My tip on how to fix almost anything. Plus a cat poop story.

I just had to throw a hunk of cat poo down the toilet.  It was stuck to my cat’s trousers.  That sort of thing happens when you have a long haired, fluffy bummed cat who is also a champion pooer.

This particular cat is also pretty skilled at smelling like puke.  Like you’ve never smelled anything as alarming as the blobs of gut death that are expelled from her innards.  It’s like I feed her the devil.

And then I had to remove the devil shit from her bum with some toilet paper and walk it to the bathroom.

The distance at which you hold something away from your body is directly proportionate to the disgustingness of that thing.  Everybody knows that.  Let’s just say if my arms were 3 feet longer than they are, I still would have been uncomfortable walking this toilet paper wrapped horror to the toilet.

Ernie’s (that’s her name) litter box happens to be in my office, which is where I spend 80% of my working day. That means I spend a lot of time with a sweater tied around my head trying to filter out the stink after she poops. Nobody gets a good days work done when they’re choking on a wool blend.  Every once in a while the smell lingers though. It seems to follow me around and then suddenly … it’s gone.  There is reason for that.

Occasionally, and I mean occasionally, the devil poop will liberate itself from her furry cat ass and drop right onto my bed.




That is her.  That is the shit smuggler sitting at the foot of the bed.  She’s so cute.

One evening, not too long ago, cute little Ernie worked the poop off of her trousers right on my sheets, up near my pillow.  So let’s say exactly where my head was going to lay. There it was laying there.  Like a hotel chocolate.

Poop isn’t the type of thing you want hanging out on your sheets no matter where it comes from let alone the hellish bowels of Ernie, so at midnight I was forced to strip my bed and wash my sheets.  I’d dry them in the morning I figured.

Only when I went to make the exchange from washing machine to dryer things didn’t go very well.  I started the dryer up and began to walk away when it started to sound like it had the devil inside it too. I can’t really describe the sound the dryer was making and if I were a far better blogger than I am I would have thought to record it.  It was kind of like a really low pitched monkey howl squeal hiccup.

So I did what anyone would do.  I introduced myself and asked my dryer if it knew the Ikea monkey.  It did not. I don’t think … it didn’t answer so I took that as a no.

I couldn’t find any information about this particular sound on the Internet so I took the dryer completely apart and stared at it.  That didn’t do a thing.  I looked and prodded and tugged.  Nothing appeared to be broken, the belts were all fine, the thing I knew the name of when I searched about my problem on Google was good and there wasn’t any lint or anything else in the body of the dryer that could cause problems.



I have a really strong commitment to never calling a repairman because even in this day and age they tend to talk to me like “the lady of the house” and use hand motions when saying words like screwdriver or hammer in case I’m not familiar with such technical man terms. But I was exasperated and didn’t know what to do.  Finally, the only thing I could think to do was to find some motor oil for machines and grease ‘er up.

I squeezed little bits of oil onto all the moving parts I could think of.  Including this …




Here’s a closer look at it, and before you judge tell me when the last time you cleaned the inside of your dryer was.

I cannot even believe you’d think to judge me on this.




I call it the Whirley McSwivel-bob.  And it was the culprit.  That right there, behind the circular looking filter is the howling devil monkey.

I’ve said this time and time again. If you can’t figure out why something isn’t working, take it apart, blow on it, then put it back together.  9 times out of 10 (completely made up statistic, much like Jennifer Aniston’s age) it fixes the problem.  In this case it took a little more than blowing, it took some oil.

That’s all.  A few tiny drips of oil.  Which doesn’t explain why after fixing the dryer my kitchen looked like this.



I blame the cat.






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  1. Paula says:

    If I wasn’t a cat person before, I am definitely not one now. Congrats on the dryer repair – well done.

  2. Cheryl says:

    When in doubt, oil the crap out of everything moving! Coconut oil actually works well for hinges and smells nice.
    At least you have fresh cut flowers in your kitchen…..

  3. KiwiKat says:

    As the owner of a cat who excretes his own body weight in, well, excreta, each day – excreta that smells like week old bowels of hell (woboh) – I understand. Thankfully my cat is short-haired, so it doesn’t stick. He does, however, love coming and producing while I am in the shower, as his box is in the bathroom. Nothing like woboh in a steamy room to make you get out of the shower fast. Bleurgh.
    Congratulations on fixing the dryer, too!

    • BamaCarol says:

      Mine does the exact same thing. Comes from a deep sleep to poop while I am showering. Must be a cat thing.

      • Carswell says:

        Luckily I don’t house a litter box in my bathroom. I do have a cat who joins me in there every morning – she sits on the toilet seat and completes her morning ablutions while I do mine in the shower – and she’s not the first cat I’ve had who does that.

        It’s definitely a cat thing.

  4. Rachel San Diego says:

    I can’t believe how much you just poop-shamed Ernie.

    Nice going with the dryer. You should patent the blow and oil method.

  5. Cynthia Jones says:

    I really thought you were going to say that you scooped the cat up with the sheets and she was in the dryer.

    It seemed logical to me at the time.

    I have a $25 Rocket trimmer (in red) to give my pomeranian ”reverse Brazilians” for this very reason. Poop dags.

    I love how Americans pronouce it pooop. I dont know about Canadians. Australians pronounce it POOP the same short sound as the word PUT.

    Just like the word ass is pronouse arse in Australia.

    Just wanted an excuse to do more pooop talk. Toilet humour. Ark Ark.

    • Aspasia says:

      We pronounce it the same as Americans. But I think I might adopt the Australian pronunciation now that I know about it–somehow makes the whole thing seem more entertaining 🙂

  6. Debbe Van Ness says:

    Soooooo, think that would work for a sewing machine that has a wheel that seems glued? It just sits on the shelf looking woefully lonesome. Ever taken a sewing machine to a repair shop for cleaning/oiling/tuneups? Holy crappola!! (Yeah, I have 2 other machines, but this one and I have a bond, now literal….well, I’m not bonded in THAT way….shutting up….I’m babbling).

  7. Auntiepatch says:

    Oh. My. God. I almost choked to death on my meatloaf! Have you ever had meatloaf gravy come out of your nose? I didn’t know that it was possible.

