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Author Topic: Do I owe her a new one?  (Read 6995 times)

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Do I owe her a new one?
« on: October 01, 2013, 02:55:51 PM »
Not really etiquette, but more of a "What would you do?" question . . .

A friend of a friend (FOF) offered a papasan chair ( to DD#1 for her apartment.

The chair was left outside my front door and when I brought it in I thought I noticed a very slight cat smell.

I took a closer look and saw the cushion did have cat hair on it. Certainly not filthy, but not spit-polish clean either. I sprayed it with Febreze and figured that DD#1 could take care of the cleaning if she still wanted it.

I saw my Kitty sniffing around and examining the chair and thought she found herself a new bed for a nap. Kitty likes new things.

This morning I walked passed the chair and Whoa! The stench hit me. Sure enough, there were three small and one very large wet spots in various places on the cushion.

Kitty never does this. I'm almost thinking that she was marking her territory or something like that. :-\

I hosed the cushion down, applied a pet deodorizing carpet cleaner (which I've had for 6 years from when my dog was having problems . . . does this stuff go bad?) sprinkled it with baking soda and it's now sitting in the sun to dry.

I've never had success completely cleaning out cat urine odor, so I'm not putting much hope in what I'm doing.

So my questions:

Since the cushion was already slightly smelly and a bit dirty, but my cat severely compounded the issue . . . do I owe DD#1 a new cushion? The cheapest I could find on-line was $50ish.

Plus, FOF will be attending the party that I'm hosting this Saturday. I'm sure she'll be expecting a Thank You from DD#1. How should DD#1 and/or I handle this situation?

Add to the fact that I haven't told DD#1 about the situation yet. She's expected home on Friday and wants to drive the chair to her apartment Friday evening.

I really feel bad about this . . . What would you do?


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 02:58:34 PM »
I would start by telling DD what happened.  She may not care or she may ask for a replacement cushion which I think you should provide if the chair was usable when it first arrived at your place but isn't usable now.  Regardless, FoF should be thanked.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 03:02:42 PM »
I don't have any advice as far as if you should replace the cushion, but I do have some advice as far as cleaning it. I think the best way to completely remove cat urine is to use an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle. There's several other brands out there, but Nature's Miracle is pretty popular and it can be purchase at pet stores such as Petco and Petsmart.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 03:04:00 PM »
I agree 100% NyaChan.  FoF should be thanked, since whether or not the cushion was usable originally the chair was a nice gift by itself.  The cushion going from slight cat smell, probably cleanable to cat urine odor after cleaning, makes it pretty much a loss, so I think that you should offer DD a new cushion when you tell her what happened.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 03:15:03 PM »
I think you should definitely tell DD what happened and offer to buy her a new cushion. It seems like the original cushion was okay upon arrival, good enough that you would have passed it on to DD. Then, while it was in your house, your pet did something to significantly worsen its condition. Generally speaking this is, I think, your fault. (Counter-example: you told DD to come get the chair as soon as it arrived, she refused, you warned her your cat might get it, and then the cat did. So, that might be construed as partly DD's fault as well.) If you can't get the cushion clean enough for her, I think you owe her a new one, as it went from fine to damaged while in your possession.

Regardless, the chair's previous owner should be thanked, and they don't actually need to know any of the unfortunate details, which have nothing to do with them. I mean, if you're friends and you think they'd find it funny or could tell you where to buy more cushions cheap, sure, but it's really a totally separate thing--they gave DD a perfectly usable chair and cushion set, it's not their fault it didn't reach her in that condition. :)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 03:21:10 PM »
I agree that FoF needs to thanked, regardless of what you and DD1 decide to do with the chair.

I do wonder if either a stray or FoF's cat (if she has one) had already marked the chair and that is why your cat did the same.

What were the arrangements for this chair?  Did DD1 agree to having it delivered to your house and then moving it from there?  Or was it entirely your suggestion?  Or FoF?  If DD1 agreed to the delivery arrangements, I think you should split the cost of a new cushion, if you can't get the smell out.  But if DD1 has a cat of her own, the cushion should be replaced.  Just because we can't smell it doesn't mean kitty can't.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 03:54:10 PM »
Check to see if the cushion can be steam cleaned (removes pet hair and odors) or washed & dried in a commercial sized machine (Laundromat or dry cleaners)? 

