Skunk Encounter

Earlier this year, I saw people on my Twitter timeline discussing skunks and I thought to myself, “How am I the only one who’s never seen one before?” They’re pretty common in the Midwest and people usually seem shocked when I share that tidbit of info with them.

So imagine my surprise when, a month ago, I’m sitting on the porch at dusk (by myself, thankfully) and see a skunk just strolling down the sidewalk, like it’s a completely normal thing. At first glance I just thought it was a random neighborhood cat. We have a lot of outdoor cats that wander around our subdivision. But I did a double take and saw that it was a skunk! I shot in the house to tell everyone! I was so excited I left my magazine and drink outside for the night. Oops!

Fast forward another 2 weeks and I would have another skunk sighting, but this one wouldn’t be so harmless.

All summer, I’ve been taking our cats, Puddles and Tiger, outside after dinner to let them get some fresh air; usually until it gets dark. I was literally about 2 minutes from taking them inside on this day when it happened.

Puddles usually camps out in one spot and “guards” our yard from neighbor cats. She’s very territorial. When they come in or close to our yard, she chases them out, then trots back triumphantly. (It’s really cute, actually.) A skunk came up the side of our neighbor’s house. From my seat on the porch, it looked like one of their cats, but it wasn’t! Puddles shot across the yard to confront this intruder and you can guess what happened next, right?

Within 3 seconds, she was back on the porch with me and crying at the door. I thought it strange that she gave up so quickly. I said something to her about “not being so big and bad anymore,” then the skunk odor made its way to my nostrils. I looked over to where Puddles had “attacked” and saw that skunk on its hind legs, with it’s arms out, as if to say “YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME, TOO?!

By this point, Puddles was howling miserably at the door, so I let her in. In hindsight, I should have kept her outside until we got a chance to clean her up, but I was panicking and I didn’t want to leave either of the cats (Thank God Tiger only goes outside on a leash!) outside in the dark with that skunk lurking nearby.

It took a lot of teamwork to get Puddles isolated in the basement and cleaned up. Most people have more cooperative pets than we do. (I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about our trips to the Vet) My brother had to put on thick sleeves and gloves and hold Puddles down, while my mom attempted to clean her up. I was standing by with towels and dish soap. It was a hot mess, y’all. But we got it done! We had to crack all the windows for the night and my Dad was so pissed even though the entire situation is still really hilarious to me.

Needless to say, our cats haven’t been back outside since. They’re not happy about it, but it be’s like that sometimes.

We talked to our neighbors, to give them a head’s up, and come to find out that their pets have been sprayed already too. Another neighbor even said she found the skunk in her garage one morning. These suckas are bold!

Today, on the news, they talked about the sudden surge in skunks in Central Ohio. A lot of people are going through it just like we did. We have primarily indoor cats, so they’re ok. But residents who have dogs have a different situation. It’s an inconvenience and hazard that it looks like we’ll all just have to start dealing with.

Anyone else have any interesting skunk encounters?