    I, too, have a long-haired cat with the same problems. The only think I can do is have my husband hold her down while I shave her butt. So I truly know what you’re talking about! But I couldn’t have voiced it as well as you. Thanks for the great laugh. Like a hotel chocolate!!! OMG!

  8. Mary W says:

    My cousin had a dog many years before she got married and of course the dog slept with her. Well the first night that she and her husband were – well going at it – he stopped and asked her if she passed gas, then when she said no, she asked him. They both looked for the smell and found out the dog had left her idea of a wedding present on the pillow next to them. First time ever – but I guess she wasn’t impressed with their performance. Those two have had funny things happen their whole marriage – it may be that they just laugh a lot at not so funny things and can tell a good story. This was one of the best after almost 45 years of laughing. Good night!

  9. Jane says:

    Cat poop story for ya….someone brought a tiny kitten over to my house and it was crawling all around my head and neck as kittens like to do. She left and I smelled cat poop….searched everywhere, but seemed like no matter what room I went into, it was there! Accidentally looked in the mirror while in the bathroom and saw that the kitty had pooped in my hair!! That’s why I smelled it everywhere I went…yuck!! Nothing worse than cat poop….and I always have a cat.

    • Louise says:

      OMG! Thank goodness you didn’t go outside to get the mail or answer the door before you found out! I’ve done that with melted chocolate on the back of my pants so it looked almost as disgusting, but if anyone had asked, I could have had them smell the chocolate! Yeah, that wouldn’t have been weird!

  10. Becky says:

    I once had a dryer with the Whirley thing making God awful noises. turned out the bolt where it attaches to the other part had worked itself partially loose and then got jammed, and then stripped.
    Couldn’t put it back, couldn’t get it out. We ended up using the dryer, making that awful sound until it died, a few months later.

    If it makes you feel any better, my sisters puppy is still in the phase of “hmm, what is this, I wonder what it tastes like” so several times he’s had random objects hanging out of the “poop chute” that she’s had to retrieve them before he can be let back in the house… and in spite he pooped on her bed. ON PURPOSE.

  11. Kathy H says:

    1. Our first cat left presents of pee on our bed; then one time, as we were, as Mary W. says, going at it the cat peed on top of us…..laughing hysterically, crying??? I smushed his face in it….and he got over it. Never ever again befouled the marital bed.
    2. Neighbor had a toddler and thought the little guy had dropped a piece of brownie… can guess the rest…..diaper wasn’t tight….
    3. One month ago I took apart both dryers and cleaned out their innards…..removed about a hundred pounds of lint from one and found the piece of paper that went down the lint cleaning chute on the other
    4. Bless uTube for all the instructional videos!!! And, you, too, Karen darling, bless you for all you teach us!

  12. Angela says:

    I couldn’t stop laughing! Very Funny!

  13. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Our cat Sophie is long haired like your Ernie and occasionally a little poop turd will stick to her. She wanders the house and drops them off here and there, including on our bed. The other night she was running back and forth through our computer/tv room like a mad woman and slung one off! It was really dramatic. Made me wonder if she was trying to run away from it.

    • Karen says:

      My other cat Cleo does that! If she comes out of the litter box and then goes tearing around the house I know I’m gonna have to start the poo search. It’s actually really funny to see the cat fly around like that. ~ karen!

  14. Maggie Andrew says:

    Why doesn’t the cat go outside?

    • Cara says:

      Either it chooses to poop indoors even though it goes out (I had a cat like that once) or Karen doesn’t let the cat out, to protect neighborhood birds and bunnies.

    • Cara says:

      I do believe 72% of all statistics are made up.

    • Auntiepatch says:

      Do you know all of the dangers to cats outside??? If you love your cats, you don’t let them out.

      • Maggie Andrew says:

        Cats are meant to go outside (unless you live in a high rise building with no garden) mine is currently dozing in the flowerbed. I don’t let her out at night but she spends most of the day out and about.

        • Laurinda says:

          People can be assholes to cats, I’ve seen the damage that they can do. And for that reason, my cats NEVER go outside.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Maggie. Me again, lol! My one cat Ernie was a feral cat that I found on my porch in the middle of winter. After months, I tamed her enough to let me get close to her. Then finally the vet. Then finally inside the house. She wouldn’t go outside again if her life depended on it. My other cat Cleo is also an indoor cat because it’s safer for her. I’m on a fairly busy road plus my first cat, Prada, was an outdoor cat because he was a male stray and there was NO keeping him inside. However, because he was an outside cat he died years earlier than he should have because he contracted feline leukemia from fighting with other cats outside. I know cats like it outside, but it really can shorten their lifespan by a huge amount so from now on my cats will be indoor cats. ~ karen!

        • Kerrill says:

          My vet told me once that there is such a reservoir of feline disease in our particular county that an outdoor cat won’t last two years around here………they all get sick and die young.

        • j says:

          Dear Maggie-There is no learning curve for a cat who comes in contact with a moving car. So if you love your cat keep it in the house. We also have coyote’s, and bob cats that visit suburbia and the same warning applies. Thanks for your recognition and acceptance of the needs of one’s pets.

      • sheila says:

        Amen, Sister!

    • Karen says:

      I don’t let me cats outside Maggie. ~ karen!

  15. amanda says:

    my cat, thankfully, will only have a really god-awful smelling poop about once or twice a week (not to say they don’t all stink, but I’m talking choking when you walk into the room type) and she gets very embarrassed about it. when she does it she will sit in the bathroom doorway (her litterbox is next to the toilet) and swat at anyone who tries to go in, and if you do go in, and mention the smell, she will run and hide for the next few hours.

  16. Calliek says:

    And here I was taking a break from cleaning the cat litter box only to find myself reading about more cat poop, yay!
    And I’m glad Im not the only one who thinks there’s something fishy about Jennifer Aniston and her adjustable age. I’m pretty sure she was older than me at one point but now she’s apparently 5 years younger.

  17. MissChris from SA says:

    Note to self: never read this blog whilst eating your breakfast!

    I have three cats, the baby is very furry and very clumsy with her toilet habits too – but thankfully never on my bed has she deposited a remnant!!