I've use the enzyme cleaner on urine (small child fell asleep on new couch - deeply asleep) after steam cleaning the upholstery (couch - not a papasan chair, though) to get as much as possible OUT of the fabric and stuffing.  We owned a steam cleaner (sprayed hot water & cleaning solution on item - then sucked it up with a vacuum cleaner tank - it was also a wet/dry vacuum cleaner) because we had a baby and VorGuy was buying & selling used vehicles in search of the BEST vehicle for both of us.

Letting it dry in the sunshine should also help on the odors, too.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 04:03:53 PM »
I second the Nature's Miracle. Soak it and let it dry, preferably in the sun, and your daughter won't be able to tell.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 04:05:43 PM »
Kitty smelled evil other cat and decided to make sure the chair no longer smelled like evil other cat. :o (I've had cats since I was a teen).

I would be up front with DD and let her decide. The odor removing products are great, but honesty is important when bringing something into someone else's home.

I agree with others that FoF should be thanked without mention of the Kitty incident.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 05:14:58 PM »
I'm with the others who say let DD know what happened and let her know you're willing to get a new cushion for her if she decides. You may be able to clean it well enough that she won't mind, but having the offer there is good.

Regardless, still thank FOF. Without her, you wouldn't have the dilemma in the first place, but even if you have to get a new cushion, the chair itself was a great gift. And she did provide it in good condition, it's not her fault you have a jealous kitty. :)

Paper Roses

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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 06:25:04 PM »
For me, it wouldn't be a question of whether or not a new cushion was "owed;"  I wouldn't give my daughter a cushion that reeked of cat urine. 

I would try to get rid of the odor, and if there was just no way to do it, I would buy her a new one.
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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 06:32:05 PM »
And about the pee, white venegar and hot water also helps - the vinegar neutralizes the ammonia.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2013, 06:54:16 PM »
As a human owned by numerous cats through the years, anything that smells like another animal wee wee'd on it will get wee wee'd on again.  The best mannered cat will mark it's territory.  I would tell your DD that your cat smelled previous chair owners cat on the chair and made the chair the cat's own..what would she like to do?  I would thank FOF for the chair, but keep in mind that anything else she offers may have cat smells on it.  And IMO, it is slightly rude to give something away that smells like animal (or anything else).


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2013, 07:32:41 PM »
This is for your daughter. What do you want for her?

If it were my daughter, I'd replace the cushion and not make a big deal out of it. I wouldn't want her to live in the odor if she weren't accustomed to the odors.


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Re: Do I owe her a new one?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2013, 08:48:53 PM »
The good news is, the damage isn't really permanent.  If it's too difficult to wash in it's current state, cushions can usually be taken apart, washed, and put back together with the slightest of sewing "skills" (ie, the ability to put a needle and thread through a piece of fabric).  ;) 

I've done this before with pillows that are simply too big for the washing machine.

Go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of large mesh washing bags - the kind that zip up. 

If there are stitches to make those little comfortable quilty-type divots, take them out.  Use a needle and contrasting thread and mark where those divots were.  You'll want to stitch them back in when you're done.

Find a seam.  Rip it open about 12-18" or so - narrow enough that you can stitch it back up by hand, but wide enough for you to rip out the stuffing.  Take care not to rip the fabric, just open up the seam.

Pull out the stuffing and pack it into the washing bags.  Wash the stuffing and the cushion cover.  You may need to do this in two loads of wash.  You may also need to wash it twice.  Run it through the dryer with a bounce sheet or something to make sure the scent is good and gone.  (As a side note, I cloth diaper and find that a wash with baking soda, a wash with laundry detergent, and a rinse with cold water is pretty good at removing the stinkiest stinks).

Put the stuffing back in the fabric and stitch your hole back up.  Here's a good youtube video on closing up a pillow seam:

Fluff pillow so the stuffing is spread out nice and evenly.  Get a nice thick, long needle and a heavy, matching thread or thin yarn.  Restitch the little divots (sorry, I don't know the technical name for those little puckered in spots) by drawing the needle and thread all the way through both sides of the pillow.  Two or three stitches back and forth should hold it.  Do that for each spot where you marked a divot.

Your pillow is now totally clean and laundered.  The cat hair and stinky pee is all gone.  Washed away clean with a nice detergent.  Fresh and new.  And not $50. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 08:54:30 PM by Knitterly »