Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Twilight encounter with a skunk.

Yesterday when getting back from my in-law’s place, I retrieved one of our indoor/outdoor cats from the porch.  Much to my surprise, our kitty had an encounter with an unexpected and uninvited visitor, a skunk!   Unfortunately for Toby our cat, she got what most animals dread, the spray from our stinky friend. 

Not only did Toby get sprayed, our porch and chairs received a healthy dose as well.  Needless to say, we spent many hours into the night cleaning our little kitty from head to tail in the shower.  Anne went online and researched what was the best possible cleaner for skunk smell.  She found several possible avenues to choose from.  What she found to be the old reliable was the use of tomato sauce.  Anne discovered through further reading, that it only masked the smell.  She finally found a cleaner solution that is well used today and that was soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.  It recommended using rubber gloves, and so I did, the first time through.  The second bottle of hydrogen peroxide I forgot to put my gloves on, don’t anyone forget this vital step.  Your hands will really sting as you apply the solution.  The cleaning method read to avoid the cat’s eyes and consequently we did.  Unfortunately, that little patch of hair was hit the hardest by rosebud, and so the smell remained until I used several applications of hair soap in that area.  It took most of the smell out. 

Pickwick Pond in October
After several late hours of scrubbing in the shower, we had Toby almost completely clean.  I then scrubbed down the shower with a strong bleach cleaner and when that was done, I showered myself.  I next ran the towels and rugs through the laundry twice on the long cycle, and that seemed to take care of any residual odors. 

After cleaning myself up, I noticed scratches here and there on my body that I didn’t have time to observe earlier when holding on to a squirming cat.  After taking care of my cuts, it was time for bed, but first we had to set up the pantry for a temporary room for Toby, overnight.  I wanted to call the vet first thing in the morning to check on current vaccinations, especially the rabies vaccination.  Toby usually climbs into Will’s top bunk, and sleeps with him each night.  That obviously would not do since Toby was an unknown factor at this point.  Toby did not like sleeping alone without the free reign of the house, and all the nighttime windows to perch on.  Later when about to fall asleep, we awoke to a gentle meow sound coming from the pantry, and this led to our other cat (Kelly) meowing out of sympathy for Toby.  Needless to say, it was an interesting night all the way around. 

The next day proved to be a challenge for Anne and myself.  It was difficult to concentrate while we both fought off sleep.  Early in the morning I called the vet and as it turned out, Tobi was current on rabbi shots and so we did not have to go in for her booster shot, which was a relief.  Later, after feeding the kids breakfast, I went outside and used our pressure washer to shampoo and wash our porch, walls, lattice, steps, floor mats and all the furniture on it.  I even took the pressure washer into the meadow nearby and washed the grass, since it too was sprayed by our prolific visitor.  I kept thinking as I cleaned, that our little skunk guest must not have many friends.  It was perhaps the same skunk this past summer that had camped out by our neighbors open window.  The odor was so bad that they could hardly stand the smell that had wafted into their house after that twilight encounter.  I imagine they did not sleep much after the incident.  The next day I noticed our neighbor was digging up parts of his natural state area and putting down grub killer to discourage another visit from the stinky night visitor. 

I remember years ago, my uncle Leroy was leaving his house at night to go to town from his farm.  His eyes had not adjusted to the dark when first stepping outside, and when first noticing his cats coming to him, he thought they were asking for a gentle pet.
October splendor!
Next, Leroy stooped down to stroke one of the cats, and to his surprise, his calico cat jumped in front of him and started snarling at the cat in front of Leroy.  Leroy’s first reaction was to startle, due to this unforeseen reaction from one of his favorite cats.  When my uncle’s eyes had finally adjusted to the darkness, he could see the reason his calico was snarling.  The cat he was about to pet was not a feline, but a skunk.  Needless to say, it would have been a ruined evening for Leroy if his calico had not been so diligent. I don’t have tell anyone that this kitty became very special to my uncle after that evening. 

I am sure that many of you have had encounters with skunks at one time or another in your life.  For myself, it is usually driving by one on the hi-way.  Windows quickly go up and after a mile or two, they go back down again with the fan on full speed.  And so, life goes on!  Toby now smells like Anne’s shampoo, and as I type these thoughts, she is sleeping comfortably on Will’s bed.

Anne's flowers.
Well, have a wonderful weekend, and don’t forget to take time and to smell the roses.  God bless you all!