Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adopt a Skunk?

It's a fairly well-known fact that we are kitty magnets. We don't seek them out, but somehow a considerable number of cats have found their way to our place. At present, our feline population is officially ten. Our neighbors have this unique trait as well, perhaps even more so than we do, because their total at the moment is fifteen.

On Saturday, we'll drop by one when Lola will be adopted out. We're so happy for her, because after living in a cupboard for months, she'll be an "only" cat, inside! Here, she rarely ventures outside and has lived the entire summer inside a cupboard in the pool house. She has never liked being outside, which leads us to believe she was a house cat before she showed up here last fall.

She started out living in the garage all winter, then moved to the pool house for the summer. Whenever one of the other cats shows up in her range of vision (quite often), she opens a cupboard door and stays inside the cupboard for hours until she decides it's safe to come out. Poor thing. The other cats never bother her, but she just isn't taking any chances. Now she'll be able to live the good life.

Last night, we had a "kitty" of a different kind in the pool house. Romie had gone out to put the cats in for the night and immediately came running back to the house and told me to come quickly and bring my camera. There was a skunk in the pool house.

Okay, not really a huge deal, except that four of the cats were also in there. OH NOOOO!! I was freaking out about the other cats, thinking they were going to get it since every single one of them was within spraying distance, but the skunk totally ignored them. The cats must have known to leave him alone, because they watched him warily and kept very quiet. All except Lola.

Of all the times for Lola to come out of the cupboard, it
had to be when a skunk was in there. I could hear her growling and when she jumped up on the bucket and perched herself just above the skunk, I cringed. If that wasn't bad enough, she swatted at his tail and I thought it was going to be all over but the crying (by me).

Mr. Skunk was unconcerned. He was on a mission.
After eating all the cat food in the dish, he located the large bucket where we keep it and set to work at getting the lid off.

Romie and I were watching outside the pool house while all this was going on. Romie was tall enough to peek in the window and see beyond Sunny and Boo who were sitting up on the window shelf. I kept a safe distance of about fifteen feet from the door and had my "fight or flight" mode engaged. I can tell you it was going to be "flight" if it came to that.

It was actually kind of fun watching the skunk trying to get that lid off. He used his tiny paws and his snooty nose and eventually popped it off. He ate some of the food while the cats continued to watch.

At some point, both Jack and Lola walked out of the pool house, so I took them and put them into the garage. We worked at getting all the other cats put into the garage as well, so that they wouldn't let their curiosity get the better of them and wander into the pool house to see what was going on.

What happened next surprised us both.

The skunk, having had his fill of food, waddled over to a corner and curled up on the floor and WENT TO SLEEP!

Sunny and Boo were still in the pool house, up on the shelf, so we (carefully and quietly) took that opportunity to walk in and grab them so we could put them in the garage, too. Mr. Skunk slept on.

Eventually, he woke up and walked out of the pool house, over to the neighbor's. Romie saw him and once he was gone, closed the pool house door. Whew! Disaster averted. But a short time later, when we turned the outside light on, just to check if he'd come back, what do you think we saw?

different skunk, sniffing around. This one had a black tail. We're just going to have to make sure we get that door shut before dark. We were lucky this time, but we might not be so fortunate again!


Nutty Gnome said...

Great story - I loved it! But I have to say that, having smelt skunk spray years ago when I worked in America, I'm VERY glad that we don't have them over here - but I'm happy to share one vicareously through your story!! :)

Noelle Johnson said...


This is such a great story! I am glad that not humans or cats got sprayed!

Kylee Baumle said...

Nutty Gnome ~ I didn't know you didn't have them over there! Yes, the scent is unique and unmistakable. I think the only thing worse would be that rotting meat smell. Both kinds just kind of get in your nose and stay for awhile.

I was driving to work a few weeks ago and came upon a skunk that had been hit on the road. It must have just happened because the smell that permeated my car (with all windows CLOSED) caused my eyes to burn and water for the next half an hour! It was awful.

azplantlady ~ So am I! Respect the skunk. LOL.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Oh wow!!!! I can't even imagine getting those photos! Guess that cat food bin was like manna from heaven! Interesting that he worked the lid off.

Diana from Sweet Fields of Green said...

What a cute little stinker! I never saw one with so much white on their tail, how pretty. The ones in our area tend to have the racing stripe going down the whole body. Be careful with your kitty food; it's been my experience that once a skunk finds a food-source, they'll definitely return. Loved your Pepe Le Pew bed n' breakfast story though!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can just see you sneaking into the pool house to grab the cats. What an episode. I bet you won't forget this for some time. I am so glad that the skunk didn't spray. They usually give warning. They stamp their feet and put their tail up. I am also glad to hear one of your cats has a good home to go to before winter sets in.

garden girl said...

Wow Kylee, very entertaining story, and it's amazing that everyone escaped that close encounter. Phew!

I hope Lola will be be very happy in her new home.

sweetbay said...

That's hilarious that the skunk went to sleep in the pool house. I wonder if he's been in there before since he made himself so much at home.

Dave@The Home Garden said...

You are so lucky! Lucky not to have been sprayed that is! Both my neighbors and parents have had dogs sprayed this year by skunks. It takes a long time for it to dissipate.

EAL said...

Amazing that you caught all this with your camera--thrilling really!

Kylee Baumle said...

Janet ~ It wasn't all that hard for him to do, really. It's surprising that something that carries around a scent like he does can smell ANYTHING else!

Diana ~ We had one in the spring that had an all-white tail, too. It might even be the same one, I don't know. That one was eating the bird seed that had fallen out of the feeder. The amount of white on them varies here.

Lisa ~ That's exactly what we were doing! We were whispering to each other and walking on tiptoe. That would have been pretty funny to see, too. Sort of a clandestine operation. LOL. I didn't know about the warning they give. Thanks for the "warning!" LOL.

Linda ~ It sure made the evening interesting!

sweet bay ~ I'm thinking it wasn't his first time, too. We know they've been in there before and he might have been one of them.

Dave ~ Don't I know it! I was so afraid we'd ALL get sprayed!

EAL ~ I was kind of worried that the green light the camera sends out to auto-focus would frighten him, but he was oblivious to everything around him. It was kind of fun watching the whole thing! I can say that now...

Chiot's Run said...

That's tooo funny.

Our dog got sprayed a couple years ago, what a disaster!!! Good thing all is well!

PS, that gray/white cat in the second photo looks just like our Dexter.

Peg Wiggins said...

I know it's a skunk Kylee; but its fur is beautiful!
I've never seen one with so much white on it.
However, it would seem that both you & your husband were courting disaster being that close!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Thankfully curiosity didn't get the best of them in this situation! I can't imagine having to bathe all of those cats!

Pam/Digging said...

What a buffet palace you have there. Word must have gotten around in skunk circles. I enjoyed your pics, but I can see why you wouldn't want regular visits.

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