Dear Blake,

I recently have been dating a neighbor woman who is a cat lover. I assume she owns many of them. (I haven’t yet been inside her apartment.) My problem is, when she comes over to my place, the odor of cat urine is overpowering. How do I disclose that I’m disgusted by this cat smell without hurting her feelings or offending her?

Signed, Jack
From Rantoul, Illinois

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Dear Jack,

You are obviously in a very awkward position. But you still have to tell her that she reeks for weeks and you can’t take it anymore. Here are some ideas that might help her pick up a hint. Anytime she comes to your place, sit next to a fan that blows her stench away from you, and always drive with all of your windows rolled down, even in the winter. Or, while she’s at your place, have a friend come over and accuse you of smelling like cat urine, and for him to relentlessly insult the way “you” smell, and laugh as he leaves, promising to never to come back until “you” start taking personal hygiene serious. Or this one. Tell her you admire her compassion, because it’s obvious to you that she has been at homeless camp for hours, spending a lot of time helping bums with bladder control problems… that they couldn’t care less about. And lastly, you can take a more direct approach. Inform her that you have an extremely rare condition, and the smell of cat urine can cause your lungs to collapse. Say this to her while you’re calling a priest, asking him if he will be available later in the day to give you your last rites. I hope this helps.

Blake

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