House Gadgets: too good to be true? Not in this case.

CAUTION: this post has been rated NSFS (Not Safe For Stomachs) by…me.  But since I’m damn proud of accomplishing something, I’m posting it anyway.

There are tons of gadgets out there that are supposed to help you do stuff better/faster/stronger than the average homeowner.  I’m betting that 99.9% of ’em are pure space wasters.  But I get sucked in every so often.

Like in this instance.  The item?  A long “stick” of flattened white plastic with plastic barbs on the sides, so it looks like an emaciated sawfish with his teeth slicked back a bit.  There’s a wide tab at the bottom that you can loop a finger or two through and…well, that’s about it.  It’s supposed to fish out icky clogs in your drain “without the need for chemicals!”  Since I am near the Chesapeake Bay (and since I’m lazy about going to the store to buy Drano or whatever), I saw these at Target about a year ago & snapped them up.  Partially because they seemed eco-friendly, partially because they looked cool & only take up a teensy bit of space, mostly because they were on clearance for 98 cents.  With a bathtub that has been getting slower & slower to drain, I figured now’s the time to test this puppy.  The results?

DAY-YAM GINA — this sucker works!  Seriously, it does the job.  The only problem I had was when I had to pull out the humongous clog o’ my former hair out of the drain; since my stopper is attached to the drain-thing, I had to get out my scissors and snip a bit.  Kinda icky, but I figured I’d let my brain rock in the foetal later.

So, here’s the breakdown…and here’s where it gets gross, FYI:

Gotta say that I’m impressed with the little doohickey.  Well, after the nausea from pulling up a clump of slimy hair covered with old apricot facial scrub passed. Then I scrubbed doohickey within an inch of it’s life and coated it with hand sanitizer.  Then I showered and scrubbed myself ’til I didn’t feel the creepiness of ook on me any longer.  Think Silkwood.

I now have Mr. Doohickey hanging in my shower.  My hair is growing longer, so who knows when I’ll need him next?  Oh please don’t let it be anytime soon.

Miss Lily

(Text added 6/4/2011, after I realized it didn’t take the day I uploaded it)

Okay, so I had written a message on my lovely new Droid and hit send.  All that was sent?  This picture.  Dammit.

To catch up, Miss Lily is still wee-ing in the house, even after I separated her from the rest of the world.  When she was in the second bedroom, all alone?  She was fine.  Used the litterbox, the whole 9 yards.  The moment I let her back out?  (Okay, like 24 hours after?)  Back to it.

I’ve tried my best to call my friend that offered a place to Miss Lily.  But, as is often the case with things that sound too good to be true, I haven’t heard from that person since she held out that offer.  Ah well.

Looks like as much as I adore Miss Lily, and as lovely and loving as she is, I’m gonna have to drop her at BARCS.  Which will immediately put her down, because shelters don’t keep room for cats with urine issues.

I feel horrible, but I also feel horrible sitting in MY BRAND FUCKING NEW HOUSE and smelling nothing but cat wee.

My friends have been uber-supportive though.  Still, when I do finally grow up and make a decision on this (read: take her to BARCS), I have a feeling even a full bottle of vino won’t kill the sadness.  Or the feeling that there was something else I could have done.  Even after the 5 different chows, the 4 different litters (maybe more?  I’ve lost count), the different litter boxes, Feiliway, Prozac (for her, not me…), separation….

Gads.  But one of the shelters — a no-kill that told me *all* shelters put down or don’t accept wee-problems — told me something interesting.  That most likely Lily’s original owners knew she was a problem and didn’t say anything, and that they most likely lied about having someone in the house with allergies.  They simply moved to a new house and no longer wanted Lily.

Thanks for dumping the Horrible Cat Killer issue onto me, folks.  Y’all suck.

More, more, more.

Two more pee stations from Lily.  At least I think it’s Lily, since she’s the one that always comes around when I “find” a place she’s marked.

As with the other sites, these two are up against the wall, under and next to the Expedit sofa table I have pushed against the long wall in the Front Room.

And, as with the other sites, they’re dry and aren’t really affected by the SpotBot because they’re right up against the wall, and the SpotBot can’t get it all up.  I whack at it with the hose and depress the spray button to get it good & soaked though!

I.  Do.  Not.  Want to be the Crazy Cat Lady!  I’m already over 40 and single with two cats, don’t need the house smelling like a bad episode of Hoarders.  I’d rather it smell like cookies.  Coooooookies.

A few sites on pet urine and how to deal:

CSI Ballard: Cat Pee Investigations Unit: An eye-opening YouTube video on how to check out cat urine stains with a black light; this is kind of what I see when I “shine a light” (well, the last marking spot by the guys entertainment center is pretty much the size of the stains I’m dealing with….)  Great links to other Kitty No No videos that I’ll have to peek at later.

Dealing with Cat Urine Spraying from Pet Shed

A recipe to remove cat urine from Cats of Australia…and just in case the site ever goes bye-bye (perish the thought!):

Ingredients:
1) Baking Soda
2) White Vinegar
3) Dishwashing Detergent
4) 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

* Mix a solution: 1/2 vingar, 1/2 water
* Thoroughly saturate the area (getting down to the root of the carpet fibers!)
* Dry off the area as much as possible (use a wet/dry vac if you’ve got one)
* Put down a handful of baking soda, then drizzle the soda with a mix of 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide + 1 tsp liquid dish detergent
* Work in the soda/peroxide mix into the carpet with a stiff brush (or your rubber-gloved fingers)
* Allow to dry, then vacuum up!

Home Life Weekly and eHow have similar “recipes”, so I’m gonna try this out…as soon as I buy white vinegar. I’ve got apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, basalmic vinegar.  No plain-ol’ vinegar.  Egads, I really need to stock up on my home staples!

Scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub….

Enter the mechanical calvary!

So, Lily decided that she was gonna Kitty No No the front wall by the front door.  And an entire bottle of Nature’s Miracle for Cats barely put a dent in the stain and odors (other folks swear by it, and I saw a video a friend posted on Facebook that made an absolutely huge bloodstain on her carpet disappear in less than 20 seconds.  But me?  Not so much, the stains are too set-in….)

After my initial freakout, as is my wont, I figured charging a carpet cleaner would be the way to go.  But, lo!  A friend sent me a Pet SpotBot as an early birthday prezzie!  Love, love, love the idea that I can set it and have it do the scrubbing.  Again, since the stains are set-in, even a repeat go-over of each stain area didn’t completely remove the scent.  Luckily said friend will be coming over this weekend to meet the kitties and help me with sniff-testing.  If all else fails?  Pay a professional, and/or get that carpet torn up and replaced.  I could probably do it myself (there are tons of sites that tell you exactly how to do it), and since I want to put hardwoods down anyway?  It’d be a perfect DIY project for me to try, since even if I completely FUBAR it?  It’s getting replaced in a year or two!

Steamed.

I’m thinking that purchasing a small steam cleaner might be the way to go.  It’d save on the number of nutzo episodes I have with freaking out over carpet, and if Murphy’s Law is alive and well (and I’ve proof that it is)?  Then if I buy it I’ll never need it….

A friend has a Little Green Machine that she’s looking to unload, and I’m thinking about taking her up on her (deeply discounted!) offer.  But I’ve been reading up on the SpotBot too.  Including this amazing review that I want to save so I can find it later, since it has all sorts of spot-cleaner buying info.

Now finding a place to stash it, that’s the question.  I so completely and totally need to figure out how to put more “tuck-away” places in Chez Couchon.  Storage, my kingdom for storage!