Laying under an unadorned Christmas tree last night trying to wrestle the stand supports into place, I found myself smelling not the heady, green smell of noble fir, but instead an aroma that seemed very close to cat pee. I mentioned the scent to my mom, who was holding up the tree. We discussed how Febreze would effect the tree before leaving it alone and hoping it would be fine. Sitting on the couch admiring it, we watched as Raina’s cat Woody wandered up, sniffed carefully and backed up to start spraying it as his own. We both jumped up and started screaming at him, stopping him only a few droplets into the spray.
It was deeply apparent to us that the tree wasn’t going to be safe from turf-conscious cats in the house overnight, so we set it on the porch until we could figure out how to remove the cat pee. This morning my mom decided that there was no way to de-cat pee the tree and that she had to return it. Only, we hadn’t poured the water out of the stand, and it’s awfully cold here in Portland right now, so the tree had frozen to the stand. It had to be chipped out of the stand in order to be returned.
The lot, which is only blocks from our house, and from whom we have gotten free trees from for the last two years (because we tend to be lazy and wait until December 23rd to get a tree, a date by which most lots are closed and left their extra trees out to be taken to a good home) happily exchanged the tree for one that was not urine scented.
I have to admit a certain sadness in returning the tree, because that had been the first tree we had picked out as a family in at least a decade. But the new one is very nice, and smells like nothing but evergreen. Just as it should.