this is really gross. you have been warned.

There is a tree near my house, that has probably been there for years, just doing its tree thing, watching patiently as families come and go, empires rise and fall, and Isengard is flooded. I'm sure it's a beautiful tree, cheerfully trading carbon dioxide for oxygen, providing shade, and most likely supporting several birds and squirrels. It's a lovely tree, I'm sure … but I hate that motherfucker because I am super allergic to whatever pollen or voodoo or evil waves of itching sneezing bullshit it emits. I've seen doctors and witch doctors and oracles and psychics* about it, and all anyone's been able to do for me is suggest I take an antihistimine (Oh? Really? Thanks, medical professionals! I never would have thought of that on my own!) and … well, that's just about all I can do, so just pay the receptionist on your way out, Wil.

In the course of your life, you have probably come across someone with allergies. It's possible that this person has told you that having allergies is awesome**. That person is a liar.

You see, in addition to the itching all over my skin, the sneezing and coughing all the time, and the general annoyance that accompanies being constantly under assault from a fucking tree***, I have a severe case of what a specialist calls "allergic rhinitis." Translated into English: I snore like a beast, and there's nothing I can do about it.

It's warm and humid right now, which apparently makes the trees really horny, because I've just been dying the last couple of days. I'm snoring so badly, I've temporarily relocated myself to the pull out sofa in my office, so that Anne can get a good night's sleep, and I don't have to wake up every time she does because I can't stop snoring godammit.

The thing is, the cats have their litter box and their food and stuff in my office, and over the last couple of days, I've found out that my cat Watson likes to eat dry food right about 5am, and then take a giant toxic nuclear shit as soon as he's done.

Yeah, you're probably going "eeeewwww gross" right now, but at least you haven't been woken up twice in two days by the suffocating Cloud of Cat Shit Stench**** like I have, so maybe keep a little perspective, gang.

Anyway, the whole point of this sordid tale is this: when Watson woke me up this morning by punching me in the face from inside my nose, I thought this would be pretty funny: "Me: Dude, come on, cat. Your toxic shit is suffocating me over here! Cat: I CAN HAZ-MAT? Me: Yes. Yes you can."

I know, it's a long way to go for a silly joke that isn't even that funny four hours later in the cold light of day, but the important thing is that I just wrote about 500 words for the sole purpose of joking about cat poop.


*Not really. Psychics are bullshit con artists who prey on vulnerable people.

** I don't know why someone would say that, but I also don't know why someone would go see a Michael Bay movie on purpose, so maybe I'm not exactly making a whole lot of sense right now.

*** Get it? Fucking tree? Because the pollenating tree is, literally, a "fucking" tree, but it's also just a fucking tree because I hate it. Like I said, I'm not making a whole lot of sense right now.

**** That's a level 4 monster from Monster Manual II, though having encountered it I think it should have been in the Fiend Folio


139 thoughts on “this is really gross. you have been warned.”

  1. Two words:
    Neti Pot
    for the allergies, not the cat shit. Though I can sympathize with you on this one as I am a regular cat foster in an apartment. I am at one with regular scooping and mass quantities of candles. For the cat, especially if it hasn’t always smelled this bad, try giving it some yogurt. the plain greek stuff with no sugar or fruit added. That should help.

  2. You can move the cat box, Wil. Just move it a few feet a day until it’s in the garage or the basement. If you don’t have a garage or a basement, slide it into one of your kids rooms. If they don’t like it, tell them to clean the box every day. If you are sure the tree is making you sneeze get it topped by a professional about 5 feet from the ground. It will die and you can have it removed then. If it’s on a property line get written consent from your neighbors first, see an attorney or they can get treble damages (talk about heinous!) I have a cat, she craps in the basement. I tried to cut back on expenses by reducing the amount of litter in her box and she repaid me by crapping in the corner of my bedroom, on the basement floor, and in the living room next to my chair, in that order. She now gets a full 3 1/2 inches of litter, scooped and leveled daily. The fresh step crystals are awesome and even though they are more expensive, they work great. Good luck!

  3. Oh, quit whining! :-)
    We’re just taking care of a bunch of foster cats: One young mommy cat and 4 kittens. They all have Giards infection what makes the mother take in about two pints of catfood daily and processing them nearly completely indigested as liquid cat poop.
    Talk about stench!

