Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Stinky Excuse For Being Late

Shortly after my husband left for work the other morning, I heard a noise on our deck. I opened the inner door to see a skunk making itself at home about 3 feet from the door. It's very unusual to see a skunk curled up on my doorstep even though I live in the country. Mostly they just wander through my yard on their way to who knows where, but they don't usually stop for a visit.

The sound of the door opening made it lift it's head and look, but it didn't move or react in any hostile way. Not being one to go blundering out of the house to shoo it away, I called Wildlife Rescue to find out what to do. They asked what felt like a million questions regarding things I know nothing about, but since there'd been no contact twixt me and Stinky, they didn't seem too worried about it. I was beginning to get upset because I thought they weren't going to help me. I needed to go out that way to get to my car to go to work, and there was no way I was going to walk within a foot of a sleeping skunk.

I was told that I wouldn't be getting to work on time since no one could come until after 9. I had to call the office and tell them I needed to switch my clients to a later time since I had a sleeping skunk on my deck. The eau de skunk scent was pretty strong which is an indication that it had sprayed something. I am aware that it will be 2 or 3 more days before it can spray again but there is rabies in my county and I'm not a fan of having shots for 7 days or so. I was definitely staying indoors, the office wasn't thrilled with me. I did not care.

I checked on it a couple of times, hoping that it had moved on and it was still lying there unmoved and unmoving. At one point I wondered if it had died out there. Didn't have nerve enough to try poking it with something. I'm sure you've heard the adage about leaving sleeping dogs lie? Well, the same can be said of skunks. Definitely not going to poke a skunk with anything to see if it's still alive. Alive or dead, I wanted it gone.

Two hardy souls from Rescue showed up with skunk catching equipment shortly after 9:30. They came around to the safe side of my home and through a window told me to close my inside door. I didn't know that an angry skunk could throw itself at a window hard enough to break it. Which would have meant I would have an angry skunk in my house. Not exactly my idea of a welcome house pet. I closed my door and lost the oportunity to see the rescue operation. There was some noise, something that sounded like growling and then a knock on the door.

Stinky was in a cage being transported to a truck when I opened it. They didn't think the poor thing had rabies, what they found was a broken leg. She was sleeping because she was in shock. May have been hit by a car someplace and just dragged herself up here because there's an invisible sign out there somewhere that says "Stop Here, Nice Lady Will Seek Help" or something. She turned out to be a female who is pregnant. She should pop anytime now, skunks have their babies in May or early June.

I don't know if she's still alive. I did ask what would happen to her and was told that she wouldn't be released back into the wilds because her leg was too badly mangled from what they could see during the capture. They also didn't know if she'd survive because she didn't try to fight back which indicates she was in a bad way. I didn't ask anything else because I had looked through the glass door at her, and in all honesty, I don't want to know that she didn't make it.

The rain has washed away the blood, but the faint odor of skunk lingers in the air. That too will fade as will the memory of what I saw when I looked into her eyes. She had beautiful eyes.


  1. Sherry:

    Poor thing. It's difficult for a wild animal to survive in today's world. A couple of days ago, when I rolled out a garbage can for pickup, I spotted an opossum behind it. I didn't bother it, and it had a beautiful snout. :^)

  2. As we continue to encroach into undeveloped area's the wild ones have no choice but to hunt for food and live where we do as we are taking away their home lands..We hear of and see deer in the cities here everyday.

  3. The down side of being an animal person, one feels it too when they are hurt. Poor Momma skunk!!!! Oh the cycle of life.....

    Take care~ MacKenzie

  4. We have a masked bandid that is raiding the dumpsters - Critter Control have tried traps with no success. TAB is correct -Indiana now has a urban zone hunting season to help thin the deer herd. Here in Marion County (which is the City of Indianapolis) we have raccoons, deer, red fox, coyotes, and even an occassional bald eagle. Oh, and looking out my window - Canadain geese that shit all over the damned place.
    Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get some anti-critter stuff to put down - actually, a mixture of orfinary black pepper and cayenne pepper works good.


  5. Sherry:

    Having had run-ins with skunks myself, I can definitely relate. on one hand- they are absolute pests, not to mention- as you pointed out, Stinky. but on the other hand they are beautiful creatures. poor Mama skunk I hope she survived

  6. Whit,

    It's road kill season here in CNY. I sometimes find myself wishing I didn't have to drive to my clients because some days the count is quite high. Woodchuck, raccoons, possums, skunks, deer, litter the sides of the roads I must drive on. It's sad.

  7. TAB,

    People want to buy farmland to build homes on and they destroy the habitat of many native animals. Most of the time we don't see our four legged neighbors, at least, not until they've been hit by a car.

  8. Sarge,

    You can't go shopping at Walmart here without the possibility of running over a goose. There's a big catchbasin in front of the Walmart complex and the geese stay there all summer. At least they aren't on the ponds at the local golf courses. Goose shit is the worst. LOL

  9. McKenzie,

    Nature is beautiful and brutal at the same time. We're stealing their homes and roaming areas, the downside of humans populating rural areas.

  10. Scratch,

    I had to keep fighting the urge to go out there to try to comfort her. She just looked so lost. She is still alive, I spoke to the Wildlife people today. She won't be released into the wilds again, they are going to amputate her leg tomorrow, and remove her glands. They said they'd let me know if she and the pups make it.

  11. glad to hear she is still hanging in there! it is sad that habitats are becoming less and less for our woodland creatures.

  12. Poor Baby! I hope they do well; I hate to see an animal suffer! Even a skunk. Unless it is the two-legged variety.

  13. Bella,

    I knew something was wrong when I saw her, I was afraid of rabies although she wasn't foaming or violent. Had she dragged herself into the woods instead of up 5 steps to my deck she'd be dead by now. It's almost as if she was looking for help.

    The amputation will put her pups at risk, but not doing it runs the risk of infection. I guess they'll make a determination about maybe taking the pups C section first. She'd only be 2 or 3 weeks away from birth.

  14. Slick,

    It's road kill season up here. She was lucky, not all of them are. I hope she survives the amputation, she deserves better than what happened to her.

  15. this story means something - I'm just not sure what.

    I enjoyed it - and wish the best for momma skunk.

    beautiful eyes, eh?

  16. Nice story. I have been trapping squirrel this week, caught 10 in the back yard in tow days. A neighbor started feeding them last year and boy they moved in mass. Digging up every flower pot, pulling up garden plants. I drive them 4 miles to the river and let them go on the bank in a grove of walnuts, persimmon, acorn oak, and blackberries. I do not release them late in the day, they deserve a chance to figure out where they are before the owls start hunting. Now there are 2 or 3 in the area, I like that.
    Oh for people with goose troubles, geese do not like to exit or enter the water through tall growth. If these neighborhood lakes would allow tall grass to grow in a belt at least 10 feet wide around the water, and let cat tails or such grow in the water near the edge, you get fewer geese leaving the water. They worry of coyote and fox in the thicket.

  17. Ice,

    Everything means something, I just never know what it is myself.

    I worked late today and didn't get a chance to call to see how she's doing today. I figure no news is good news.

    Setting aside the stench, if you can, skunks are actually quite beautiful.

  18. YF,

    Is it safe to trap them this time of year? What about the possibility of catching a Mama Squirrel with babies somewhere around?

    Most of the geese locally are at Walmart. There's this big fenced in water thing, I'm not really sure what it's for, except for drainage. The geese seem to congregate there and at a couple of golf courses where the tall grass wouldn't be anything they could do.

    The Walmart thing is a series of these catch basins and the geese tend to wander around outside the fences, sometimes in the road or the parking lot.