  18. Evalyn says:

    No cat poop story here, I have a dog, and that’s a whole different kettle of fish. But on the subject of your kitchen: it looks much like mine does after I do pretty much anything. I seem to be able to use up every item in my household to do the simplest thing. Cooking, repairs, sewing, watching TV – always with the same result. After studying your photo, I think I’ll add a can of beer and see if that helps at all.

  19. Pam'a says:

    It is one of the mysteries of the universe: How, oh HOW can such gorgeous creatures emit such horrendously odorific substances?

  20. nancy says:

    We call ’em klinkers.

  21. Cynthia Jones says:

    Don’t you just love a Diet Coke burp ! (there’s a can in her hand, guys….in the photo)

  22. IRS says:

    I thought today was going to be another garden post, so I heated up a bowl of chili, and clicked on the latest post. Big mistake. Huge. Since we’re flinging shit around, in both literal and statistical form, there is a 92% chance that Karen’s posts will involve something putrid, therefore I must train myself to avoid food 100% of the time when reading them. That said, some additional musings:

    Since you spend 80% of your day in your office, and since your cat emits substances and smells that assault the olfactory sense worse than a pit of rotting corpses, why not move the damn litter box? Like to the basement. We’ve all seen your basement, and it is scarier than the one belonging to the serial killer in “The Silence of the Lambs”. Since that infernal feline insists on behaving this way, she deserves the basement.

    Next, I have checked out the site of one of your sponsors, Rough Linen. One of their sheet sets costs 1000 bucks. And not Canuck Bucks, but real US dollars. We know from your post on Oxiclean that you sleep on these sheets. AND YOU LET THE CATS NEAR YOUR BED?!!

    And lastly, any living thing in my house either shits in the toilet, or outside. This is why I love dogs, and dislike cats. It is also why I have never had children, since in their early stages they don’t know how to use a toilet, and I’m told that the authorities frown on leaving young children out on the lawn until they have emptied their bodily recesses. As for fixing the dryer, I would rather pay a repairman than have to look into the bowels and innards of the thing. I have had the same Swedish dryer since 1999, and it has only needed one minor repair, to replace the motor brushes. I can live with that.

    • Maria says:

      Man, are you grumpy or what?

      It’s 6:41 here in America, I’ve been up for two hours and I’ve never been this grumpy.

      Eat some fruit or something.

      Karen–why do you not move the litter box? Mine is in the bathroom where the exhaust fan will help with noxious odors created by any mammal. Your cats are very pretty.

      When our cat Jasper uses the litter box and you have to enter the room to turn on the exhaust fan. Husband will look at me with all the serious of a bomb technician entering a crime scene and say, “I love you. I’m going in.” It’s hilarious to us.

      • gabrielle duval says:

        Just wanted to take this opportunity for all cat people who read this – I’ve rescued and kept many many cats, and while poop never smells like flowers, if it smells really bad, it’s an indication that something in the diet you feed does not agree with the cats stomach.

        Kinda like your OWN poop, if you catch my drift.

        Gently transition to a feed that is more for gastric/sensitive stomachs and see if the smell improves. Or ask a vet.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Maria! There’s no room in the bathroom, or any other room for that matter. :/ And the office is furthest away from anyone who might be visiting me, lol. I can’t put the box in the basement, because I KNOW out of site, out of mind. I’d never clean the thing down there. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      It’s a shame you didn’t have kids, with your sunny disposition. 😉 ~ karen!

      • IRS says:

        Hey, I’m a sweetheart! You should meet my sister. If I could give birth to puppies, I would have already had several litters, but little humans just grow up to be the big humans that generally annoy me.

  23. Sandra Lea says:

    This story just confirms why I am not a fan of cats.

  24. Heidi Lee says:

    The term that you all seek for your long haired pet problem is. ” DINGLEBERRY”! Google the definition. It is comical.

    • Ev Wilcox says:

      Yes, it’s dingleberry! Alway was, always will be!

      • gabrielle duval says:

        I beg to differ. My childhood friend’s mother, who was the most wonderful mother I’ve ever known, R.I.P. Salina, used “dingleberries” to refer to the defining bodyparts on the rear-end of various male cats and dogs that lived in their home.. I no longer can recall a sentence that she would have used dingleberries in, but she had many names for things that were evocative and down-to-earth, so that you could talk about anything with her. She was the model for me when I raised my son.

  25. Ann says:

    I think I have developed a new level of appreciation for my 3 short haired, plain Jane old tiger kitties. No poo anywhere but their boxes and not bad smelling at all. Our litter boxes are on the sunporch and if it is really humid out, it may smell a little but where it is, I can just shut the door and keep the smell out. They have a nice tidy little kitty door of their own to go back and forth when I have to keep the big people doors shut.

    The only time I had a dryer that really made noise is a cat related story for sure. This was back in the day when my daughter was a teenager, probably younger than her own daughters are now. She loved Converse hightop tennies and had many pair. When they needed washing they went right in the washing machine. But we always let them dry on their own in the sunshine outside. So I emptied the washer and left the shoes on top for my daughter to go take outside. I put the rest of the clothes in the dryer and turned it on. I walked away and a minute later here this big-thump, thump, thump. I couldn’t convince myself I took all the Converses out of the load so I went back to open the dryer and fix that situation. Out hops George, our very curious and very big yellow and white Tom cat. Thank goodness, I did not decide to let the shoes go a bit longer in the dryer!! Cause the shoes were really on top and the noise was my sweet boy being “fluff dried”. Not sure how I didn’t see him when I was putting the clothes in. Now I have stacking, which I detest, BTW, so I doubt any cat could ever climb in and go to sleep.

    And no, a cat does not need to necessarily ever go outside. I have never had an inside/outside cat live with me longer than about 5 years. Indoor only kitties I have had as long as 14. I choose the 14

    • Karen says:

      ~!!!!!! The poor cat, lol! I can only laugh because clear the cat survived, lol. Wow. And yes. That’s the problem with outdoor cats. They die. ~ karen!

