Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pixie Clinton and the Pee Funk All-Stars

Last week, Denver got two inches of rain in a day, which is a lot of rain for us. Not only did we get a lot of rain, but it was accompanied by some major-league wind. Lots of wind + lots of rain = water in our enclosed balcony here at El Condo del Pixie y Guy. Our enclosed balcony has always been our storage area and cat litter room, really something of an afterthought in the spaces we inhabit each day. Located on the north side of our place off both of the bedrooms, we usually keep the blinds closed anyway, so the condition of the enclosed balcony never really crossed our minds...until this week.

We had been smelling wee-wee on and off this spring (a particularly damp spring), so on a whim Guy scored a good edal on a black light on eBay. Friday night, he cut off all the lights in the house and walked around, looking for glowing splotches that would indicate kitty pee. Nothing much in the house, perhaps a few splatters in my bathroom where Maddy lays on my rug, but then he walked into the back balcony. "Good GOD!" he exclaimed. "It's like they don't even know where the litter box is back here!" The funk was emanating from the enclosed balcony. It was 11pm, though, so Guy decided to do more investigating on Saturday. Sleeping that night was intolerable--despite having a bunch of windows on the balcony open and running a fan back there, the stanktageousness came in waves. I rubbed my face and hands with a lavender balm/moisturizer to counteract the fumes and go to sleep.

I came home Saturday afternoon to find most of the balcony's contents in our formerly-clean living room. Guy ripped up about 40 sf of carpet and found a puddle of water underneath the carpet and pad on the northeast corner. "Okay, first of all, why is there a pad under this carpet?" Guy asked aloud to no one in particular. (Note: Guy used to install carpets and parquet flooring with his brother as a summer job.) "This is an outdoor space, really, even with these flimsy little walls around it. And why are there wood nailers around the edges of the room? Now there're holes in the concrete floor, and we're gonna have to either leave them there or fill them in, or..." He shook his head. "Fuckin' ridiculous."

The funk was even worse Saturday night. I was tipsy from one glass of wine at a seafood restaurant and could barely sleep anyway, but the smell was even worse. Between the Death Funk 4000 Remix and dinner not agreeing with him, Guy spent a fair amount of the night in the second bedroom, where somehow the funk was less funky.

Today, Guy ripped out all but about 20 sf of the carpet and put it, strip by strip, into plastic trash bags. Technically, we're not supposed to dispose of remodeling materials in our condo's trash, but we have less than 120 sf total to throw out, so we're not taking it to the municipal dump. Hence, Guy's parsing it into several bags, which he will dispose of over the course of a couple of weeks. When he put a strip of carpet and funktified padding into a plastic bag and let it sit for several minutes, about a cup and a half of water collected in a corner of the bag. Eeuuww. No wonder the house was rank; the moisture combined with cat pee made for a funk that wouldn't dry out. Guy sprinkled the bare concrete with baking soda and has left the windows open. It'll be in the 50s tonight, so it shouldn't be too bad.

There's still more work to do back there. We need to remove the big chunks of carpet glue and repaint the balxony, reseal the base of the wall around the outside edges of the balcony, and maybe put a small rug back there just as something warm to stand on when cleaning a catbox or ironing or getting something out of the freezer. We're also going to take the opportunity to purge the contents of the room. We only have 1,315 sf total in our unit, and we need to use the space more wisely. Getting rid of some stuff will make that easier, we're sure.

I have to be in Wheatlands at 8am tomorrow again. We're punchlisting the exterior as well as the patient room wing. Hopefully, I can sleep tonight without having my olfactory senses assaulted with the chemical equivalent of a frying pan and an atomic wedgie. It would be nice to drive to Kansas with a good night's sleep.


ms. kitty said...

Good lord, Pixie, what a story! Amazing!

Miss Kitty said...

So first you have to smell cat pee and carpet funk all weekend, and THEN you have to drive to Bumfuck? LORD.