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De-skunking your cat the true test of love

August 16th,2023 | Opinion

De-skunking your cat is a real relationship test. Unsplash photo

There are three things you can do with your partner that will test the limits of your relationship: plan your wedding, renovate your home or de-skunk your cat.

We haven’t quite gotten to the point of planning our wedding yet, but my fiancé and I survived renovating our home – and just this past week – de-skunked our cat at 11:30 p.m. on a deadline Monday.

Let me just say that wrestling a stinking, clawed, crazed creature into one’s shower is the kind of feat that can either make or break a couple. My advice: pick your roles and know your strengths.

My partner Lucy is the calm one and I’m better in a supporting role when it comes to getting sh*t done around the house, so it was no surprise to see Lucy pulling on the yellow rubber gloves and climbing in the shower to receive our little stinkball.

Gandalf’s new stench was so eye-wateringly pungent, I nearly puked. The entire kitchen reeked of a rancid, acrid stink. Those with experience with this know just how awful the smell is – it’s not the familiar skunky smell you sniff for a second or two when a skunk is nearby – this smells more like a long-dead creature and doesn’t go away. It violates your nose for several hours – you dream about it and think you smell it everywhere for days.

Another piece of advice: don’t bother with the age-old trick of using tomato juice to remove the skunk smell, unless you’re in the mood to make spaghetti sauce in your shower at midnight. Instead, as the trusty Internet told us, ready some supplies for a hippie, homemade de-skunking solution: a mixture of three per cent hydrogen peroxide, a drop of dish soap and a boatload of baking soda. We mixed the solution into a thick paste, and the fun began.

For about 30 minutes, Lucy went to work: scrubbing the paste into his stinky fur, fighting off his violent attacks – dodging many but succumbing to a series of scratches where the yellow rubber ended and arm skin began. Then we rinsed him off – as he cried from the other side of the shower glass, looking like a sad, wet rat.

I supported from the sidelines – again playing off our strengths – me cheering my partner on with things like, “You got this,” and “Better you than me.” I’m pretty sure Lucy wanted to scream at me multiple times, but she kept her cool, and so did I.

The results were mixed. The peroxide and baking soda worked, sort of. We repeated this process a second time, and while most of the smell is gone from his body, his face and ears still stink to high heaven. He’s been banned from bedrooms and couches until he smells like a normal cat again.

And for my partner and I, we’ve almost completed the hat-trick of relationship tests, and we still like spending time with each other.

Now, let’s plan that wedding.

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