    • amy watson says:

      Me too!!! All my cats have been indoor only, and that is how it should be, l only have one right now, my sweet gray tabby, Ginny….l keep her litterbix in the laundry room, with some good clumping litter that l scoop everyday, no problem…btw IRS Isee now why you are so grumpy, not having kids or cats because the don’t poop outside….you are missing something special by not having a cat, but you really shouldn’t because you would probably put it in the basement and just throw down some food once in a while….just sayin’ and it seems to me you don’t know much about rough linen.I have it on my bed and the more you wash it the better it gets, and yes my cat sleeps right up there with us on those sheets….

      • IRS says:

        I may not like kids or cats, but I adore dogs. I have spent my whole life around them, and always loved and pampered them. I don’t have a dog now because I travel too much, so it would not be fair to have one; perhaps my disposition will improve when I can have one again. But probably not, since there will still be so many stupid people in the world. I also know plenty about linen in general, including the fact that I would not want to spend $1000 on sheets, just to have them serve as a butt wipe for a poo ball-dragging feline. No matter how well linen washes. Then again, I am allergic to cats, so I would not want a cat on my bed even if the bed had the crappiest and cheapest of polyester sheets on it. And that illustrates the difference between cats and dogs: with a dog, you can have mutual respect, and can train the dog to stay off beds and couches if you like, although mine were welcome there. Not so with a cat. Anyone I ever knew who had a cat, admitted that the cat went where it wanted, no matter how they tried to train it. If the cat wants to shit on your bed, it will, and too bad for you. And don’t even get me started on little cat paws that tramp through a litter box full of cat poop and cat pee, and then hop up on the kitchen counter, where food is prepared. No thanks. I am a fierce animal lover in general, and would help any cat in distress (and have), but I have no desire to live with one. However I do understand the love that you cat people have for your kitties. I also understand the love that Karen has for little Cutlet, even though I would roast her the second Karen turned her back. 😀

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      Been there Ann..that boy never tried to take a nap in the dryer again….

  26. Barb says:

    I have found, that even on my absolutely worst days at work, you put a smile on my face and even make me LOL at times! Karen, I get up at 3:30 AM and leave the house @ 5:00AM for 2 hour commute, so I’m pretty sure you can understand WHY my days at work are horrid. Thank you for this little tidbit. I haven’t encountered my dryer’s howling monkey yet, but it’s an old one, passed down from my parents, so I probably stand a good chance of hearing it before I move on down to my lower 40…horizontally…if you get my drift. 😉

    • Karen says:

      Getting up at 3:30 is GROSS! I completely understand the 2 hour commute. I did it for over a decade to and from Toronto during rush hour. It was enough to make my cry at times. ~ karen!

  27. Tigersmom says:

    hotel chocolate – hehehehehehe

  28. Elaine says:

    Have you considered a little “catscaping”? Trimming the hair around the offending area so the poop won’t get stuck? I don’t own a cat, but thought this might help.

    • Carswell says:

      Catscaping definitely works. My big furry girl gets a trim in the nether regions when I take her for a “spa day” at the vet clinic. Toenails trimmed, long hair on the paws trimmed and a modified brazilian in the back end.

      She doesn’t really have an issue with poop sticking there (I only feed the girls dry food so the end product tends to be firm and dry and not prone to sticking, dry food also helps with the smell factor) – but when she pees she obviously sits low in the box and so where the long hair gets wet the clay litter adheres to it. She doesn’t have a poopy bum – but it sure looks like she does. Since she’s generally a happy cat and walks around with her tail in the air that sticky glorified mess is there for all to see. And bless her cotton socks, I can’t say I blame her when she doesn’t want to clean it up. I mean, really, who wants a mouthful of dirt glued together with cat pee?

      So, yeah, catscaping. It works.

  29. Wisconsin Gal says:

    I have no comment to any of this. It’s too gross. Bleahhh!

  30. connie says:

    Cute cats Karen ! hard not to luv ’em , annoying habits and all . We had a long haired persian cat that was the fluffiest , hairest beast known. Had a problem with “cling-ons” as we termed it. (really gross) So i started to regularly gave him a trim or “cat -scape” as your other reader calls it. Worked well! Vet thought it was a bit weird when he first saw it, but it was better than the alternative and I think it’s because he was more of a dog person anyway.
    We’ve since adopted 2 more cats 🙂

  31. Traci says:

    Just wanted to say that I fixed my dryer myself this spring because of you! I had to get a multimeter, but it was cheap and simple to use and I was able to figure out which part needed replacing, order it for $30, swap it out and make the dryer magically work again. Saved a ton and I can’t begin to tell you what a great feeling of accomplishment it was! A good tip: there are tons of parts websites that have plans for your appliances available and even offer step-by-step directions on how to diagnose and fix most any problem!

    On the cat litter front, try Odour Buster. It’s canadian so you will probably have an easier time finding it than I do (Petvalue in the US carries it). It really does work! We skeptically tried it and have been quite satisfied. I especially like that it doesn’t have any perfumey smells. It just stops the odor rather than cover it up.

    • Karen says:

      Good to know about the Odour Buster Traci! Yeah they’re everywhere here, lol. I think Dollarama might even carry them. And I’m so glad you let me know you fixed your own dryer because of my site. That’s what I’m here for and I LOVE hearing that people are helped, motivated and inspired to do stuff themselves. Especially women. ~ karen!

    • Amie M says:

      We use Feline Fresh cat litter. We have two cats, and one has very nasty turds. The pine litter absorbs the smell very well! His nastiest of the nasties are neutralized within an hour. And this litter can go in your municipality’s green bin! Now, if only the Litter Locker would develop compostable bags for their products, we would be even more eco-friendly and smell-free…

  32. Maggie Andrew says:

    Obviously it seems most people in North Anerica don’t let their cats outside, Here in the UK if you’ve got a garden most people do ( we also don’t do that awful thing of declawing them).
    Anyway Karen I just remembered that I have a Japanese friend who lives in Yokohama now but got her cats when she lived in Qatar. I don’t mean I just remembered I’ve got a Japanese friend but I just remembered that she has taught her cats to dump on command. I wouldn’t have believed it unless I’d seen it. She used to shout something at them and the three of them would jump into the litter tray, do their jobbies( see Billy Connelly for translation) and then she would empty the tray. Mind you she also bathes them once a week and dries them with a hairdryer, maybe worth investigating the Japanese way to herd cats.x

    • Karen says:

      LOL! That’s fantastic! Wow. I can’t even make myself poop when I want to sometimes. ~ karen!

