Preserving the Evidence
Would You Like to Hear All About My Dog's Bladder Functions?

Signs & Wonders

And on the first day of the first open house, God said, "Let there be ugly."


And it was so.

Our open house was extremely well-attended by lots of people who absolutely loved our condo despite having absolutely no intention of actually buying our condo. Plus one lady who complained about a "cat odor."

CAT ODOR? OH MY GOD. I know I joked about living in filth before, but...I meant I never dusted my baseboards, not rancid cat urine.

I can't even tell you how paranoid I am about it now, walking around and sniffing everything because I don't smell a cat odor, but you know those crazy old ladies who end up with 176 cats never smell anything either, and then the neighbors go on the news and say things like, "Well, she seemed normal enough, except HOO BOY, you could knock trees over with that stench that strong."

In summary: Yes. I've officially lost it. This is what real estate does to you, or maybe it's just the prolonged exposure to lemon-scented Pledge.


But look at those adorable gleaming-white baseboards! Awww, I love them.



Wait, do you even *have* a cat? I should know this. I've been reading a long time.
At any rate, don't let the freaks make you paranoid.


Whew. I can smell it from here! Oh, wait. Shit That is MY cats' smell. Sorry.
I have chocolate sponge for you. Where do I send it


Crappily punctuated first post. Sorry. There were 0 when I checked the site and I got so rattled I didn't check. My bad.
Please tell us that Noahlah is not sporting a pony tail à la Ryder Russell Robinson.


Pictures! Yay! Just go get some of those cinnamon buns in a can and bake them in your oven when people come over.

Sarah Marie

Look at that mouth full of adorable gleaming-white TEETH! Is Molar Watch 2006 over with yet?

Spiral Stairs

You should post the listing details of your condo here. You would probably find some potential buyers willing to pay a "celebrity premium" to live in Amalah's house. You know, like the Manson house.

Y from the internet

Just do what I did when my ass exploded in your hotel room bathroom! Spray lots of your hair products everywhere! It works!


I was getting all ready to write about how mulling cider in the fall might be a cozy way to cover cat tracks (I'm an expert with two cats in <750 sq. ft.), but I've been distracted by Y and DEFINITELY need to hear the story from the hotel bathroom. Yikes!


Where is the photo of Max looking all shifty eyed and angry that he was accused of being smelly? Oh wait, I may have imagined that as the punctuating photo for the post. At least the lady didn't complain of a lack of tire decor because we all know that you have it covered and THAT would be an insult; referencing your lack of tire dedication.


Oh shit. I can't even imagine the horror you must have felt, because dude, I know that fear. When you have a cat, it's there. I wander around most nights looking for stray poop, because I SMELL POOP, DAMMIT, and I'm not going to let it fester! Usually it's that I've made coffee or something which, if you didn't know, can smell like poop.


Oh! We have one tiny dog and got a "smells like dog food" comment on our open house several years ago. It wasn't even dog. It was dog food. I had to sniff the dog's food to see if my house smelled even remotely like it. And then I never forgave the commentor for making me sniff dog food.


I knew I shoulda known that you have a cat!! Duh. Max. Duly noted.

NO worries about cat-hating woman. Here's an anecdote, meant to be comforting.

I had a car to sell. A lemon, in my mind. Cute. VW Beetle. 1999.

I smoked (quit Aug 4th thankyouverymuch), and so it smelled inside.

(see the parallel?)

I worried about it smelling of smoke. I dreaded putting it up for sale. I tried to get the smoke smell out. It just ended up smelling of jasmine Camels.

I sold it within a few days of putting an ad up. To a woman who smokes.


Dude, your condo smelled like cat so bad that it felled a fucking tree! What do you feed that cat?!

But seriously, I have never once looked at all the pictures you've posted of your home and thought "looks like it stinks like cat piss." And sometimes, you can tell that just from a picture. Usually it's the pictures of rooms with wood panelling, or those couches with the scratchy tweedy fabric and rust colored florals.


Jonniker, just this morning, I was sniffing for cat poop as my coffee sat in front of me until I realized the smells are similar which --EEEEWWWWW!!! (But I love it anyway.)

I really sincerely think that people "smell" animals when they know an animal is there. It's like the power of suggestion.

