Disclaimer – this is not about snow or school or parenting
Monday night I was making chicken positano which requires all of my stove burners to be in use, even the back left one, which never gets used. I put a pot of water on it to boil and turned it on high boil then moved on to pounding the chicken breasts out flat.
Soon the burner was smoking a bit. No biggie, my burners sometimes smoke a bit from a bit of food that smeared on them that I didn’t notice & wipe up. Turn the vent on, let it burn off & keep going.
Then the smell started. OMG! THE SMELL!! Gagging in it’s awfulness. I rush over, turn the burner off, move the pot to another one and begin fanning the air with my dishtowel.
It smelled like burning cat pee.
BURNING CAT PEE SMELL.
My first thought is ammonia in the stove cleaner. I don’t use that back burner much and it’s possible that last time I cleaned the stove I got some cleaner on the burner & failed to wipe it off and that was causing the god awful smell.
DH came home 20 minutes later and was all “What is that horrible smell? It smells like burning cat pee”. I tell him about the stove cleaner theory & turn on another fan in the room. After dinner we decide to give the stove top a through cleaning baking soda & a vinegar & water rinse. I cleaned the burner pans and stove top and he scrubbed out under the stove top, where the spilled gunk accumulates & then bakes on to the enamel with each use of the burner.
We couldn’t smell the ammonia smell anymore when we took the burners apart so we accepted the cleaner theory as the cause.
Because no one thinks to themselves “One of my cats is climbing up on this stove and peeing in the back burner and I’m not noticing it.”
Because why would you?
Cats don’t pee on stove tops and if they did certainly you would notice the smell as soon as you were near the stove right? You wouldn’t blithely just turn the burner on & not notice the smell of stale cat pee would you?
Late Tuesday morning I am in the kitchen making a batch of bread dough when I smell cat pee. Immediately I consider the little carpet in front of the sink because once one of the old lady cats peed there a few months ago when I had been negligent in my litter box cleaning. But there was no smell on the carpet. I happen to glance over at the stove as I am getting up and I see it
A puddle of yellow liquid in the far left corner of the stove top. I lean over and sniff.
HOLY CRAP A CAT HAS PEED ON MY STOVE!
I lift up the burner, there is pee in the burner pan. I remove the pan, there is a puddle in the well..
I spend a half hour disinfecting the stove, then wiping it down with vinegar & water so I don’t get burned disinfectant smell.
I’ve tossed the likely suspect outside. All our cats are inside/outside cats who come & go as they please, though mostly they like to sleep inside. The suspect cat will be sleeping outside for now. Subsequent cats will be put out should the situation continue. Once the culprit has been positively ID’d they will be let back in. A repeat will mean a trip to the vet to see what the problem is.
I can only assume there is a medical reason for this. The litter box was cleaned and none of the cats has issues with peeing outside the box now that they are out of small kittenhood. Plus the likely suspect is 11 years old.
I want a new stove. This one has been tainted. No matter how much I scrub I have an oogy feeling about cooking on it.