Note: This was originally published on Feb. 27th of this year, so it is indeed a rerun.  I finished my book today, so I would like to think I am entitled to refrain from writing after a particularly long day at work.  I will resume the “Nightmarriage” series very soon.  10 installments total.  Promise.

When I was a wee one I used to “make deposits” behind the family rocking chair in the living room.  In my pants, mind you, and not on the carpet.  This story has followed me into my adult life and, as of today, in more way than one.  Every parent occasionally tells his or her child, “I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up,” and this is usually uttered in a menacing tone. In a way, this has been fulfilled today.

A few weeks ago Becki began to sniff everything in our living room, asking me questions like, “Does this blanket smell like cat?  I think this blanket smells like cat.” What does cat smell like? I wondered.  In the blink of an eye, Becki would throw the blanket or whatever smelled like cat into the washing machine, and suddenly she was like a cat when it covers one of its deposits in a litter pan to blunt the smell of urine or feces.

But I could not figure out what she meant when she said it smelled “like cat.”  Cats bathe themselves, after all, while dogs tend to smell like old wet mops.  I like dogs, but I have always appreciated that people could come to our house and remark, “It smells nothing like cats in here even though you have five of them! Zounds!”  If anything is going to smell “like cat,” I suspect five cats might be capable of generating said smell.  Were they so motivated, they might even be inclined to release a certain Eau ‘d Chat into the retail pet perfume business.

I digress.  As usual.  As the weeks went by, I began to understand what Becki meant, but I could not for the life of me figure out why the living room smelled “like cat.”  She had washed every blanket in the house, and she had even cleaned the suede couch and love-seat with the steam cleaner, so they could not possibly smell even vaguely catlike. She washed and sniffed and washed some more, much as a cat will wash and sniff and wash some more, and I simply sat there completely stupefied.

Until today.

In one corner of our living room, at the base of the curtains, behind the end table, obscured by the lodon green lamp, I found it.  Oh, how I found it:  A urine saturated newspaper ad from Aaron’s with a headline that read “A Sweetheart of a Deal.”  There was nothing sweet about this deal. One or more of our cats had urinated on this poor paper so many times it had congealed.  It was caked with cat urine.  So were the curtains.  Normally a rusty orange color, at the base of this curtain in particular it was a muddy brown, and it smelled… well, like cat.  Apparently, the newspaper-curtain combo was too much for cats to resist.

I immediately took evasive action, scrubbing down the urine-stained baseboard, spraying the carpet, taking down the curtains so they could be washed, steam-cleaning the carpet, and laughing all the while.

When I was a child I sat behind the rocking chair to take care of my business, and now my cats have followed in my footsteps.  I have no children at present, but I do have cats who have carried out my parents’ cruelest wish: I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up.

Note:  Does the kitty in the picture look guilty?  That’s Omelie, and Becki and I both think it was her.  She peed on the armchair down by the fireplace in our basement.  The verdict:  Too cute to prosecute.