Next time, put something like cinnamon rolls or apple pie in the oven. Even a few strategically placed candles will do wonders for phantom urine stench!!


My husband is obsessed with thinking our house smells like stinky dog (we don't have a dog). Some people are weird like that. Bake some cookies and all will be well...

Heather B.

It does NOT smell like cat pee.

Now, let me get back to lamenting about how much I want your home. Too bad the word 'mortgage' makes me break out in hives.


who can see baseboards with all that cuteness in front of it??


Just tell them that is not the smell of cat pee, THAT is the smell of human remains rotting in the crawlspace because you KILLED the last person who said your house smelled funny.


Did anyone else pick up on the camo Noah's wearing?

They decide to move to the country, and can't wait to start converting the youngun to a redneck.

I expect to see a John Deer potpourri holder in the next round of photos.


I feel so sorry for you. I don't love our house but I am never moving because keeping the house clean with two kids would kill me.

Anne Glamore

A. Clorox Cleanup (for you, not the house-- nice high!)

B. Forget the cinnamon buns because then you have to eat them. Simmer water with fresh rosemary in it. But don't burn it!


Her cat probably peed on her shirt before she left and that is what she is smelling!

Elle Kasey

We got "pet odor" when our animals had been out of that vacant house for three months - and everything was freshly painted, the floors refinished and the carpets cleaned. People will say anything because people have brains filled with kitty litter.


I really like this blog but the stench here is killing me. Oh wait...Hailey needs a change.


Whoa. The powers that be really don't want you EVER to leave that condo. Killed your car and have now smacked down that tree. You know you are going to wake up tomorrow and that branch is going to be blocking the door.


Cat odor? You should have told her she must have been smelling her upper lip. And then added, "Boo yah!"


Try the wallflower plug ins from Bath & Body Works. Specifically the Sweet Pea fragrance. They smell up the house very nicely. People always comment when they come over here and we used to have stinky cats, til we traded them in for two stinky babies :)
Good luck on your sell. Hope it goes quick!

Wacky Mommy

Oh no oh no oh nooooooooooooooo he is looking too much like a little boy there and not preshus bahy-bahy anymore.

Cat odor? Please. She has obviously not visited our basement.


I didn't realize Noah had so many teeth! He's such a cutie pie.

Miss W

You know, of all the people I met in *are* the one I pegged to be the creepy cat lady (though I estimated you'd wind up with 178 cats)!

Don't worry about the "cat odor" comment. Seriously -- people who dislike cats always make that comment whether there is an odor or not. Once they see a cat food dish, they complain. (Like a relative of mine who claimed she broke out in hives at my house after she realized we had two cats, but until that point was having a lovely NON-hivey time.)


I find some of cleaning products with ammonia have a 'cat odor' quality to them, so maybe that's what it was?


Dude, you never know. The people who complained the most about our place - within EARSHOT of us - were the ones who put in the highest offer ($60K over asking).

And no, we didn't take their offer.


You know... as someone who doesn't have an animal in my house at all I have to say that I can alwasy tell the moment I walk into someone else's house whether they have a cat or dog because there's a pretty distinct smell they bring along with them (not offensive really, just there) and as for the dog food... the couple I babysit for have a little dog whose food reeks of the worst kind of fishy smell ever... that I can smell the moment I pull in the driveway :O)

However I would never say anything to a house owner about it.


Don't know if you have heard, but Arwen has had her baby! Little girl, Camilla. Couldn't find anything on your site to say that you had heard! Thought you would like to know. Check out the pics.


If you had tons of people, and only one person mentione it, there are only two explanations:

1) She has a super smeller and should probably wear a noseplug when she leaves her house.

2) Her head is stuck up her butt and that's what she was smelling.

Because who would walk into someone's home and say that it smelled, even if it did(which of course, yours does not)?

I hate rude people.


That would make me paranoid too.

And look at Noah with a mouth full of teeth!


Tree go bye-bye. What happened to it?

Noah's cuteness totally makes up for the ugly tree.

Pssssh. Cat odour. That's ridiculous. I think I'm immune to most smells, after working in a Year 1 classroom in summer - the odour of twenty five hot, sticky, sweaty bodies kills your nostrils for the first few weeks.

And then? It strangely gets better.

I bet your house smells like a garden. Silly cat lady, she be.