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      Maggie..we have people here in the USA trying to get a law pass banning is a cruel and heartless act..If people don’t like what cats do..don’t get a cat..or let us cut off the ends of your fingers to get rid of your claws…

  33. Noreen McKechnie says:

    No one has commented on the bad cat breath. Get your vet to look at her teeth, this is often ther reason for bad breath in cats and dogs.

  34. Kristen says:

    Those flowers though! Makes up for the rest of the mess. 😉

    • Karen says:

      From my cutting garden Kristen! One of the greatest things I ever did was dedicate a small corner to a mess of flowers, just for cutting. ~ karen!

      • amy watson says:

        Karen you need to do a post on your cutting garde, l would love to know what you plant…from seeds or cuttings, how big the space, and how much of the year you get tose beauties…inquiring flower lovers want to know 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Hi Amy! If you search back to my community garden posts there’s a bit on my cutting garden in there. I may have done an entire post on it at one point actually, lol. Use the search bar on my site and see. Then let me know, lol. ~ karen!

  35. Ev Wilcox says:

    Thanks for a really great post. Your writing, and this time especially, your reader’s offerings, were hilarious! Somewhere I must find a description of “a Brazilian”. I can guess, though! I too have heard yowls coming from the dryer AND the washer. Was ever so glad when they finally gave up the ghost. My spouse finally could not fix them anymore! Yay! BTW, my dog has very short hair, but when I see her tearing around the yard and speeding onto the deck to get back inside-it’s a dingleberry for sure. At least I can help her out (clean bum) before she comes back in! All you great cat/dog/whatever people have a great day!

    • Carol says:

      Several years ago I wasn’t quite sure what a Brazilian was so I googled and up popped a very, very graphic picture. I was at work, too. When I went through chemo every hair on my body fell out so I had an unwanted Brazilian. That should be description enough. DON’T GOOGLE IT!

  36. What, no clothesline!??!?!! I was expecting a how to on installing a clothes line but good job on the dryer.

  37. Kim C says:

    Whoa, Ernie. Get it together…not on the bed! Gross!
    Many years ago, before I met my husband, I adopted a kitten who grew into a surly male. Lucky and I formed a pretty tight bond, well as close as a cat will allow. When hubby and I got married we decided it best if he moved into my apartment so we could save up for a down payment on a house. Hubby moved his few possessions, a duffle bag, stereo, and crates of record albums, into the spare bedroom. Lucky took this new threat on his manhood to heart by leaving a nice gift for hubby. The one and only poop he ever “accidentally” deposited outside of his litter box just happened to land in hubby’s duffle bag! That showed hubby who was boss!
    Lucky lived for 19 years and in that time whenever he passed by hubby he would give him the brush off.

    • IRS says:

      Yup. My point exactly. You own a dog. A cat owns you. There is also an old saying, that if you feed a dog for 7 days, it will remember it for 7 years, but if you feed a cat for 7 years, it will remember it for 7 days.

  38. Sue says:

    Your litter box location reminds me of one of my (many) pet peeves. Do NO architects and builders have pets? EVERY house should have nooks or some kind of dedicated space(s) for water and feeding dishes and a litter box! Preferably with a cabinet nearby for storing that food and litter. Maybe an older home gets a pass but newer homes seem to not include these either.

  39. carol says:

    I wasn’t really a fan of the show Friends but I’ll always remember one episode I saw in which Phoebe sang a wonderful song called Smelly Cat. It begins, “Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you? …” You can see the whole song here:

  40. Melissa in NC says:

    Good job on the dryer repair. Why keep the litter box in your office??? Why not build a discrete litter box holder that looks like furniture for your fur babies? Dingleberries…of course 🙂

  41. Connie says:

    Really enjoyed this article. Have repaired many an appliance through the years and it is really a big money saver. What with the repairman rates now it will be an even bigger money saver. Also wanted to share a cat poop story. We have had lots of cats, each with their own ways about them. But Bill the one-eyed-cat was a favorite. He came to us as a kitten, the victim of a vicious attack, with one eye punctured. Had to name him Bill, right? He grew into a great cat who didn’t know he had a disability and a great gentleman. But Bill…how shall I put this…had a special use for cat poo. One day while I was sitting in the family room here came Bill trotting through, head and tail high, with a piece of dried poo in his mouth. I thought what the what. As I sat there stunned, I heard familiar sounds, certain pings and thumps coming from the bathroom. There was Bill, batting the dried poop around the floor, sometimes hitting the tub, sometimes the cabinet, and having such a fun time. That explained the occasional discovery of cat poop in the bathroom. Bill was special.
    By the way Bill was killed by a car. We don’t let cats out anymore. They are all too special.

  42. Gordy says:

    Ok, that was without any doubt the funniest article I’ve read anywhere, anytime. After I finished choking on my coffee I couldn’t stop laughing, couldn’t see from the tears and my parrot, Scooter was forced to dig into my shoulder to ride out the convulsions. He actually scowled at me when I explained it was all about your cat.

    Oh, and congratulations on the drier, I knew you could do it.

    Thanks for making my day different than it would have been, I do love a good surprise laugh. Cheers, Gordy

  43. nancee says:

    So sorry about Ernie’s odoriferous BM habits! You are one brave lady to take a dryer apart. I finally found this one young man who lets me sit there and watch him work and explains how the machine works. He is also honest when he seriously can’t figure out why the machine isn’t working. The dryer is on “lemon law” time limit at this point. One more unidentified problem and I get a new one!
    I did take the vacuum apart…and ended up with three screws left over. Crap! I couldn’t ignore them. I took the vacuum apart and threatened it with bodily harm and managed to get all the screws back in. Not sure they were where they were supposed to be, but I got the darn thing back together. It growls at me now.
    I blame the dog and her hair.

  44. Jillian says:

    When you said you heard a howling noise from the dryer I thought you had scooped up Ernie with your bedding and she had gone through the wash and had enough when in the dryer! lol

    Great post, and I totally get what you mean by handy men acting condescending to the “little lady” lol If I have to call someone, I tell them up front I am quite mechanical, was descended from 5 generations of mechanics and probably have a higher IQ than them lol I stand there as they are working, ask them questions to make them feel like a man again then give them praise. As you know, men need validation that they are helping their “little ladies”, even if not married to them.