  4. At least your cat places the poop in the litter box.
    Mine jumped out of the box in the midst of doing his business there, leaving some of his poop across the floor and ending his ordeal by wiping his butt across our living room carpet. Afterwards he walked around letting me know that he felt, somebody has made a mess and the “staff” is not fast enough at cleaning it all up. That is cats for ya!
    I enjoyed the post! Also am enjoying to read more new post these past few days! Keep’em coming!

  5. As a podcaster I can totally relate to this. My cat, Starbuck, always likes to wait until just after I’ve started recording to release a death cloud of fecal putrescence that would curl the nose hairs of a turkey vulture. Then he spends five minutes scratching and tugging as loudly as possible at the plastic enclosure of his catbox.

  6. Long-time reader, first-time caller. Thank you so much for the peek into my own cat’s psyche and litterbox. The timing and, ahem, eminations work better than my old alarm clock in getting me up in the morning (litterbox is in my room, due to space constraints). Thanks for the laugh.

  7. First, the obligatory SMELLS BAD reference:
    Now, about the snoring. Antihistamines are supposed to “dry up” the sinuses. I hate them. They give me a massive headache and they turn the inside of my skull into an overbaked ceramic pot lined with hardened clay that’s all brittle and crumbly. Oh, and did I mention the headache?
    Then one time when I had a bad cold, I tried a Mucinex to clear up a chest rattle. Which it did. I was surprised to discover that it also worked on the rest of me like an super-anti-antihistamine, turning a fire hose on the inside of my skull to rinse it out all clean and shiny. No headache. And, as a surprise bonus, no snoring.
    So I’m not saying that what worked for me will will work for you, YMMV etc. But with your Allergy Tree blessing you with a big dose of yuck, you might want to give it a shot, just to see if it helps.

  8. I can’t decide whether that would be a Will Save to keep from falling prone from the smell effect, or a Reflex Save to keep from throwing up…
    [insert bad joke about Wil making a Will save, because his name is already Wil…yeah, now you know why I didn’t type out the joke.]

  9. Being pretty sleep deprived myself, I just don’t have any witty or clever commentary today (not due to cats, but noisy tweaker neighbors). But I will wish you more restful sleep and hopefully finding an antidote to your cats variant on Cloudkill. 😉

  10. This may be something you are trying already so I apologize if it is no help at all. A hood on the litter box has helped my kitty toxic fumes in the past. The best solution was a kitty door out to my back patio and an IKEA box hack where a door that matched the size of the kitty door was cut in the box and the cat box was placed in the box. Now the litter box is technically outside but the kitty can’t get out of the box so she is never in danger of getting out (I had an indoor-only kitty). I’m explaining it badly. Here are pictures (I apologize for knitting content. Just scroll down until you see the kitty door picture.)

  11. lol, several times even. I volunteer at a shelter and when a new cat comes in, we can almost always tell what it has been eating by the contents of the litter box. There’s one brand in particular that I won’t mention. Consider switching kitty to a grain-free food or at least one that has real meat as the first ingredient, not a meat by-product. You will be amazed at the change and your nose will thank you. :)

  12. I hear a small case of intestinal hook worms can cure allergies for life[tm], might be worth the research.
    Yes, I saved vs poop joke. It stops being a joke after stepping in it.
    My best,

  13. Been there in the cat department.. No fun and scary for the nose… LOL 😀 Also, have you tried the Breathe Right strips for the snoring? They help some, and at least if it lets you sleep in your own bed that would be better. I wouldn’t recommend using them in the same room as the cat box, cuz it might just allow the inside of your nose to be stripped bare 😉

  14. A few notes:
    1) LOVE the footnotes!
    2) My allergies stopped when I stopped eating dairy and cut way back on my sugar intake (only eating fruit for sugar). I’m not allergic to either of those foods, but they made my allergies worse. It was difficult starting out, but SO worth it.
    3) I’ve heard from people who feed their pets raw food that they don’t smell.

  15. Tree mating season is a disgusting time of year that tends to make everything look filthy and causes me to have to wash out my eyes multiple times to function like a normal person. And there’s the nose bleeds. That’s what you get when you try twink out your character by taking a bunch of disads you think are totally trivial…
    But, yeah, I’ve always been inclined to think of walking outside in spring time as stepping into the plant version of one of those japanese videos with the one girl and like a hundred guys.

