It has a name

i’ve always been a ‘dog person’, but finally succumbed to the allure of an adorable cat with an irresistible name.  Last fall, the orange cat, Huey Newtonarrived, and has been a pleasant addition to the household – although we are still waiting for the “cat-dog hijinks”. 
 
When cohabitating with critters, as hard as you try, there will always be some degree of “pet smell” – sort of like having a houseful of sk8rboyz.   Both types of funk can be managed to some degree with regular vacuuming and the magic of Febreze.
 
Last Friday night, as i began to drift off to sleep, i picked up the faint whiff of ammonia – and immediately blamed the cat.  The next morning, the olfactory forensics began in earnest – sniffing under the bed, in the corners.  Couldn’t exactly geo-locate the offending smell, and oddly enough, it seemed to be popping up randomly throughout my house.  In the kitchen, by my chair in the living room, back under the bed…
 
Enlisting the help of family and friends, i went full out by Sunday.  Forcing them to sniff this corner, or that pillow.  There was no doubt in my mind that something was amiss – but i was the only one who could smell it.   Packing up for a three-day road trip Sunday night, i vowed to shampoo all carpets and fumigate the place when i returned from the road.
 
It wasn’t until i was settling into my seat on the plane Monday morning that i realized the smell o’ catpiss had managed to follow me on board.  Sniffing my sweater?  i had just laundered it.  Didn’t keep me from sleeping, but when i continued to smell it in the rental car, i was forced to ask my travel buddy if he could smell it, too.
 
Nope.  Just me…
 
Finally got a break from the meeting late that afternoon, and hit the interwebz to see if i was completely losing my marbles.  Turns out?  It has a name:  Phantosmia.  After a brief tour down “i’ve got a brain tumor” alley, i decided that it was probably due to a recent battle with allergies, or possibly a migraine aura*.
 
The flashes of olfactory hallucinations became less frequent, and are now almost completely gone.  The brain is an amazing thing, isn’t it?  Damn good thing i didn’t shoot the cat…

* i used to get migraines, but some bashing with hard drugs cleared it up and re-wired my neurons.  The day i was really over-whelmed with the ammonia smell, i felt as though a migraine was lurking behind my eye.  Turned out the lights, drank some bourbon, went to bed early, and apparently staved it off…