As I move through the years I find myself believing less and less in “coincidences.”

Things happen for a reason.

For example, just last week I was reminiscing to my co-workers about the cat my family used to have when I was much younger. He was a friendly tabby named “Woody.” An indoor cat, through and through, and more or less well-behaved.

When we moved from Pittsburgh to the home in Durham (where my folks still reside), however, something happened to Woody.

He started spraying.

That’s cat-talk for urinating to mark territory.

We don’t know why–the previous owners had a cat, maybe?–but Woody began peeing regularly into one of the corners of the dining room. And my mother–a neat freak if ever there was one–wasn’t having it.

We tried a couple of products to get the scent of urine out of the carpet, both to freshen up the room and to get Woody to stop his territorial actions. But the problem grew worse and worse, until eventually my parents reached a breaking point and banned Woody–declawed and domesticated–to the great outdoors.

Long story short: Woody freaked out as an outdoor cat, everyone felt bad that we had set our beloved cat up for a miserable (and borderline inhumane) remainder of his life, and one day I returned from a long bike ride to find that Dad had rounded Woody up and taken him to the Humane Society. I never got to say goodbye.

So just today I saw this post in our Fix It Forum, about a cat-owner with a urine-soaked leather couch. It seems our Forum Friend wants to get the smell out.

I’d direct him to my parents, but they wouldn’t be any help.

Yes, I’m still a little bitter. But I think the conversation with the co-workers, followed by the not-so-random forum post, is a sign that I need to forgive my folks and get on with my life.

One lingering question remains, though: What solution didn’t we try? What product would have worked to take the scent of urine out of the carpet and get Woody to stop his misbehaving?