  16. The cat poop sounds unpleasant but it did, apparently, open your clogged nasal passages 😉
    If you haven’t tried allergy shots, you should. I used to get terrible headaches every April in NE when the trees came in. I started getting allergy shots one summer and the next April I discovered a yellow film on my car one day and realized I didn’t have a headache. It was even better in August when the ragweed came in and I wasn’t waking from a sound sleep trying to scratch my eyes off my face.

  17. I have two cats and the best two inventions that I ever invested in were Merrick’s Before Grain cat food, and the electric litter box. The food decreases the smell some, and the electric litter box scoops it up before it can stink up a room.

  18. We have 5yr old cat same-sac twins, a boy & a girl. Amazingly, Minnie never grew up, never lost her kitten cute. She’s as adorable now as she was as a baby, a weird freak of nature. We finally figured out why. She has the unique ability to crap out all the cat in the litterbox, leaving only the kitten behind. We call it recute-ing. She’ll emerge looking angelic and someone will mention, “Wow, Minnie looks really cute.” That is the early warning for ‘duck & cover’ cause the CLOUD is coming. This adorable, bunny-fur-wearing, cute-as-a-button cat drops the most noxious turd bombs I’ve ever encountered in a whole lifetime of owning cats. So my question for you, Wil, is, “Are your cats really, really cute?” If they are, then you know. It *is*, in fact, dark magic.

  19. Maybe you were avoiding details for the sake of simplification, but has NO doctor ever suggested you try a prescription intranasal steroid? (i.e., junk you squirt up your nose 1-2 times a day) Allergic rhinitis is exactly what those things are for.
    And for many of those of us who suffer from it (and yes, the pollen has been really bad of late), they are a Godsend. There are at least a dozen different ones, so if one doesn’t work, try a different one.

  20. Dude, you HAVE to try Nasonex spray for allergies, I used to be in allergic rhinitis hell too, and now I don’t have to blow my nose more than once a week. Also, bite the bullet and go get allergy shots. Annoying but worth it. You have to trust me on this.

  21. I love how people are in no way put off by the warnings. Me? I couldn’t wait to click on that link. Like you I have bad allergies too. I’ve been on Singulair for about a year now and I love it. Love, love, love. One pill a night and it takes care of my allergy symptoms beautifully. No asthma attacks either. It’s been so great I’ve even looked at other people hacking and sneezing and thinking “What the hell is their problem?” then I figure it out. Oh…allergies. I am no longer affected.
    As for the cat. I adopted my younger cat from a shelter and she was picked up outdoors. Prior to coming to us she had picked up a tapeworm, probably from killing/eating a bird or mouse or what-have-you. Until we got rid of the parasite, her litter box leavings were absolutely horrific. I’ve never smelled such a smell. It’s very common for cats who are allowed to go outside to pick up something.

  22. I cannot recommend highly enough that you get a “litter robot”. One of these things:
    Cat goes in, cat goes out and a few minutes later the container rotates, sifting all clumps into a covered interior drawer which contains most of the smell. Now you can empty the drawer once a week or so instead of scooping litter every day and the place no longer “smells like cat” most of the time.
    The motor’s not silent so it’d still disturb your sleep if you were *right there* (until you get used to the sound) – the biggest win with this thing is that litter gets filtered when you’re *not* there, before the smell has a chance to fills the room or the house. Still: get it.

  23. 500 words to get to cat poop. Well, I’ve read far many more words to arrive at a much shittier conclusion, so you’re already one up on many, many other authors I could name.

  24. I always knew how much my parents loved me when, after being diagnosed as being allergic to dogs and cats, my parents bought a dog. :) Same goes for my (then girlfriend, now wife), after being together for 6 months, she buys another dog.
    I think I’m seeing a pattern here.

  25. Wil, one of my cats does the same type of thing, except he waits until I’m sitting at the computer and writing. It’s hard to let your imagination soar when your nose suddenly tells you you’re in a sewage facility, isn’t it? To add another spin to the tale, a few months ago we switched to that fancy litter made out of wheat. Cat pee makes wheat smell weird! The young’n tells me that the scent has made him lose his appetite for bread.

