When the children and I left the house yesterday to go to the gym, the house smelled fine. That scent of HOME that you can no longer detect because it's so familiar. The smell of spring, of coffee and conditioned air... and a touch of cat.
When we came home from the gym-- Well, I opened the door and said something along the lines of "Eeaarrgghhh! Bleck! Ew!" My first thought was that one of the cats had decided to pee on the carpet in a fit of rebellion. The source of the smell was clearly on the first floor, but that's as close as I could get to finding it. I walked over the entire surface of the ground floor of our house using tiny little baby steps, trying to find a wet spot.
In retrospect, that's disgusting. I was trying to step in cat pee. Huh. It seemed like a good idea at the time!
Anyway, I could not find a wet spot anywhere in the house. I decided to attack the litter boxes, just in case the smell was coming from there. I scooped out what little had been deposited since the night before, put in extra deodorizer and extra litter. I sprayed the whole place with vanilla-scented air neutralizer.
But it was no good. All my efforts were in vain. The house still smelled disgusting. It was too hot to open the windows and I was at a loss as to what I should try next. I finally just gave up and hoped that inspiration would hit while I was doing my normal things.
Well, inspiration did not hit me, but the smell did! I went to the kitchen sink to wash my hands and noticed that the odor was very strong there. My first thought was the garbage disposal. As I leaned down to sniff (another questionable decision), my head passed by the kitchen wash cloth.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Either a cat jumped up onto the counter and carefully straddled the sink so as to pee directly onto the cloth and nothing else, or someone broke into the house while I was gone and replaced my clean cloth with one that had been inside the belly of a dragon.
You might not find either of those scenarios very likely, but you didn't smell that cloth!