Monday, July 7, 2014

Fox Urine, Murder & The Skunk

There's a skunk in our neighborhood.

It's a cute thing, really.

And I want to kill it.

It's like a toxic tanker, spraying fumes that blow in my window in the middle of the night; fumes that cloud my house with a smell so potent it burns my eyes. I can't stand being in  my own house. I run, gasping, for a deck, only to find that it's worse outside than inside. I slam the windows closed, dashing from room to room for refuge, sputtering and gagging,water streaming from my eyes while Mark miraculously continues to sleep.

At first Mark accused me of having an overactive imagination. He barely smelled a thing. Thought I was exaggerating. Couldn't understand what I was so worked up over. "Just go back to sleep," he groaned.

Sleep!? We're being fumigated! How can you sleep through this? WAKE UP!

Then it happened again.

And again.

People who visited us tried not to comment on the potent skunk smell of our house (as their eyes watered and they attempted to surreptitiously breathe through their sleeves).

Don't tell me about tomato juice. Or hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The whole house is green with gas, and the smell doesn't air out. We run  a tornado of fans and air purifiers, and still, a month later the odor lingers.

I bought magic pellets, infused with fox urine. The ad claimed that sprinkling this foxy dust around the property would keep skunks from crossing the line.

Only you have to reapply it every couple of months.

And one canister doesn't cover much property.

And...how are they getting this fox urine, anyway?

Time passes, summer arrives, windows open.

And Pepe Le Pew strikes again.

I saw the beast coming down the driveway the evening of July 3rd. It was waving it's furry flag as it waddled straight for our house. "Mark!" I hollered. "Come quick!"

It was gone...and under the house...before Mark could reach me. And the question became, What do you want me to do about it?

"Kill it!" I cried, 'cause really, I am done thinking this skunk is any relation to Bambi's Flower. It is a devious, diabolical, trigger-happy fumigator!

But no, we did not kill the beast.

And to thank us the next day--the Fourth of July--its toxic fireworks went off again.

I have a friend who wants to get a pygmy goat. Being someone who lives in an area where pygmy goats (and chickens and other small farm animals) are allowed to roam, she knows a little something about skunks. She had advice for me about traps. And trapping. And skunks not being able to spray if their tails aren't up.

It calmed me down a lot. Finally, a solution that didn't involve fox urine or murder. I've now got a call into the county which will lend tormented citizens a trap. (It's a simple cage, from what I understand, that captures the animal with its tail down.) So I'm going to trap that beast, and the county will then pick it up and let it go out in the wild somewhere where it can live stinkily ever after.

And now that I've calmed down a little, I've had time to reflect on how all of this relates more broadly to the proper handling of pests that pollute your life. Not the fuzzy kind. The human kind. You can shut your windows and lock yourself away. You can retaliate or fire back. Or you can remove them from your life and let them be who they are...elsewhere.

It's made me realize that removal is the key.

No guilt, no anger, no fear.

Cage it up, put it aside, let it go.
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As always, thanks for checking in! Here's hoping your week has open windows and fresh breezes!

6 comments:

Kylie said...

Oh man that must stink (literally and figuratively).

I like how you were able to relate this all back to life. Sometimes fighting back will only make the problem worse and the simplest solution is the best.

I hope the trapping of the skunk goes well for you and that there is no more spraying.

Have a great week everyone!

Kylie

James Marx said...

Wendelin, find out what is attracting the skunk, and remove that. Find out what is causing the skunk to spray, fix that. We have skunks around the house allot, we have cats, and we have very little problems with spraying. One year we had a mom and four babe's, they used to wait with the cats for me to come out and feed them. I was just background to them, they learn very quickly what is safe, and they don't like to spray because it effects their ability to smell where food is...!

James Marx said...

Also, close off areas under the house so they don't sleep/semi-hibernate there for the winter. Moth balls are good repellants for along pathways, but they only last a week or so...good luck. You might also be a source of water for your friend the skunk, if so place a water source away from the house just for wild animals.

Carol Rose said...

Good thoughts!



Alyse said...

Ewe I'm so sorry that sounds terrible. Hope you have a better week...Maybe one that smells sweet!

Ryan said...

I've always wanted to see a skunk in the wild (from a safe distance, of course!), but they're remarkably elusive creatures.... I only ever see them dead on the side of the road.

-- Ryan