  45. JMC says:

    Karen I think I’ve found a new use for your selfie stick. Looking forward to your tutorial on how to adapt one into a poop to toilet transportation device.

  46. Jennie Lee says:

    Since todays topics are cats and oiling things, I have some potentially useful info to offer. 1. A cat slicker brush would help with removing excess fluff from Ernie. 2. The squealing horror in your dryer looks like the fan motor. If it’s developing a bearing problem, it’ll probably start screaming again soon. 3. Oiling is good, but don’t oil belts. They need to grab, not slide. (Reminds me of the time my Uncle Arnold, as a boy, oiled my Grandpa’s brakes. Not good.) 5. 33% of the joy of cat ownership is experienced when they lie on your bed. 6. After a succession of cats that never lived longer than 2 years, we started keeping them inside. Since then, they’ve lived 11-18.5 years. 7. Never pull anything out of a cat’s butt. You could cause internal injury. If it’s just too gross, cut it off with scissors and watch the cat for a while to make sure the problem passes okay. 8. For the stinky office, try Febreze. It kills odors.

    • gabrielle duval says:

      Must interject that I have a flame-point siamese that is the oddest cat of many that I’ve ever owned. Since we’ve had him on anti-anxiety medication he has steadily started to bloom in personality, but one of his favourite things is chewing grass, especially after a long winter inside (yes, my cats are indoor/outdoor; we have a Loc8tor collar on each (I currently have 5) and can locate each in just a few minutes (historically my cats have had lifespans of 13-20 years). Anyway, the grass chewing habit occasionally leads to his eliminations to take the form of a string of anal beads which he carries around and randomly destributes, like a detached pop-bead with a grass blade sticking out. His other habit is to loll around on the many sunny, warm, dusty accumulations on our long driveway, so the beads are usually very dry and fairly inconsequential (tho instantly recognizable!) With so many cats, I have to vacuum often, so no guest has ever been the wiser!

  47. calliek says:

    All of my cats have been outdoor cats. One passed at age 12 from diabetes, her daughter lived to be 20 and passed away in her sleep, laying in favourite spot on the deck outside- she was never sick and other than going deaf was still healthy and active so the vet figured it was her heart or a stroke. My 2 current girls are 7 and 6, another mother daughter pair and they spend most of the time outdoors ( except in winter when they hover near the back door looking disgusted at me for allowing snow.) I don’t think I could ever have inside cats.

  48. Teddee Grace says:

    So relieved! I thought you had shut the cat up in the dryer. Keep the hair around her anus trimmed short, if she’ll let you. It helps. If her hair balls are also odiferous, perhaps she needs special food.

  49. Diane amick says:

    OMG…the comments are almost as good as the blog today…do any of you call family and friends to read Karen to them? I admit to nothing, but this one is too good not to share.

  50. pixieskulls says:

    My friend had a cat with the same problem… she used to shave his butt. Seriously,one day she called me up and asked me to help wrangle him.

  51. Vicky says:

    I too have a cat with poop issues, ie it sticks to her rear end and it is very nasty. I’ve taken her to the vet and had her shaved which worked but I need to keep up with it. We also have a little dog who thinks her butt is the best thing he’s ever smelled. My husband has a video of the cat on her back and the dog licking her………
    It is animal porn. Disgusting.

  52. My cat Gracie hated riding in our truck, but we lived in an rv for a year and travelled a lot so she had to make her peace with it. We had a cage with a cat litter box in it, but we left the door open so she could move around the truck. Inevitably, just as we started moving, she would head to the litterbox to take a dump. And then another. And usually another. She was a ragdoll, so on occasion she also had those little lumps of death stuck to her fur. I can completely relate to the horror you’ve experienced…

  53. kelli says:

    Ugh. Cat poop. My least favorite job, cleaning the catbox. But as disgusting as it is, it’s easier to clean up, at least in my cat’s case, than say, a big nasty wet glob of partially digested food on top of absorbent shag carpet. When one’s SpotBot is broken. Unlike the time I went to shake out my curtains before washing them a few years ago, and a huge clump of poo went flying across the living room like a big stinky missile. My former kitty, Arnie, was old and liked to poop in soft places. Very soft, very HIDDEN places. 😛

  54. Stefanie Barrett says:

    Thank you for sharing that photo. It makes me feel less ashamed of my kitchen and, truth be told, the entire house.

  55. Jody says:

    You are a magician! You drew us into that story with the title and then ended with a photo of your kitchen. I think I felt all the emotions–disgust, gagging, laugh-snorting, judgment (but only if I knew what I was looking at inside your dryer), and joy to be virtually sitting in your kitchen with you. Pure magic, I say.

  56. Stina Brandhoj says:

    Loove your story! Always blame the cat.

  57. Vanessa says:

    I ran into a mechanical problem myself just last night. About a month ago my fella, but let’s call him Asshat so as not to confuse him with your fella, turned 45 and decided he wasn’t happy, (and after finding out about the blonde I decided I wasn’t either) so he moved out. Now, if I can fix something I will, but I gotta say Asshat was pretty handy. We have a well, and living in California during the drought normally having a well is awesome. But for the last couple of weeks its been “surging” so you have to drain out some of the water. No problem, I can do that…or not, as it turned out. I turned off the power, opened the drain let the water out, closed the drain turned the power back on hit the button and nothing exactly nothing. I opened it all up, blew on it and still nothing. I gotta say I’m better with cars than 60 year old pumps. Luckily I have 3 boys so they were totally fine with skipping a bath, my daughter and I not so much. So here I sit, getting stuff done around the house with out doing any of the stuff that NEEDS to be done, like the dishes, and laundry (and with these 3 boys there is a TON of both!). Hopefully the pump guy will show up soon!

    • Karen says:

      Vanessa. WTF is wrong with men? Seriously. It’s rarely the woman running off with some blonde. It’s the man. And give or take a few months within a year he’s admitting to everyone who will listen how he ruined his life and what a big mistake he made. Idiots. ~ karen!

