Before I begin this post, I have to say that I had way too much fun coming up with titles for the post. Rather than just stick with one, I've decided to incorporate all of them throughout.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR SKUNK
Sure, a lot of people loved seeing an animated viking "train" a fictional dragon. But have you ever seen someone train a fully loaded skunk? I've accidentally discovered how easy it is to do. First, it helps to live next to a field (if you can call the giant weed patch next to us a field). Then, just leave food in bowls for your outdoor cats, and eventually you'll have nightly visitors.
Kent heard one chowing down at 2:00 a.m. under our balcony a few weeks ago. Then on Tuesday night, I walked home at 10:00 p.m. and came within a couple yards of a white striped "cat" on our front porch before I realized what it was. I slowly backed away with it eying me, and made a safe escape. Tonight, we got another visitor on the deck. #1 and I watched it amble around, under tables and benches, barely taking notice of Brownie the cat lying and watching from literally a foot away. Now I'm wondering if there is
TREASON WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE. (Okay, that title is a little weak; but what do you expect this late at night?) MY CONSPIRACY THEORY is that Brownie alerted the neighborhood skunks to the free food at the White House. All you have to do is lay around all day and the people deliver food and water for free. Maybe I'm seeing THE WELFARE SYSTEM IN ACTION on my own front porch. I haven't yet figured out what Brownie gets out of the deal. Maybe he's worked out some sort of protection contract with the local skunk mafia.
That brings me back to my original title. Upon my discovery Tuesday night, I started wracking my brain for creative ideas to rid ourselves of these little guys. My memory kept coming back to this hilarious post by my friend Charlotte, which I am using without her permission, but I'm pretty sure she won't mind. (Seriously, when you finish reading my post, click over to hers. Funny stuff.) As I thought about it--again, late at night--I wondered if I truly wanted to get rid of the skunk/s. I mean, if they're roaming around my yard all night, that seems like a pretty cheap security system, doesn't it? Some intruders might risk dealing with yapping dogs, but I don't think anyone would be dumb enough to cross a skunk.
Wednesday morning I talked some sense into myself and we stopped leaving the cat food out all night. Our two resident welfare recipients were pretty put out and meowed at us the following morning until we returned their bowls. The skunks are still visiting, but I hope they move on soon. On those nights that the kitchen trash must be emptied before bed, I am simply petrified of walking to the big trash can. It's almost like being in a suspense film: walking quietly and slowly so I don't startle "anyone" while my instincts (ha!) tell me to just run and get it over with. Maybe I should start tossing bags of cat food into the field to encourage them away. THIS SITUATION REALLY STINKS.