An American Heathen in Deutschland

I think we have a ghost.

Markus won’t take me seriously. We live in a 346-year-old mill at the base of Castle Frankenstein. We have a Nazi generator in the basement from WWII when “shoes” were made here. Who knows what kind of stuff happened.

Before we moved in, I cleansed the place with a smudge stick and a little spell. During construction, Markus and I did our best to infuse love and goodness in to the walls, floor and even marked it as ours (don’t ask). I didn’t want any old spirit to get confused. So, after two years, I guess we need a booster, a ghost booster.

Why do I think we have a ghost? Phantom farts.

At first we blamed each other. Now we have these pockets of stinky air when we’re alone, without cats or each other. I might lie to myself about the size of my ass or my keen knowledge of the esoteric, but it’s kinda useless to lie about flatulence.

Can it be the cats? Cleo maybe. She’s my familiar, a little older and she eats everything I eat. She demands bites (checking for poison). I can imagine stinky Cleo farts, but she’s usually in other places when the stink hits. Cleo’s job of holding down the furniture is all-consuming. If she doesn’t hold down the window seat or the bed, they might float away.

Then there’s my superhero ability. I can identify farts to their owners. I know, what a sucky power. I liken it to a superior sense of smell. And these spots of stink do not smell like any physical occupant of the house. They are much too vile and odoriferous for any of us, even after an Indian meal.

One of the reasons I have cats is that they are really good at notifying one of the supernatural. Cleo is especially good. When I was single, she used to hiss at my front door minutes before someone I did not want to see would show up. It was uncanny. Cleo has always been protective. And that apartment was haunted. Totally and unquestionably haunted. All my light switch covers would come unscrewed at the same time and cupboard doors would open and shut, but it was just an annoyance, not malevolent.

I digress.

A few nights ago, I woke up twice to the smell. It was so bad it woke me up. I first thought it was bad breath. Markus’ or mine. Markus was turned away from me. The smell was so strong, it couldn’t have been from a Sparky turned towards the wall.

Cleo and the other cats weren’t even in the room. And that’s odd too. Usually Cleo sleeps on my pillow or between my legs. Fin was nowhere to be found either. Kiska might have been in the room, but it was dark and she’s black. She’s also the Helen Keller of cats and notices nothing.

I thought it might be MY breath. Can your own breath wake you up? IS there a way of breathing so that what you can’t normally smell in your breath suddenly becomes apparent? Could I wake myself up with my own bad breath? Is it like snoring?

The smell went away quickly, but woke me up just enough to register it was the same scent a few hours later.

What do I do when I wake up the next morning? I research it. I google bad smells and ghosts. And I totally and utterly freak myself out. I’m not even letting Sparky go to the gym today because I’m sure the ghost will show up now that I’m planning on barring him from the house.

Where is my ghost-sensing cat during all of this? Why does she not save me from my terror by indicating something is going on? Well, I have an answer to that too. She’s pretty bitter these days. With Fin the Flying Terror Machine chewing on her head and sleeping on her back, she might just let me suffer. Sometimes she just stands facing the corner by the front door and I freak out completely. I wish I had never seen that stupid Blair witch movie.

So today, I’m house cleaning. I’ll use my smudge stick and ban negativity from the house. The only problem is when I do my front door. I have to stand in the doorway with a burning bush. I’m sure my Catholic neighbors will be thrilled with the scent of sage wafting throughout the stairwell. I’ll just explain the situation. I’m sure it will make them all feel much better.


8 thoughts on “An American Heathen in Deutschland

  1. Jen … Thank you for stopping by. I had an aroma issue in our NYC apartment – it turned out to be dead mice in the walls … something you might want to discuss with Cleo.

  2. maybe you should try some post-its with pagan ghost-busting symbols…
    and poor cleo! i don’t blame her for leaving you to fend for yourselves. she’s busy with a face-sucking alien.

  3. Oooh. Sounds like you need to Feng Shui the whole place. When I was at university the evil, evil smell in the dorms turned out to be rotten insulation behind the radiators. Maybe there’s something in the walls? Other than ghosts, I mean?

  4. Uncanny. When I arrive home I like to tease my cat about whether she enjoyed her day’s work holding the furniture down ! Here I thought I was odd .. but now that can’t be true ! 🙂

  5. BB and C: I would think it might be something like that, but we are surrounded by stone (brick walls, stone subflooring.) We have only three sealed interior walls.

    L: I know, Fin is really pushing his luck with her. He follows her around all day, jumping on her head or her back. I think he was a moneky in a past life. Or some sort of marsupial.

    J: All cats go to cat school where they learn how to hold down the furn, sit on any/all reading materials and walk across keyboards.

  6. Hey I know where this odeur comes from!


    Once there was a time, in land far far away from here. There was a small town with happy people, called Altheim. There lived Sparky together with his parents in a nice mansion. He trained and worked out so well and often for hours and days… so that one night the evil >>odeur ghost< < knocked on his window: "let meee iiinnn, let meee innn" it moaned somewhere outside - very bizzare, but clearly. Markus became very attracted by it – obscure or not – he felt an inner urge to let that spooky phenomenon in! So he opened the window and suddenly… the entire house’s illumination began to blink crazy and nervously… So the ghost came in slowly (cloaked in some black monks garment) and asked: Spaaarkkyyy… You trained so hard. Now you will get a reward on all of your longing! You will get the all-new(!) perma-odeur (r) in your room. “easy soap” and water was yesterady. Now the only thing you need is some little workout and… ta ta taaa – a flush of some rockhard perma-odeur (r) is arisin’ out of the nuthin’ – no matter where you are! And – if Sparky still trains nowadays – there are still some little odeur pockets floating through the room… The End.

  7. Farting ghosts! – Hey I got a new excuse now!… wasn’t me darling, it was the ghost!…….I was never very sucessful on blaming it on our cats anyway! 🙂

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