      • IRS says:

        Yes, they are (or can be) asshats and idiots. But you know who is an even bigger idiot? The woman who cheats with a married man, and when he leaves his wife and marries her, and then cheats on HER, she’s surprised. It never ceases to amaze me.

        • ronda says:

          been there, done that … you can keep the t-shirt, thank you very much. Raised two kids on my own after asshat decided he wanted to be with someone else. good riddance!

      • Vanessa says:

        Yup, We have 4 kids so I didn’t take this lightly. It happened once before and we worked through it, not this time. “Fool me once” and all that. I do love this blog, my daughter laughs at me because I refer to you by name, like I know you and we hang out. “Karen said the funniest thing…” “You know what Karen did?” And the one that really makes her roll her eyes: “I’m thinking about getting chickens…” You keep me smiling!

  58. Heather says:

    What is wrong with your kitchen?

  59. Irene says:

    Mmm, gross pet stories. Ok. Let me gross you out too then. 😀
    Zowie, the male ginger, insisted on pee-ing and poo-ing on our bed pillows ALL the time, since the day we got him as a tiny kitten.
    We tried EVERYTHING short of drop kicking him across the room, and he wouldn’t stop.
    One day, I had a “that’s IT! E-bloody-NUFF!” hissy fit and stormed over to my husband’s biking gear. I donned the Lewis leather (VERY thick leather) jacket, leather gloves and helmet, grabbed the cat, and found my husband.
    Took the husband and the cat to the bathroon, the husband now killing himself laughing because I had explained my plan to him.
    I held the squirming, clawing, yowling cat down in the bath (See? Motorcycle leathers are GOOD!) and got my husband, who was laughing so hard he couldn’t aim, to pee on the cat.
    I let go, the cat shot out of there so fast he was a blur, and we didn’t see him until the next day.
    He was clean (ish) by then, but let me tell you, that cat NEVER washed himself ever again.
    Nor did he ever pee or poo inside the house. EVER. Again. 😀

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      and you find this funny…

      • IRS says:

        Yeah, it’s kinda funny. OK, it’s very funny. It would NEVER have occurred to me to do that, so kudos to Irene to think outside the (litter) box like that. And hey, it worked, didn’t it? I have no idea how a cat’s imperious brain works, but that feline obviously got the message. Irene’s method may seem harsh, but most people in her position would (quite rightly) refuse to live with a cat with such foul habits. And most people would then either turf the cat out into the street, or take it to a shelter. A homeless cat is never a good idea, and an unwanted cat in a shelter has a very high chance of being euthanized. Irene’s cat was not physically harmed by this “lesson”, and was able to keep her home. Desperate times, desperate measures.

      • Irene says:

        Yes, it was a mean move on our part. We were laughing hysterically partly because we couldn’t believe what we were doing, partly because we were finally getting revenge on an animal that was making our lives a misery, and partly because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all. But it worked, we showed the cat that WE were the bosses, and the cat, along with others, lived in warmth and love and comfort for about another 15 years.
        Cats show their disdain and disrespect, as well as who is boss of the house, by doing what Zowie did, as the lady with the poop in the boyfriend’s bag knows.
        I have had cats since I was 7 years old, and this was the only cat who displayed this behaviour!
        Of course, now we have a story that shocks people and makes them laugh, because dammit, it IS funny BECAUSE it’s unexpected and gross. 🙂

        • Irene says:

          Thanks for defending me, IRS. 😀
          Yup, we spoke to the cat in a language it could understand; pee-ing and poo-ing on our stuff was a message to us that he is top cat, and we showed him that, na-uh, we are the ultimate top cats! 😀

          • IRS says:

            My pleasure Irene! I will always defend a woman with balls against an ornery cat. I think your cat psychology is bang on. When I was reading your story, I thought of poor Cecil the lion, who was murdered by that awful douchebag dentist. Wildlife experts were worried that without Cecil’s protection, his cubs would be killed by a rival male. With cats, it always seems to be about dominance and control. House cats are pretty clearly not too far removed from their large, wild cousins. Zowie thought he had you firmly under paw, and you shocked the crap out of him by showing him that you were boss. I don’t see this kind of conniving behaviour in most dogs. Oh they can be pretty sneaky when it comes to getting food and treats, but otherwise, they are more interested in being part of a loving pack (our families), than in playing head games.

          • Nancy Blue Moon says:

            Did you have your kitty checked by a vet..When one of my cats went on my bed last month I took her to the vet to see if there was a problem..she had urinary tract infection..she was in bad pain that was probably the only way I would have know something was wrong..when a pet is doing things like this it is best to have them checked as there could very well be a physical problem and they are trying in the wrong way to ask for help…

            • Irene says:

              Nancy Blue Moon, the cat was fine. As I said, he lived for another 15 years or so with no problems. 🙂
              He was just trying to be boss cat. 😀

            • IRS says:

              You make an excellent point, Nancy. Weird or bad behaviour should be checked out by a vet to see if there is a physical cause. I think that Irene got so desperate because she said that Zowie did this all the time. If he only did it a few times, it would be easy to explain it as a medical issue, but as a permanent and frequent habit, she was right to see it as a dominance issue. If Zowie had pissed and shit out of his litter box and, say, on a rug, that would be a strong message in itself. But choosing to do it right on their pillows, where she and her husband lay their heads………..this cat should be on “Game of Thrones”. It’s a good thing he didn’t have opposable thumbs, and couldn’t lift a kitchen knife.

  60. Connie says:

    I have a gift for you. I have 4 cats. Not, I’m not sending you a cat but I am giving you something that my son came up with that I would have never discovered on my own. I’m an artist and one of the litter boxes is near me in my studio. I have my son clean it constantly and I guess he got tired of it and it does get heavy, (even the scoupable stuff). Now for the big Ta-taa! He came home with that Gerbil wood saw dust shaving stuff. A huge Bag of it. It’s light weight, It only cost $11. It take forever to smell, the cats think it’s a gift from the outdoor gods, and the huge bag takes forever to use up. Just a thought. One of my Big furry cat’s London, loves it and thinks we bought it just for him and he’s the one we always have to clean in the shower.