Hasn't she ever heard the phrase "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? She should realize that you, the seller, are likely stressed out about the house and have worked hard to get it in the condition it's currently in, and that maybe if she's not planning on buying it she should just leave instead of being mean. Some people. Geez.


I have been away from my shared house for about 3 weeks and have come back to discover it's filthy, stinky and gives me fucking asthma, I would gladly buy your cat-piss-tree-in-driveway-house.

I am actually looking to buy. However, Australia is a loooong way from you.


Having been in your house a few times, I can tell you that it does not smell like cat pee, AT ALL. I promise.


No professional pics of The Tire?



Just wait until prospective buyers come in and start tellin your agent what they don't like about your house. You will come to HATE these people and call them all manner of names because they said they didn't like the tile in your bathroom or the paint color in the living room.


I agree with whomever said bake some cookies... or bread or something...

And attack your fabrics/carpets with frebreze... you can do that really quick before a showing and it makes a big differnce in the room. Pick some nice clean scent, nothing floral, and you'll be the nice airy apartment instead of the old lady cat apartment!


Oh, the dreaded cat pee smell. I am already having nightmares about when we try to sell our house. No matter how we try to keep it under control, it's like some sort of mutant ghostly funk, creeping up when you least expect it.


We've been living in our (carpeted) 1-bdrm apt now for two years. When we moved in, the carpets had been freshly cleaned and the walls painted. To this day, I can tell where the previous tenants kept their cat's litterbox, because one corner of the living room smells faintly of stale cat urine. I'm a cat lover, so I don't mind much, but I've come to the opinion that if you have a cat/carpet combination, you either need to have super special cleaning done or simply replace the carpet because once that smell gets in there it never. leaves.


I'm sure that woman was just smelling her own upper lip or something, but if it makes you less paranoid about Phantom Cat Smell then you should pick up that Arm & Hammer litter sprinkle in the pet aisle (Target has it for sure). That stuff is insane. I swear by it.

Also we are looking to buy right now, and cat smell? I can deal with. Walking into a house that is completely empty save a bottle of wine and a freakin' samurai sword? That ain't right.


Hmm.. McLean Gardens? I don't like cats, mostly becuase I am allergic. I know a cat house when I walk in the door. That being said, there are lots of folks who don't like the smell of flatulent, incontinent old Ridgebacks. Good thing we're not selling anytime soon.


I have a super strength sense of smell - unfortunately it is so much that NO ONE ELSE EVER SMELLS WHAT I SMELL...nor do they come up with the same descriptions.

Just the other day at a store where they were mopping and using WAY TOO MUCH disinfectant...I said, "OMG it smells like a classroom after someone throws up" I got a couple of looks for that one. But whatever.

My worst fear - that my house will smell like the animals (1 dog, 2 cats, 1 lizard, and an aquarium of little swimmy frogs and sea snails) So, please do say something if I need to up my fabreeze scentsation-ing. :)

Mrs X

Yes, baseboards are so the focus of that picture. Barely even noticed that perfectly adorable little boy!

A friend of mine went to an open house where they had 3 dogs running amok in the house (I love that word... amok. hee!), dirt everywhere and it smelled like pee.

She still bought the house, then ripped everything apart.
Point is, someone will buy your condo even if it's not that crazy lady who thinks she smells cat.


I still want to know if you guys have bought something yet. We want to move and are having a buy first, sell first debate, and amalah is role model!


Cute picture!!!


Oh my oh my! He's *such* a little lad already!
Ugh. swoon!
Can I bite him please?...No, I'm serious....


That woman has issues. I think you should get her phone number and call her in the middle of the night and make meowing noises.


jodi - Selling first, since the condo market sucks so badly there's a chance our place won't sell at all and we absolutely cannot afford two mortgages for any length of time. If our place doesn't sell by Thanksgiving we're taking it off the market and trying again after the holidays. So we actually haven't even been LOOKING for a new place since I don't want to fall in love with something we'll ultimately have to pass on.

< /end blah blah boring real estate talk that fascinates no one other than me>


Thank you!!!Now I know what to do. (although I think we are waiting until spring.)


Let me tell you I feel your pain on ALL fronts... house on the market, 2 cats, and a complaint of cat pee in the basement. Next to the litter box. Gee, I wonder...

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