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This week, I am going to share something different.

I didn’t have a lot of time to scout places with Azzy the other week because I got a home gym. This bad boy arrived unassembled, and it took days for us (Mike) to put it together. (“The pulley network was very complicated,” he reported gravely.) It turned out to be way larger than I thought (are you sensing a pattern here?), and I was thanking my lucky stars that we have a loft with room for this monstrosity. Between Azzy and this home gym, I am going to run out of words to describe a large thing, but luckily this is only my third blog, so we shall press on … .

My home gym!

Up until now, we had this awesome loft that we just weren’t sure what to do with. It became a mishmash of sorts — we had a long desk up there, my filing cabinet, a bookcase with my TCM books, a shelf with a few massage-y supplies. All other odds and ends, like my massage table and some random gardening supplies, were stuffed into the closet.

There was only one other really important thing that was up there: The Pussy Palace.

The PP was a gift I bought for my cat a few Decembers ago as a reward for everything he was putting up with when I was a busy dog-sitter. That guy was so indignant over what I was doing to our home, I can’t even tell you. He deserved something nice.

Here’s the view looking up at Sabo’s palace. You can only see the top of it from our living room, but that ledge going all the way across is the ‘catwalk.’ This is where he likes to sit and look down at the commoners. (And that weird glassy round thing to the right of the palace is the underside of a lampshade.)

The palace is quite stately (there’s that theme again!), about 8 feet tall (the picture only gives you a small glimpse into its stature), and he gets to sit on different platforms and show his disgust from afar. He even takes his meals there.

Sabo’s palace takes on a whole other identity up in the loft. It’s right next to a little catwalk/ledge that he likes to use, and he gets to lounge up there and gaze down at the commoners.

So now my gym is up there, and we get to be roommates. As soon as I got up there and started to work out, I was hit with the familiar smell of a cleaning product that we’ve had to use for his little mishaps and proclamations of discontent. I’m not going to mention the name of the product here, and a lot of people happen to like it, but I don’t. It got to the point where the smell of the product reminded me of the smell it was trying to replace. Just no.

It all started last Thanksgiving. Mike decided to change Sabo’s brand of kitty litter for some reason. Sabo didn’t like it, and he refused to use it. So he would go up to his Happy Place and attempt to cope with his disgruntlement up there. We had an out-of-town guest coming for the weekend, so we went to town on that carpet. I didn’t want anything toxic, so a little vinegar and baking soda finally did the trick, but only after our guest had already returned home — she ended up sleeping in the living room (sorry, Jane!), and the lingering smell of the other product refused to go away.

The victory was short-lived. Every once in a while, when I went up the stairs, I would get a very faint whiff of something I really didn’t like. And now that I was to spend more time up there working out, something really had to change. A friend from Santa Cruz had told me about a product called Skout’s Honor, and I was intrigued by everything about it right away.

First of all, it was unscented, which is really, really appealing to me.

I like the scent of fresh flowers and good food, and I really, really didn’t want to cover one scent up with something synthetic. It’s why I have a hard time with the scent of lilac — I grew up occasionally using a bathroom that had an aerosol spray can of lilac air freshener for when you were done doing your business. To this day, the smell of lilac reminds me of that which it was supposed to subdue.

Anyway, the scent: Skout’s Honor had none. The label says it “destroys offensive odor molecules on contact: Skunk, feces, urine, sweat & more. Safe for pets, family & home.”

I followed my nose to a questionable corner in the loft, gave the bottle a few squirts, and it was gone. Immediately. The label says to spray the product “directly onto offensive surfaces,” and then you’re supposed to “breathe deeply without gagging.”

It’s true, it’s all true! I breathed deeply and smelled absolutely nothing. No gagging! And that’s another part of its appeal — the description is written exactly in the way I would have personally written about this product. It’s gotta be relatable, you know? You know you’ve had a productive day when you’re getting paid to use “gagging” (or lack thereof) to describe a product.

They also pledge to provide “a  day’s worth of food” to a shelter animal with every purchase. I don’t know exactly what constitutes “a day’s worth of food,” but I’m definitely not opposed to that.

Finally, I like to believe that I also have a little design acumen, and the overall packaging of this product was so clean: A nice, legible font, no distracting photos, lots of white space. I am very particular about what I like and what I don’t like, and I just knew this was a winner before I even took my first gag-free whiff.

So I drenched every inch of the carpet with this stuff. It also comes in larger sizes (32 ounces and 64 ounces), but I just got the spray-bottle size. Also, after I had already used the product, I visited their website and noticed they have a version specifically for cats — however, I still got results with the non-cat version. It might be because that particular area of the loft has a history of having been treated with vinegar and baking soda (which is a whole other epic story for another time). This particular affront wasn’t overpowering or anything. It was just like a lingering whisper that hadn’t met the right breath mint yet.

If possible, though, I would just go ahead and get the one that’s specifically targeted for cats, especially on a previously untreated area. That ammonia’s no joke!

  • How it works: It infiltrates the offending agent and breaks it down on a molecular level and zaps it into oblivion. That’s my understanding, anyway.

Their website actually sells a bunch of different products, like a Got Skunked Kit, a couple of different Grooming Essentials kits, a Laundry Kit, and a Toy & Bowl Cleaner, to name a few.

The pet store where I got my bottle only carried a couple of basic ones — one with a baby-blue spot of color and the other with a lime-green spot of color. I could not for the life of me figure out the difference between the two. They both seemed to say the same thing in a different order, so I went with the baby-blue one. The cat version (not in my store) is in pink — and the ingredients listed for the kitty version are a little more complicated-sounding. When I was little, other kids and I thought all cats were girls and all dogs were boys, so maybe they decided to go with that theme. (They also make a litter box deodorizer that’s accented in purple.)

This is also marketed for human interference as well (kiddie mishaps, sweat, etc.), and you can add it to your laundry.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that. All you really have to know is that this product works immediately, and that it’s safe and pretty.

We will resume our regularly scheduled programming next week, and I’m looking forward to more quality time spent with the new roommie!

UPDATE: I contacted Skout’s Honor to ask about the difference between the baby-blue bottle and the lime-green one. They said the lime-green one is a cleaner that removes stains and odors, while the baby-blue one is a deodorizer that just removes odors.

I got the right one!

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