  61. Kim says:

    Karen, this was one of your best posts yet…..well I haven’t finished reading even a fraction of the archives but in the few weeks I’ve been following, this is the best! And the responses to your post are almost as entertaining. I love my daily dose of Karen 🙂

    Unlike many other readers, who enjoy your humor before work, I save your posts until I get home from work. No matter how rough of a day I’ve had, you always make me laugh. I love your ingenuity! Great job on fixing your dryer. I too have used the internet and videos on youtube to repair appliances. We fixed our hot water heater that way. We have a front load washer that we had to break down and pay the $450 bucks for the repairman because we couldn’t figure it out. However, the fella watched very closely as he took it apart, repaired it and put it back together so we’ll know how to repair it ourselves if it every breaks down again.

    I have a dog who is a small terrier mix with longer hair. She has the same issue with poop balls sticking to her fur. Like several others mentioned, I trim the hair from her butt each month with her bath. My male dog likes to eat my long hair and grass so we get the dangling anal beads issue with him fairly regularly. And yes, he runs around like he is being chased by a demon until it’s removed. As another reader commented, I’ve had several vets throughout the years and ALL have advised that you should NEVER pull anything out of your pets bum. It can rip open the intestines and cause them to hemorrhage.

    And I agree completely with everyone on cats staying indoors. Feline Leukemia is rampant here in the US not to mention all the other dangers our kitty babies face. I have suffered the heartbreak of losing a most beloved kitty to feline leukemia because he managed to get outside the fence just once for only a few hours.

  62. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Ernie is so purrty..haha..get it?..and Cleo is a beauty…never had that poop problem happen…I have 3 litter boxes that I clean several times a day in the mudroom and a cat door from there into the house..that way I don’t get the smell as it happens..I would try what some others suggested..trim her butt up and see if that helps…

  63. Kelli says:

    I shocked the heck out of my new roommate when I fixed our toilet. Feels good to figure something out and accomplish a task.

  64. Rondina says:

    I’m glad you fixed your dryer. I’m especially glad that this story did not go where I thought it was going to go. (Ernie was IN the dryer.)

  65. Diana says:

    Do you remember your Petpicture-Post? You postet a Picture we sendet to you. Pino the red Cat as a citten sitting in a McDonalds Kidsbox.
    Pino always poops at night! When you wake up with literally a dreadful tast on your tongue and watery eyes, disoriented. Than you know, he did it… and if we have the best of luck, his bumbhair (as long as Ernie`s) is clean and dry…
    And the other cat “Seppel” is 18y old and poops where ever she wants…With the stubbornness of her Age…

    By the way, we don`t own a Dryer…

  66. Shirley says:

    We went away for a weekend once and the door to the litter box room somehow got shut. We found one poop on the rim of the toilet seat which certainly wasn’t there when we left. Therefore we concluded that they know what the toilet is for, but use the box anyway. Arseholes!

  67. Barbie says:

    Your still my hero! Bravo Karen for NOT calling the stupid repairman! Who will charge you $500 and walk away with it STILL broken! Don’t even get me started!!!
    HOWEVER….you have cured my desire to EVER make my outside kitties “inside” kitties. Fantasy extinguished! LOLOL Great post!

  68. Stephbo says:

    Poor Ernie! I totally was judging you until you called me out on it. You totally nailed me. Lol!

    My litter box is right inside the door we (and all of our guests) use to come into our house. It’s like we’re saying, “Welcome to our house. We don’t give a crap that you’re here!” We’re klassy like that.

  69. Bellygrrl says:

    Hi Karen! Longtime lurker here. I’ve never commented on any blog or story ever before. Not really sure why I decided to this time. I’ve been moved to tears by your posts (on the fella’s dad), laughed until I cried on many occasions and been motivated to do some diy projects (but not all that I plan to do). I am always entertained by your commenters, sometimes I totally agree and sometimes I don’t but the back and forth is interesting. In this case, I’d just like to give my opinion about indoor/outdoor cats. I have always had cats – we had 1 indoor/outdoor cat growing up – she lived to be 19 yrs old. Then I had Chamois – she was 13 when she died. Now I have Sable & Pumpkin, they are sisters who are now 19 yrs old. All have been indoor/outdoor cats and none of them have ever been fat or had any chronic diseases. I live in a country setting, on 9 acres, well back from the road. I have found that when cats are young they need to find their territory and figure out how to stay out of the road. If you don’t move them to a new house, and get them fixed, (don’t de-claw!) they stay in their safe zone. We have neighborhood dogs and coyotes, but my cats are smart and sleep indoors at night. My point is that, with supervision when they are young and dumb, and in an environment like mine, cats are happy and healthy going outdoors. You can’t argue with 19 year old cats!!! Anyway, thanks for the years of entertainment, Karen.

  70. Alyssa says:

    I just finished my very first fix-it-myself (all by my lonesome 8 months pregnant SAHM to 3 kids self) thanks to your DIY posts. Just to see if I could. I thought you would like to know. AND I solved the problem with peanut butter.

  71. Alyssa says:

    Whoops – I fixed the bottom mount freezer, no I did not solve world hunger. Lol.

  72. Myrna says:

    Wow, this touched a nerve! Lots of comments, some of which had me snorting and weeping. We used to called them ‘cling-on’s’, which in my twisted mind always was spelled ‘Klingons’, throw back to a life watching Star Trek. He would race away from the litter box too, which made it a game to find out where it had landed.

  73. Alyssa says:

    I can’t figure out how to reply to my comment on my phone, I guess my tech-Savvy only extends so far. But no, we kept having water leak out the front of the freezer and leave nice puddles to walk in in the middle of the night. I googled it, watched a couple YouTube videos and took the freezer apart and found the gromet that was filled with goop and couldn’t drain into the spill tray. The goop was so bad I needed to use PB to break down the build up to clean it out. apparently it’s a common problem.

  74. amy watson says:

    Ha….being the cat lover that l am, l can’t believe l had never read this post……l laughed until l cried….well really until peed!!!! You see my last cat, George had very similar problems as Ernie…man that was one stinky cat, but God knows he was loved <3…….BTW l love the new site…it is pretty awesome….

  75. amy watson says:

    They were a match made in stinky cay Heaven!!! George was a short hair, but beautiful grey, like Ernie 🙂 Did l say l love the new site in my last post? Well l do…..

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