracks of my hands until I look like Lady MacBeth after her killing spree.

But mostly, I like cleaning when it’s been awhile—there is something viscerally satisfying about seeing the dust and dog hair swirling around inside my bagless vacuum cleaner. Same with the steam cleaner–nothing gets me more excited when I’m cleaning then seeing that black, dirty carpet water pour down the sink. It’s like when you were little and you had to keep peeking at that really nasty scrape on your knee–you just had to peel back the band-aid to see how bad it was.

IMG_1817I do have one favorite new cleaning tool, and most people will probably find it disgusting, but it’s efficient.  The wall where The Dog’s food bowl is kept is constantly covered with dried up flecks of dog food. For years I’ve tried everything to get the wall clean, even fading the paint job by using straight bleach. Once, I even painted over it (not a good idea, it just looked lumpy). But the other night, my neighbor brought his old beagle, Lucy, over for a visit. Lucy, bless her heart, licked at that wall until it looked brand new. I don’t know what is in Lucy’s saliva, but it’s way better than a Magic Sponge or bleach. After Lucy left, I wiped the dog spit off the wall and marveled at her secret super power. From now on, I’m just going to sprinkle some old bacon grease on the baseboards, call Lucy inside, and let her go to work while I watch Duck Dynasty.

Now you know who my cousins and aunts and uncles will be talking about behind their closed kitchen doors as they carve the turkey and mix up the stuffing.

“Bless her heart, she’s so worn out she lets the dog clean the floors for her.”




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