Hey guys! Happy Tuesday! Today I’m recapping week 5 at cat house, which means I am fully caught up on recap posts. I’m looking forward to posting in real time moving forward!
Week 5 at cat house. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. B also had to go out of town for a work trip, which meant that I was dealing with cat house by myself.
The biggest decision we had to make this week was whether or not we would move into this house. Things are progressing with the sale of our current house and we have move out in 2 weeks! It looks like the start date of construction at cat house will not start until February, and we can save 4-5 months of rent by living there temporarily. I had also started apartment shopping just in case but was surprised at how limited availability was in the area where we wanted to live.
After a lot of back and forth, we decided to suck it up and make plans to move into the house. This way we could take our time with the architect and not feel rushed about making decisions.
The new exterminator company came back out for another treatment, and I had not seen any fleas on me in several days. If you are keeping track, at this point we had set off flea bombs twice and had 3 exterminator treatments.
For the first time in almost a month, I was feeling good about the flea situation and felt comfortable being in the house without bug spray. The fleas were the ultimate dealbreaker for us with moving in, so seeing the issue resolve made us feel a lot better.
We’ve been having so much fun with the inside of the house that I haven’t said much about the back yard. Part of the reason we purchased this house was because it has a big back yard. About 1/4 of the yard was actually fenced off and covered in brush to the point where you couldn’t even see the end of our property line, and we actually initially didn’t realize this was our property until the survey.
Clearing the brush wasn’t on our radar at all until the exterminator told us that we would never get rid of the fleas in the yard if we didn’t get the brush cleared. The fleas in the yard were AWFUL!
B and his friends joked about going back there with a chain saw and clearing the brush themselves. But since I’m a smart wife and could foresee severe injuries, I took the liberty to hire someone to do it instead. I wish I had taken some before photos but here are some after photos. Previously you couldn’t even see through to the white fence in the back.
The best part about getting the brush clear was that the lawn company found a bunch of copperheads living back there when they cleared the space out.
Fleas + cat pee + copperheads = dream house.
They removed all of the copperheads they saw but said that there are likely still some back there. They are continuing to treat the area with round up weekly to kill all of the greenery and I added “get rid of copperheads” to my ridiculous to-do list for this house.
Basement and Cleaning
Once we decided to move into the house, cleaning became a priority. I tried to plead my case to the company cleaning out the basement crawl space even though Florence just hit the previous week and they were busy cleaning up water damage. They said they would put us on their list and promised they would do the job before we actually moved. Just as a reminder, here’s what they were cleaning:
We arranged with our cleaning company to do a full deep clean a few days before we moved in as well. Even though I have mopped the full house twice and vacuumed daily, the house is still disgusting. There’s actually cat hair in the oven.
We also re-scheduled the ducts to be cleaned.
Next step: mask cat pee smell. We knew we couldn’t really get rid of the cat pee smell completely, but there are a lot of things that can mask it temporarily just to get us through until Feb.
I did a ton of research about cleaning cat pee out of floors. Did you know you’re not supposed to use bleach? Apparently the mixture of ammonia causes a dangerous gas. Death by cat urine would be an ironic way to go.
I didn’t really care about damaging the floors since we have to replace them anyway. We purchased Nature’s Miracle to use instead of bleach but decided to treat the floors with vinegar first. Our plan was to saturate the spots daily for 7 days, and then paint over them with a clear shellac paint (which is supposed to be great for blocking odors). I started this process by heavily spraying a vinegar/water mixture on all of the spots and letting it sit overnight.
Changing Our Mind
After everything we have been through with this house, we decided at the end of the week that we were not going to move in after all. Here’s why:
I changed out all of the sticky traps on the flea lamps on Wednesday just to double check and make sure the fleas were gone. I was absolutely crushed to come back Thursday morning and find fleas on ALL of them. The flea issue had gotten a lot better but it was obviously not resolved like we thought.
B came back from his work trip on Friday and we had a come to Jesus talk about the house. The fleas were a huge dealbreaker for us and we felt like it was too much of a gamble to hope they would be gone in 2 weeks. We knew moving furniture there would just make the issue even worse.
Dealing with cat house was starting to consume our life, and we decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore when we were going to have to turn around and move out this winter anyway. We decided to throw in the towel and get an apartment instead. We signed a lease over the weekend.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little defeated by cat house. I do. But I’m happy to put this behind me so that I can get back to focusing on my business, the podcast and hopefully planning a beautiful renovation with B that will make all of this stuff worth it.
In brighter news, we are supposed to meet with the architect soon to look over the first draft of renovation plans.