Friday, February 5, 2010

Can't You Smell That Smell?

Since I've blogged in the past about how I find some people stinky and wish they would not be so ick-worthy it's only fair that I share this story.  I don't want to but...well, you'll see.

So my morning routine is to get up, shower, brush teeth, get dressed, pack breakfast and lunch and then let the cats out of the basement.  Before you think I'm cruel, the basement is a nice place for them:  they have beds, cat towers, 4 litter pans (for 3 cats), and sometimes a toasty wood stove.  The cats have to go downstairs at night or one of them (Ibsen) will spend the night walking around my room pushing things off my dressers onto the floor and molesting the blinds.  It's not restful for me.  If I decide to take a nap during tthe day this same cat will join the others sleeping peacefully next to me but there's something about the hours from 11p.m. to 3 a.m. that are ripe for noisemaking to my friend Ibsen. 

OK, so they come running upstairs each morning and I head downstairs to make sure they have food.  This morning I was greeted by a terrible smell that needed immediate investigation.  One of the other cats (Dennis) was a stray for a few years in our neighborhood in Lowell before we took him in and so he's a little odd.  One of his peculiarities is that he doesn't really understand about using litter to cover up his poop.  He knows he supposed to do something but he's just not sure what so he dutifully scrapes at the wall and the floor outside the pan.  For a really long time.  This, of course, does absolutely nothing to cover the poop in question but eventually he figures he's put in enough time and he walks away.  If I'm home and I hear him tirelessly scraping at the walls I go downstairs and shoo him away and cover it myself (with a scooper, don't get any weird ideas) before the stinkiness can spread.

So back to this morning.  I open the door, it's smelly, I go downstairs and cover up Dennis' latest triumph.  All fairly routine.  I had a moment before I left the house where I wondered if I'd stepped in something but after a frantic moment of shoe checking I saw that I hadn't.  I chalked it up to my nose having flashbacks and left for work.

I drive about a mile and a half to the train station and then ride the train for 45 minutes before hopping a bus or walking the rest of the way to campus.  It's a pretty stress-free way to commute as I can nap or read for the whole train portion of the trip.  The downside is that I am beholden to the train schedules.  There is no turning around and heading home because I forgot something. 

Today, as I settled myself onto the train I smelled something icky again.  I checked my shoes again thinking I'd find something in the more-well-lit-than-my-living-room train car.  Already I was steeling myself for the phone call I'd have to make to Huppy to tell her that I may or may not have stepped in the poop or stinky barf and tracked it who knows where before leaving.  This would be a bad phone call at any time but I thought it would be particularly unwelcome at 6:30 a.m.  I had a moment of relief when I saw that my shoes were as poop-free as I'd originally suspected.  That vanished when I realized that somehow, someway in my brief interaction with my cats I had gotten a dime-sized amount of poop on  my shirt.  MY SHIRT!  And I'm on a train that will be traveling in only one freaking direction for the 45 minutes getting steadily more crowded.  Oh,  and I have poop on me.  Fortunately I was wearing a button-up shirt with a t-shirt on underneath so I unbuttoned it and rolled the offending portion of the shirt up like a coke-head's dollar, jammed the roll under my armpit, and zipped up my coat.  This put many layers between the crap and the rest of the world. 

I'm happy to say that for as paranoid as I was I didn't smell it again until I made it to my office and took off the button-up shirt and unrolled it to get a better look.  Cleaning it off was not an option because I had rolled the shirt up and I couldn't be 100% sure I knew where all of it was anymore.  Now I know I mentioned that I was wearing a t-shirt so you may think that it shouldn't have been a problem.  Not true.  I bought this t-shirt too small for the express purpose of being able to wear it under other things.  I thought I was going to have to cancel my 8:00 class and wait for the bookstore to open at 9:00 so I could buy another shirt but I remembered that I had a full zip sweatshirt stashed in a desk drawer.  I haven't even looked at this thing in a about a year and a half so I was relieved to find it still there.

My new problem:  my t-shirt was a kelly green ringer and the sweatshirt was olive green.  Also, it appeared to have food on the sleeve.  Trust me - the kelly green/olive green thing was a real problem (the food ont he sleeve wasn't optimal either).  Not a poop level problem but a problem nevertheless.  I freely admit that my main consideration in buying clothes is comfort, not fashion.  However, no matter how ill-fitting or unattractive my clothes may be they never, ever, ever clash.  Ever.  To me, seeing such a thing is as grating as hearing a note sung off-key.  So for three uncomfortable hours I felt like fire ants were crawling on my body because I had on this terrible color scheme.  Finally, when I got a break between classes I went to the bookstore and bought a grey sweatshirt.  Ahhhh.  I was able to focus much better after that.

My last class of the day ran late so I never made it back to my office for leaving to catch the train home.  This means the poop shirt is still rolled up in a tight ball on my desk so I have that to look forward to on Monday.

As for how the poop got there, I only have theories.  It definitely came out of a cat and I haven't found any outside of the approved litter boxes so I am guessing it occured when I was covering up Dennis' tribute to digestion. 

So, aside from that, it was a pretty good day!

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