On our last trip to Thailand, this series of events happened. 

We stayed in a wonderful Airbnb that was a traditional Thai house with an open-air layout for the kitchen and dining room. The hosts were wonderful and went over and above to make sure our stay was better than expected. They took us to some of their favorite places to get street food, brought us to the Wat they went to as children and shared unknown (to us) bits of the place they call home. We entered as strangers and left as friends. That’s not uncommon in Thailand. We meet the most amazing people every time we visit! 

We didn’t wear our street shoes in the upstairs space of the house. The open-air stairs were a perfect spot to leave our shoes; or, so we thought. Turns out, there were neighborhood cats who also enjoyed the open-air layout. Can you guess where this is going?

For a few days, I kept randomly smelling cat pee. I kept wondering what the heck was going on. Specifically, I would notice it when we got into the Grab (think Uber/Lyft) we had ordered. I couldn’t figure out why all the Grabs had that funky smell. Turns out…the neighborhood cats had dubbed Dan’s shoes to be their personal toilet. This particular cat couldn’t get enough of Dan’s feet while we were waiting for massages outside a studio. We hadn’t figured any of the rest of this out yet.
One day when we came back from one excursion or another, Dan realized he had left his room door open while we were off exploring. Upon further exploration, he said his room also had that very distinctive smell to it. Which led to the following conversations.
 
“Hey, Michelle! You have a sensitive nose, can you come to help me figure out where this smell is coming from in my room?” 
 
My response was an instant, “No. Thank you.” 
 
“You have a sensitive nose, you will be able to tell. Just smell this backpack for me.”
 
That was a hard pass from me! 
 
“I can’t tell where it’s coming from. I just need to find it so I can have whatever it is washed.
 
I hesitantly complied. And I still think he was just bringing me into his misery. I do have a sensitive sniffer and it was definitely the backpack; but, I think he knew that already! To be clear, I was cautious with the sniff. I didn’t have to get too close to confirm either. lol
 
I was telling a friend, who is a veterinarian, this story via email while we were still in Thailand. Her response was perfect! “Cats always find the weakest link.” It wasn’t long after that he got food poisoning and was down for the count for a few days. Poor guy. Our hosts were so good to him, though. They brought him tea that helped turn him around fairly quickly. The pharmacy up the road was also a big help with activated charcoal to whisk the bugs away. I brought him back the activated charcoal from the pharmacy and then I ditched him for a few days! He had the place, and the bathrooms, all to himself! 
Even as I type this I cannot stop laughing about the cat pee. The food poisoning wasn’t so funny. Though, he has a great sense of humor! Even when he was in the thick of it Dan’s phrase of the day was, “ Don’t trust a fart.”
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