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The Magical Mystery Smell

SO this weekend, a smell happened. It was not a good smell.

I went into my office, which adjoins the laundry room, wherein lives The Dread Cat Box, and I could SMELL the presence of the Dread Cat Box. Like, entering one room of my house, I knew a cat box existed in another. This is WRONGFUL.

I called Sam to come clean it out.

Parenthetical: Boggart the cat is SAM’S cat because everyone else hates him, and he hates everyone else. He quite likes Sam and is a useful pet and friend to him, which is THE ONLY REASON he is allowed a small portion of my home’s oxygen.

Parenthetical 2: I have TRIED to love him, but he responds to my overtures with SUCH disdain that I end up wanting to bake him and then feed him to criminals; I don’t want to kill an animal I would not eat, but I would not inflict his meat on the kindly or the virtuous.

I tried calling him Wapples to make him nice but I can’t bring myself to stick with it. The cat is a full-on misogynist. He is sour and slippery and mists away from female hands looking affronted, but doesn’t mind most men. When he does allow me to touch him with my frightful LADY GIRL HANDS EW, I find he has a gorge belly that always feels weirdly hard and impacted, as if he is intrinsically SPONGY.

Also he LOLLS ABOUT with SUCH smugness, like Caligula post-orgy, greasy and rank, oozing hair and SAUCY CHAIR OWNERSHIP. He often appears to be growing out of whatever surface he is currently infecting. I am not the only one who thinks this. Sam, his champion and only friend, has started calling him The Fungus. He LOOKS like a fungus, burbling his superior mew sounds out of his belly-gorge-hole. We call him The Fungus more than we call him Boggart now.

Anyway. I smelled cat box, and I called Sam to come fix it.

Sam was affronted, and invited me to inspect. The litter box was PRISTINE.

Long story short, I kept smelling phantom cat poos all over the house, in one room, then another. My office lost the smell, the living room found it. The smell wafted into the keeping room, then poofed, only to manifest again in Sam’s bedroom.

It finally occurred to me that I was smelling the smell in WHATEVER ROOM THE CAT WAS IN. GAH.

I gave him a visual onceover and he was clean. So. I started smelling him. That’s where it got weird.

The smell was coming FROM THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. Beloveds, I must tell you, this was not the place I suspected of producing the smell. Ahem. I picked him up and dragged him to Scott.

Me: Smell his head!

Scott: Excuse me?


Scott: *sniff* ARRRG AH! WHY? UGH! He has a poo head!

Me: I know, right? Now smell his back end.

Scott: *crickets and a look that said, eloquently, that he would SEE ME IN HELL before he would smell the cat’s back end*

Me: Not the back of the back end. I mean, we know THAT can’t possibly smell like a meadow. Why test the known? Smell him here, on his spine. Smell the middle, even. Smell the middle of his spine.

Scott: *sniff* *shrug* Smells like a regular cat spine.

AND IT DID! The poo smell was JUST on his head, yet his head looked CLEAN. Like, he didn’t have any visible smudges or grains or ANYTHING tangible on his head.

I took him to the porch and scrubbed him down with multiple Kleenex Cottonelle Flushable Cat Head Slash Butt Wipes.

Warning, impending understatement: He did not like this.

And so the mystery remains. How did his head come to smell like poo (like CAT poo specifically) and yet have NO poo on it, especially when his spine, belly, chest and feet all smelled like FURRY NOTHING.

Warning, Impending Understatement 2: He doesn’t care to be smelled.

Right now my theory is that he was plotting such dark evil in his brain the SMELL of those thoughts drifted out of his ears and rose onto the top his head and stuck there, and tonight I will be murdered in my bed as those thoughts come to fruition.

If you have a better theory, especially one that involves me not being killed, I am ALL OVER IT. Want to play Poolock Holmes? As a bonus, I offer a most valuable prize: EVEN IF YOU COME UP WITH THE BEST EXPLANATION, I promise not to mail you the cat.

19 comments to The Magical Mystery Smell

  • Invisible Poo. Bogart has plotted and planned his evil plan to take over the world with the use of invisible Poo. He asks Bagel, “Bagel, are you pondering what I’m pondering?” Bagel gazes at Bogart with nary an answer. He doesn’t know what pondering means. Bagel then, warily, asks, “What are you planning tonight, Bogart?” And Bogart cackles, “The same thing I do EVERY night, Bagel! Try to take over the world! I’ve come up with the most dastardly of plans! I shall corral the humans with the very thing they can stand the least! CAT POO SMELL! For I have invented invisible cat poo! I will plant the smell in strategic places and they will be unable to function for trying to find the source and the world will cease to progress as all the humans search, IN VAIN, for the source of the CAT POO SMELL!” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! “That will leave an void into which I shall step and my desire for world domination will be met at LAST!”

