Tuesday, November 28, 2006

As they often do

My husband attempted a simple home repair project this weekend.

(Those of you who own homes are alrealy laughing. What were we thinking?)

Anyway, we have three (formerly four) cats. The male we have now has had urinary tract problems, therefore when he used to get infections he'd pee wherever was convenient. The old man kitty we had then had to hit those same spots, until there were some corners that were simply horrible. Cat urine will soak into the padding and the floorboards, and after that no amount of cleaning will kill the smell. So, over the years, we've had to cut out and replace floorboards (and occasionally wallboards & molding.) Andrew's gotten quite good at this, unfortunately. We then clean the heck out of the carpet and put in new padding, then feed the cat there for a while and they cease to relieve themselves in that area.

There is one corner of our office that has become the worst of all. There is an outside door there that we never open and it seemed like the boy cats had gotten in a pissing war with strays outside. When it rained, the humidity would just bring out the smell. When we put storage units there so they couldn't have access any more, they started hitting the area around it, too. We can no longer clean it and the smell has become unbearable.

So, Andrew decided that before we have the carpets professionally cleaned (like we do every winter,) he'd do the floorboard thing.


He pulls up the carpet to find out- ahh, you homeowners saw this coming, didn't you?- that it was much worse than we imagined. The screen door outside had been basically funneling water in for years. ("Hadn't these people ever heard of caulk?") It wasn't the humidity that brought out the smell- it was probably fresh water. The flooring, the subfloor, the sill under the door had to be replaced. We had to buy a new door, and we'll probably want a new storm door too.

Now I wish we'd opened that door more often. We might've noticed before now. The best luck I guess we had in this is that we found no mold or termite damage.

So, what started as a simple weekend home project that should have taken a day or maybe a day and a half has run way over schedule- as home projects often do. We both have to work so we haven't even gotten to cleaning the carpet or running new pads, plus we've found a few more areas that could do with the new floorboard treatment. So much for a one-weekend project.

I love my cats, but when they go to the great litterbox in the sky, there shall be no more cats. At least when my dog had an accident recently, she had the decency to poop on a bathroom floor.


Bob said...

I can sympathize on both fronts.

My kitty, a goddess in every sense of the word (her name is Queen Goddess 'Nado the Great) has been with my for nearly 12 years. Before my wife. Before my daughter. I love her completely.

But when we moved into our house she decided she wanted to pee. This cat had been an indoor cat her entire life save one night out on the town in Florida. We tried everything under the sun. Nothing worked. When it came time to replace the carpet and lay hardwood, there was no way the goddess was going to have an opportunity to ruin the floor. She now lives outdoors.

When we pulled up the rug in the back living room, we found water. Much like your story, it had apparently been coming in for years. We replaced the floor, the wall, the siding, and had to build up the roofline and add a gutter to prevent this from happening again.

It's fun being a homeownerm eh? :)

Good luck getting everything back in order.

Bob said...

One cat. One cat. One cat. One cat. Keep repeating this.