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With no offense intended to cat-lovers who may stumble across this, I have to say that the smell of cat urine must be one of the worst smells in the world. John and I saw a free jute rug posted on this email thing he gets, and I was like, wow, a free jute rug. That would be awesome! So we went all the way to Morehead City and into this lady’s house…. A nice house, smelling only faintly of cats. She said there was one small stain on the rug, but hey, it’s jute so stains don’t stand out that badly, right? John carried it to the Buick & it sort of draped from the back seat across my chest and lap (a big rug). Once it was in the car & I was squashed under it, I realized why the rug was free. Because it was covered in cat hair and reeked of cat pee. Now, John and I are both allergic to cats. The cat hair wafting from the rug would have been enough of a trial for us both. But the smell……. The front passenger window of his car does not roll down. It was not a pleasant ride. We plotted ways that maybe we could fix the rug: rent one of those industrial strength vacuum cleaners? lots of baking soda and lavender oil? soak it with the hose and leave it to dry on our porch? (as for the last plan, John reminded me that it would never dry in this humidity, and of course, he is right. it would just sprout plants or something.)

Once we got home and John (bless his heart) dragged the huge thing out to the porch, we unrolled it. The pungent odor was still overpowering, even outside. We decided on the spot that no amount of cleaning would get the smell out. Alas. I knew a free rug was too good to be true. Fortunately, we have five other rugs, not including bath mats, welcome mats, etc. Our home has 4 rooms (and there are no rugs in 3 of them). I seem to be on an unending quest to buy rugs (though of the 5, one was a gift, one only cost $20, two are cotton and were relatively inexpensive. one is sheepskin and is a whole story unto itself. suffice to say: pottery barn. sale. soft as butter. worth every penny. thank you, sheep.) John, I think, is mildly dismayed by my hunger for floor coverings, my epic quest to find the perfect rug. He bears with it with the patience of Job, at least for the time being. Oh, I guess if you count the cat pee rug on our porch we own six. Six rugs…………….

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