Tag Archives: college stories

Otherwise unrelated: the smells of fall, the smell of danger, and cat piss.

18 Nov

One of the things I love about fall are the smells… pumpkin, mulling spices, smokey fires.

So to fully embrace the season, I’ve been doing a lot that involves those smells lately… mulling cider on the stove all afternoon, rubbing a roast down with cinnamon and cloves before baking it, etc. And you know what I’ve noticed?

My place has a weird smell footprint. (I just coined that term. Like it?) For whatever reason, the smell that is created in the kitchen or living room is most vividly detected… in the guest bathroom. What? I’m not running a vent fan or something that would naturally pull the smell in that direction, so it strikes me as odd.

You know what else is odd? That some women report a heightened sense of smell after childbirth. One of my friends from book club was talking about that this week – how more smells now “put her off” since she had a baby four months ago. Someone suggested that it’s a defense mechanism, that new moms have more acute smell so they can “smell danger.” I would say that quantifying the smell of danger seems a bit tough, but we’ve all crossed paths with a pervert who smells like he bathed in Drakar Noir. Definitely the smell of danger.

While my dad has never experienced childbirth (nor will he), his schnoz seems to work overtime as well. Growing up, it was not uncommon for him to pace around the house saying, “I smell cat piss!” and sniffing loudly, while my mom and sister looked at each other like, “What is he talking about?”  and I hustled our cat Chuck into hiding.

Speaking of cat pee, in college one of my boyfriend Brent’s roommate had a cat. One of his other roommates hated that cat and kept arguing to get rid of it – not least because he claimed it was peeing in his sock drawer at night. None of the other roommates had this problem, and Mike took increasingly complicated measures to secure his sock drawer so the cat couldn’t get into it. “I’ll show that f*cking cat…” he mumbled while securing the handles on the drawers with rubberbands.

Alas, one night we were all still up when Mike came home from the bar, went into his room (right off the living room) and passed out. And we were still sitting in the living room 30 minutes later when we heard the unmistakable sound of liquid spraying a sock drawer, so we raced into the room… to find Mike, in a drunken stupor, pissing in his own sock drawer.