The cat that wanted out!

I would never try to escape

Inspectors frequently have to deal with pets left at home at the time of inspection.

I really appreciate it when they are either gone or corralled somewhere in the house.

On a recent inspection the agent had warned me the cat would try to escape and sure enough, as soon at the door opened a crack the cat launched itself at the daylight.

I have seen lots of pets that wanted out, but this one was SERIOUS about it.

The cat was shooed away from the door and we all got inside.  The inspection went without event except for one short term escape accomplished by the cat.

At the end of the inspection, the agents all left and the inspection of the exterior continued.  This is not my normal protocol but this was a large apartment building and we saved the exterior for last.

The cat’s unit was on the 3rd floor, end unit.  The walkway ended at the entryway door and the bedroom window was located just past the end of the walkway guard railing.  As I approached the end of the walkway the cat launched itself onto the window screen and started clawing at the screen with a vengeance. 

Don't leave pets at the inspection

The damaged screen

The screen came undone along the edge and was ripped open vertically.

I tried to push the cat off the screen and into the room but the cat was having none of that and just clung and scratched at the screen even harder.

Eventually I was able to reach between the cat and the screen and pull the window shut– successfully bumping kitty off the screen and into the room.

The cat was not aware of it, but I probably kept it from using up one of its nine lives by saving it from a 3 story fall to the concrete below.

But I want OUT!

I called the listing agent to let the cat’s owner know about the damaged screen and that the window was no longer  adequate to prevent escape of the beast.

Sometimes cats just want out.

Please don’t leave your pets for the inspector to deal with.

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

Walk quietly and carry a big flashlight!

As soon as I got out of the car, the barking started.

Cujo was more or less behind the fence on the neighbor’s property, but years of attacking the fence had taken its toll.  I was not very confident the rickety hodgepodge of “fencing” would keep the beast at bay for the duration of the inspection. 

I know, I know, this is someone’s beloved “pet,” but…….some pet owners simply should not own pets.  Is this barking and frothing dog, hanging over the fence, merely a different incarnation of the owner–merely doing what the owner wished they had the balls to do? cujo

I know, I know, the poor pup was just protecting his turf–but what a way for the neighbor to welcome someone new to the neighborhood.

While I did get lucky enough to photograph the dog with its mouth shut, it was kind of like the luck it takes to have no one in group photo have their eyes shut.  In a group photo the odds are pretty good that someone will have their eyes shut. 

With Cujo it was a miracle!

It was extremely difficult to have a conversation with my buyer about anything I was finding during the inspection of the exterior.  Turning my back on the dog was not an option–with the incessant barking and the sense that the fence would give way at any moment.  The idea of possibly having to defend myself with my $150.00 Fenix flashlight was even less appealing.

Eventually the inspection moved indoors and the dog went and did whatever barking dogs do when they are not being barking dogs.

After the inspection I went to my car and Cujo charged the fence for the obligatory goodbye bark.

As I holstered my flashlight, I bid my green eyed friend adieu, and jumped in the car.

Driving off, I barked to myself: “Ha! Didn’t get me! ……and good luck with that fence!”

As I looked in the rear view mirror I was relieved to not see Cujo the Tire-biter racing after me.

PS—Speaking of Junk Yard Dogs, let’s not forget Dr. John

By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle


If you enjoyed this post, and would like to get notices of new posts to my blog, please subscribe via email in the little box to the right. I promise NO spamming of your email :-D

Doggone it!—–in the “Dog House” over this dog!

There is no question as to the amount of damage that pets can do to homes.

I am a little confused as to what possible value pets provide their owners that would justify the kind of damage they caused to this home—both inside and out.

What I envision is a very large, continually barking, filthy creature that the neighbors continually call animal control about.  Even before I went into the house I knew there was likely to be interior issues as well as the obvious signs outside.




(At least they cleaned the door prior to listing.)

By the height of the mud on the side of the house you can see that this was a pretty big dog.

On the inside of the home the Main Floor Bathroom was obviously used as the “Dog House,” as the walls where covered with the dog’s body grease (even after recent washing of the walls and floor).  The door was badly damaged on the inside, and the room smelled really bad.  It takes a long time to build up this kind of pet damage in a home.  I guess it is no wonder that this was a “distressed” property.  Here are some pictures of the inside of the bathroom—-too bad they hadn’t trained the dog to sleep in the shower!  Not to be too harsh, but perhaps without “dog-expenses,” the owner’s could have been able to make a couple of more mortgage payments?


Dog marked walls

Dog marked walls


Dog marks on wall

Dog marks on wall

I don’t think most people ever take into account the “actual” costs of owning pets:  food, vet bills—-remodeling bathrooms.

With a little Googling, I was able to discover that the basic costs of owning a large dog start at about $1,000.00 per year, and then you have to add vaccinations, flea and tick control, routine veterinary care.  All of this could add up to $1,400.00 per year or more.  With all of this we still have not factored in daycare, dog walking, pooper-scooper services, pet show entry fees, organic treats/food, pet cemeteries, and pet cryogenic preservation.

Notice that there is nothing in this long to pay for damage to the home.

I wish I could say that this type of damage is an isolated incident—-but it is not.  Pets can (and often do) reduce the real value of a property far exceeding the costs of owning pets.

So this is not really pets damaging these homes—it is the owners.



Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector

If you enjoyed this post, and would like to get notices of new posts to my blog, please subscribe via email in the little box to the right. I promise NO spamming of your email :-D