    …okay, so that’s Pinky and the Brain, but it could happen, right?

  • In the course of implementing this evil plan, Bogart stumbles head-first into his vat of invisible poo and gets it on his head. Before he can get completely washed of the nasty stuff, the humans awaken, discover his plan, and foil it! He must be WASHED and SNIFFED, GAH! But tonight! Tonight he will come up with THE plan that is UNFOILABLE!

  • I remember the sniffing of Boggart’s armpit back in his “teen” days. I am, quite frankly, more than a little surprised that Scott even smelled his head after the armpit episode.

  • Shelley

    My In-Laws’ cat had same affliction. He had rolled around in cat box and can’t adequately clean his head. Chances are there were some remnants lining the hair, doesn’t take much to be vile. Unlikely that it is part of his plot to take you down. I’m sure his plot would be more devious and dastardly than mere animal waste products.

  • I think he had ACTUAL poo on his head but then he WIPED the poo off surprisingly thoroughly in some secret spot and you just haven’t found where he wiped it yet. (Hint: check your pillow.)

  • Is it possible the poo smell is coming from his ears, and he has some sort of infection? Though infections should smell like infections, not like poo. It would be just like Bogart to deliberately have poo-smelling ear infections to confuse you.

  • First of all, just when I thought I would have an anxiety attack from my schedule and my daughter going to high school today, you brighten my life. I laughed so hard. I always laugh so hard.

    My daughter always claims that her cat (her name is Annie but we call her Pee Flea) smells like a toilet from the ears. I’m not touching that cat’s ears. No one else has anything to do with that cat, so if my daughter doesn’t like the smell, she can clean them. So perhaps fungus in the ears, as Diane said.

  • DebR

    I’m not up to coming up with a good story today but I wandered through GoogleLand and came up with a site that suggests that when a cat is getting an abcessed (sp??) tooth it can make their head area smell weirdly poo-ish. Maybe time to drag The Fungus to the vet to have his teeth and ears checked? (Yeah, I know, BARRELS of fun for all, right!!)

  • Melissa

    You are over thinking this one. Cats are sh*t-heads.

  • Nicole in WI

    OMG! Trying to laugh ‘quietly’ with chicken tenders in one’s mouth is very very hard and gets little chicken bites up one’s nose! Can’t say as my cats have ever had this but I am thinking it is a dastardly plan to off you in your sleep that you are thwarting!

  • I had a number of theories, based upon my knowledge of people, but this article adds a few particular to felines:


    If you were able to wipe the smell away with the wipes (and did you photoshop in that text, because I sure haven’t seen those in my pet store???) my bet would be on incompletely cleaned anal gland leakage. From how you describe him, he sounds like a bachelor cat with dubious grooming standards.

    Whatever the case, ewwww.

  • The Boggart is … well, I’m glad he’s not my cat 😛
    I just had to tell you this, though … I *finally* got “A Grown Up Kind of Pretty” out of the library (sorry, I’m too poor to buy books, especially at the rate I read haha) and left in it from the previous borrower? Was a post it note. This itself is of course not unusual. But the post it note? Was a a cover-matching green, apple shaped post-it! I got such a kick out of that, and soooo I hoped you might to. Tada!

  • Julie

    I have a theory that all orange cats are EVIL!!!

  • Melissa’s answer wins.

  • Aimee

    Yeah, you got yourself a stinky bachelor cat. I would offer to send you my constantly-grooming ladycats to clean his stinky head, but I fear he’d actually just kill and eat them.

  • Jenn

    I have no frame of reference for cat poo head, but if wiping him down didn’t help (which I would never entertain doing unless equipped with dual oven mitts) I’m thinking maybe DebR might be right about the abscessed tooth.

    And also, to the person above regarding fabulous organization personal blogs… um. Is English your second language, or are you just stringing random words together in hopes of getting a point across?

  • Jenn

    Oh, and I meant to say that I actually hooted out loud for several minutes reading this.

  • Joy

    Evil thought brain-sweat?! Evil thoughts MUST smell like poo!

  • Sara

    I’ve met that cat, and you need to promise me not to mail him to me even if I am right.

    That said, I think he is malicious and rubbed his head in poo just to upset you.