How is the Cleanup Going?

Did the Father of Five succumb to the horrors of all that cat poo? 

Did he make it out alive? 

Why have we not heard from him in such a long time?

These, and other questions will soon be answered!!

Operation Cat Poo Cleanup

(Coined CPC – not to be confused with the similarly named, and (let’s be honest) possibly related organization CDC (Center for Disease Control – because heaven alone knows what kind of diseases are carried in a half ton of cat poo)) 

… has been (I am happy to report) a success!  It was not without it’s struggles.  It was time consuming.  It was a hot, dirty, messy job.  It took up four of my seven days off.  It caused me to have to cut a hole in the ceiling of one of our boy’s bedroom closets, and will eventually cause me to have to remove and replace a large portion of the ceiling in the other boy’s bedroom.  

But, I again am pleased with the results thus far. 

Let me recap…

First I found the poo in the ceiling.  Then, I struggled to remove it using only the tools I had at hand.  Finding this to fail miserablly, I set out to upgrade some of the tools I needed, and do a little more “demo” work in and around the house to allow me access.  (If you have not heard the whole story yet – be sure to check out THIS LINK.)

After what I assumed to be a wasted day (running errands picking up the upgraded tools I thought I would need, stopping for lunch, and nabbing one other completely unnecessary item) I was delighted to see how much a difference the upgraded shop vac hose actually made!  What I did was this…

I upgraded the shopvac hose from 1 1/4 inch to 2 1/2 inch.  I borrowed a neighbor’s 2 1/2 inch hose, so that I had a combined lenght of sixteen feet to work with.  I attached the end of the shop vac hose to the end of my duck decoy retrieval tool (extendes out to sixteen feet) and climbed up into the rafters, attacking the “mess” from two different angles.




Here is where the cats were getting access.

You can see the vacuum hose hanging from the ceiling.







Here you can see the hose attached to the duck decoy retrieval tool. 









What I was able to do was lift the pole, which raised the far end of the hose up. 








Because I taped the tip of the duck decoy pole to the end of the hose (leaving a bit of the hose extended past beyond the end of the decoy pole) – when I lifted the pole, gravity pulled the end of the hose down a bit, giving me the perfect angle to maneuver around and remove the offending cat poo.




Not only did it work so well on the spaces I had not cleaned up, it worked so well I went back and re-did the first two spaces I did previously, and picked up the few pieces I could not retrieve with the smaller hose! 

I got more done in a few short hours (with the big hose) than I did in a whole day’s worth of work (with the smaller hose).

After a couple of hours worth of cleaning (and retrieving approximately 80% of the offending material) I changed from a “clean up” approach to a “prevention” approach.  I was leaving for a weekend hunting trip, and wanted to make sure that the cats had no further access to this space.  I used copious amounts of fiberglass insulation, stuffing the areas the cats gained access tight with insulation.  Then, to ensure they would not pull the insulation out, I covered it with plastic, stapling it tight, and removed a shelf that they were using to climb up on.

This job was by far the worst part of the ordeal.  The fiberglass dust was attacking my allergies like you would not believe.  My arms, face, stomach and back were covered with fiberglass rash. It got into my shirt and through my clothing.    A day later I was still suffering with the effects of the fiberglass rash.

After returning from my hunting trip (and having one last day off) it was time to finish the job.  I moved my “attack” to the access hole in the closet and went after the mess from the different angle that the access allowed me. 

Several hours later, I could say that I vacuumed up all the poo!  There was nothing left to be seen!!

IMG_0740_640x480 IMG_0718_640x480 IMG_0719_640x480 IMG_0732_640x480

This is a photo looking both directions from the access panel.  (Left – over the worst part of the mess – this area was almost solid poo.  A virtual “poo landscape” if you will)  (Right – there were a few bits here, but it’s all gone now)

IMG_0733_640x480  IMG_0739_640x480

At this point, I was calling the “removal of the HazMat” successfully complete! 

IMG_0741_640x480 It was time to clean up MY mess.  Shopvac, hoses, extension wands, duck decoy poll, tools, lights, extension cords, drywall, drywall dust, etc, etc, etc – Many of which were also in contact with the “HazMat”

I cleaned up the majority of my mess by hauling it outside, and soaking it in a concentrated bleach solution.  They have been air drying outside now for almost a day. 

So, what’s left???

Well, I have to finish framing in the access panel in my son’s closet – making it a permanent access point (just in case). 

Then, some time in the foreseeable future I have decided I will have to replace the ceiling.  The smell is almost all gone, but there is some staining on the drywall above.  There is BY FAR much less “pee” stains than there was poo, but there is enough staining up there to make me want to replace the ceiling.  But I feel much better with out the poo up there while I wait for an opportunity to replace the ceiling.   

With Operation CPC now complete – It’s time to return to my regularly less exciting (and poo filled) life…

One last question I hear you all asking me…  What happened with the cats?

Nothing.  I did not even get angry with them. 
After all, I suspect my cats also suffer (much like myself) with a case of Parcopresis.


  1. Just another reminder why we have no house pets!

  2. How are you not mad at your cats? I AM mad at your cats.

  3. David,
    I see you cleaned up the fecal matter, but what of the urine? From what I have heard, NOTHING smells like cat urine. Well, doe
    in eusteres and raccoon droppings . . .
    Sniff . . . . sniff . . . ? Oh, that's where it's coming from! I get closer to the screen and I can smell the photos. Wow. Dude, you need to take out that ceiling ASAP.
    Lucky no one in your house has been / is pregnant. You know the warnings that went out.

  4. Suggestion: Until you are able to replace the ceiling, you'll need something to keep the scent at bay. May I recommend the "Arm & Hammer" fridge fresh packs? You open the sides to reveal a mesh layer between the baking soda and the air. They work wonders in a fridge or freezer. They may help in your attic. Tie a string to a dozen or so and toss to various areas of the crawl space. Then at the right time, just pull in the boxes. Well done and SO sorry!


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