I'll start at the end:
I've just washed every single thing that is washable in my house, and I'm about to wash it all again. Sheets, clothes, couch cushions, James, my hair, even the little things that keep a door closed - you know, those lipstick-top-shaped latches that pop into a hole when you close a door (sexual) so that it stays shut? Washed, and washed again.
Well, I'll have to go back to the beginning I guess:
Once upon a time I had a cat. Now I don't. Now I just have a little guy with dyed pink hair like he was trying to join a punk band or something but forgot it wasn't the 1980's anymore.
Opps, I'm at the end again. Sorry.
Once upon a time I had a cat. And a dog. And the dog woke me up barking his head off in the middle of the night. But not like a warning bark that he was about to kill an intruder, it was a sad, distressed bark like he needed to save someone from a burning building but we wouldn't let him out of the house.
So, I get up and see him at the window, and it smells vaguely like skunk, and I'm like, "Ok, we don't need to kill skunks at 3:30 in the morning, you're fine." Then a few minutes later James scratches at the window wanting to come in, presumably because he doesn't want to be where the skunk is either. So I open the window and let him in, and the smell comes wafting in, so I shut the thing as quickly as possible and try to fall back asleep.
But about two minutes later, the skunk smell has shifted, and it has turned into something way worse. It's like burning rubber, or dying bear set on fire, or a warning sign that the house is about to blow up. That's actually my fear, that the house is going to blow up. Because I'm very rational at 3 in the morning.
So, I go to check and make sure James hasn't blown up, when I discover it.
The little kitten is sitting by his food bowl, trying to stare up at me, with his ENTIRE HEAD plastered with skunk oil.
Like, I'm not kidding, it looks like he pulled up the skunk's tail himself, got about two centimeters from the spary zone and then pissed the dude off. He couldn't even open his poor little eyes because there was stuff EVERYWHERE. And he tried to meow his concern to me, but he couldn't open his mouth either because then the stuff would get all in there. It was soooooo sad and heart breaking, I felt like my child just came home from preschool covered in poo.
I don't know if you've ever smelled skunk up close and personal, but let me tell you it is one thousand times worse than that smell you get driving past an area where a skunk has just sprayed. That smell - that smell we all hate - is nothing, compared to something that has actually been sprayed. That smell is like a bed of fresh roses - I prayed for that smell all night.
Instead, the direct hit smell is like if someone took some teeny tiny rubber tires off of a truck, shoved them up into your nostrils and then lit them on fire with the body of your dead great uncle.
It was SO BAD.
I quickly googled skunk removal and it said tomato juice bath, or soda bath, or dish soap bath - so I decided I better go with all three, because I was in a complete panic that if I didn't try to get some of this stuff off of him we were all going to die and no one would want to come and claim the bodies because it would be too stinky and we'd just lay there rotting away, until a year from now when the officials decided to just burn the place down via satellite bombing.
We didn't have any tomato juice, but did have some brand new spicy bloody mary mix, so I grabbed that and heated it up in the microwave so it wouldn't be too cold on his little tiny head, and then grabbed some 7 Up (which I later found out you weren't supposed to use at all, by 'soda bath' they meant baking soda, but whatever), and some dish soap and proceeded to make the grossest concoction ever. It was like a bubbling witches brew. I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to mix them, but it was in the middle of the night, and I was about to pass out and three separate baths seemed like a horrible idea.
So, I grabbed James and locked the two of us in the bathroom, fairly certain that I was going to be leaving bloody, because cats do not like baths. Especially not spicy bloody mary, 7 Up, soap baths.
But I think he was just so distraught and defeated, and probably in pain, that my poor little sucker just sat there and let me douse him with my mix-drink-gone-wrong, until the whole bowl was empty. Then I shampooed him with some Herbal Essences.
Finally he could kind of open his eyes, and he looked up at me like, "Mom, that was so scary. I think I just saw Jesus."
And I was like, "Oh honey, I'm so sorry! Don't try to kill things that are your size anymore."
And he was like, "I'm going to lick myself now even though I really don't want to."
And he sort of paused and looked at his paw like, do I have to do this? Like, he was so sad he couldn't stop himself. He took a lick, and then looked up at me like, Oh my god what the hell is that!? That's what death tastes like.
By about 5:30 am I finally decided to try to get some sleep, and hoped to God sleeping with all the windows open would at least help me not to suffocate and it did. But it did not get rid of the smell a single ounce. So, I spent the entire day yesterday doing laundry and scrubbing, and lighting candles, all with the windows open so the 38 degree wind could maybe freeze out some of the stink.
I felt like I was on Little House on the Prairie meets Apocalypse Now, but with less fun.
And now James is walking around with all of his white hair dyed a beautiful spicy bloody mary pink - and I think he kinda likes it. He walks around with a little strut, and then will suddenly fall to his back to show me his pink belly, like, "Hey mom, check this out. I'm hard core. Like Avril."
And then he'll get up and strut to the bed, where he curls up and gets his skunky-ness all over my comforter. Which I will now have to wash for a fifth time.