  26. There’s one of “those” trees in my neighborhood too. This one announces its reproductive cycle by covering the area for blocks around with so much fine, fuzzy, white fluff that it looks like we got hit with a snow storm.
    What saved me was a neti pot. It doesn’t fix the allergy or treat asthma, but it does a great job of clearing out the nasal passages at bedtime, so I can get at least a few hours of sleep before things clog up again. Might be worth a try.

  27. Years ago I got a kitten who had kennel cough, so she had to be “quarantined” because I had another cat. Since I lived in a small apartment at the time, this involved putting the kitten in my bedroom with her food, water and litter box. She took a dump one night that was so fragrant it woke me up. The thing was, though, it must have been a really deep sleep because I woke up thinking my roommate had just made one of his awesome pork roasts. I woke my boyfriend up mumbling, “Wake up, man…Brad just made us some dinner – smells great!” Once I became fully awake I realized that I was not smelling my roommate’s tasty pork roast but my kitten’s stinky shit instead. That and it was like 3 in the morning and there was no reason for anyone to be making a pork roast.
    So, yeah. I totally feel you on the whole cat-shit-while-sleeping thing. It sucks.

  28. Apparently dogs are jealous of the stink bomb ability of the cats and ours pooped so many times in front of the cat litter box that I made her one of her own.
    I will just let you imagine that for a minute.

  29. Hugely funny! Had a cat once with intermittent intestinal issues. Not a pretty picture, or olfactum, or whatever the word for is “stench capable of inflicting blunt-force trauma”.

  30. Since no one else has asked… Wil, are you sure the cats not some kind of polymorphed wizard in hiding, with an affinity for casting Stinking Cloud (to the annoyance of “the staff”)?
    But I can empathize… one of the, um, least enjoyable smells to catch a whiff of…

  31. We have a small 9 yr old Jack Russel with the same ability to turn anything she eats into NOXIOUS GAS that can kill everyone within 5 miles. One of our other dogs had severe food allergies (she has since passed) and it was just easier to feed all the dogs the same food, luckily the food we had them on cut down on the fumes a bit, but she still can work up a stink, and she is the gassiest little dog I have ever known..
    And the trees.. I don’t know if you have Cottonwoods.. they are the WORST thing on the planet as far as I’m concerned. Their little cottony fluffy seeds get EVERYWHERE and they make my eyes water, my nose run and itch, etc.. whole schebang.. and they are everywhere in Alaska, there is no getting away from them, and they blow out their little seeds for basically the whole month of June and half of July… and then the weather turns to rain, so the entire useful summer up here is ruined by cottonwood.
    I do recommend the CPAP though. I’m on that for sleep apnea as well (as was mentioned by an earlier poster) but I’ve also noticed a LOT fewer allergy problems since being on it. That lovely ability to breath filtered air at night that keeps all the pollens out and lets all the congestion go away for a few hours. It truly is lovely. If you haven’t yet, you should go get a sleep study done and see if that helps, even if it’s a low setting and only part of the year. I use to snore like a bear.. hubby never had problems sleeping in the mad camps at work or in the army, cuz I snored louder then anyone, but he says my snoring is all gone now, and the machine isn’t loud either, more similar to a white noise machine, maybe.

  32. I totally have to agree. I don’t know cats (am way too allergic to them.. ) but we have similar issues with our dogs. Our JRT will turn anything noxious, but it was a LOT worse when we first got her. But our pommies.. when we’d get them (all have been rescues of one sort or another, generally medical related) their coats would be stiff and hard, cept our first, she had no coat at all and was covered in open sores from where she’d scratched herself raw.. vet recommended trying different foods as her case was going to either be food allergy or serious disease. Turns out she had a severe food allergy and couldn’t process most proteins. So we started food shopping. We found a good white fish and sweet potato blend, since fish seemed to be the only animal source she could handle and got the best we could find, her skin healed, her fur came back, we’ve kept all our dogs on that since, their coats get so soft and healthy within a week or so of coming to us. The JRT is still gassy, but it’s not nearly as bad as when she’s gone to the kennel and they feed her lesser quality foods.. those get nasty.. and for us, 3 or 4 small dogs don’t eat a whole lot, so we can afford to feed them well.

  33. I found this hilarious because I go through this nightly when my cats take their nightly poops. My husband on the other hand didn’t find it funny at all. Too close for comfort for him I guess.

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