Sunday, October 18, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

Isn’t life just the most amazing thing? I mean, when you get up in the morning, you just never know what will come your way, right? You throw the covers off, stretch, yawn, and make your way into the kitchen to start the coffee.

The day is all lined up, appointments, phone calls, billing. Oh, and of course the never ending door monitor duties of a very dutiful dog owner. There are always odds & ends to pick up and put away, even with just the two of us. Well, four counting the hairballs. And believe me, Willy can make a mess, sifting through his toy box, looking for just that right bone.

So I opened the back door to take my Fishing for Dummies book out to the building on wheels (just in case I have to identify my fortunate catches on our upcoming trip), and when I stepped out the door, my eyes caught site of something very out of the ordinary (on my back deck anyway).

You know how sometimes you can see something but it doesn’t register? You continue to look but your brain is busy flipping through the bizzillions of files up there in your head, trying to find a match. And when it finally does, it’s like a being hit in the face with a blast of cold air. Gasp!

You see, my eyes should not be seeing this right now. It has no business being here in broad daylight, just hanging around.

It became obvious that something was wrong with him. A close call with a BOBCAT maybe? His little ear was chewed and he was dragging his back leg. Very sad. If he was sick (rabies), he would be easy prey for someone.

It’s Columbus Day. Many phone calls. Fish & Game is closed. We were told to call Health Services because of possible human contact. Who knew? Health Services is closed. Somehow, we managed to get a call from a man at USDA Wildlife Services. He drove 30 miles from Bisbee to catch our little (well, not so little) intruder.

When my friend, Janice, saw the pictures she said, "Oh, he comes with his own boa! How fabulous!" Isn't she a crack up?

By the time the man came with the trap, our wild friend was gone. Circle of life, right? I'm pretty sure someone went to bed with a full belly that night.

Here’s what we learned.

Cochise County is #1 in the nation right now for Rabies.
Any warm blooded animal can be rabid.
A skunk can fit through a hole in a chain link fence.
A skunk will always warn you before spraying.
They will look at you directly, and tap their front feet. (Foot stomping)
If you do not back off immediately, they will flip around and spray you.
A skunk can spray up to 18 feet.
They are deadly accurate with that spray up to 18 feet.
They love sardines.
Their spray is a yellow oil.
Tomato juice to remove skunk spray is a myth.

Here’s the recipe to wash the oil off you or your animal…
1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 3 Tbs liquid soap

Mix & wash.


Barry said...

I think that little guy came over from our house. I never saw him, but I could strongly detect that he'd been around last night.

Simply Heather said...

This is a great post, Lisa! I really enjoyed reading it, and I totally know that feeling of searching for hitting like a brick and then the "WHAT?!" involved after figuring it all out. And the "WHOA!". Especially to have found this little stinker up close and personal.

I suppose I never thought of other animals wanting to eat a skunk...or even if they could with the sack of stink they carry inside....hmmmm.

Love the lessons list too!


Anonymous said...

what a sweet looking little cool you are for trying so hard...awesome;)

Scriptor Senex said...

Fascinating and what a great experience. Hope he was OK.

septembermom said...

Great photos! Thanks for the skunk facts too :) Hopefully, I won't need some of them any time soon!

Jen said...

poor baby!

I hope he dies quickly! Good for you, calling someone.

It's hard isn't it - I'd want to help it (like go out there and hold it), but Mother Nature knows best.

Oh, our cat (my parent's cat) got hit by skunk, and your recipe really works. That's what we used too. Did you know, if hit in the eyes (like our cat) the animal or human will go temporarily blind?

We washed our cat's face with warm water until he could see again, then used the mix you listed to wash his fur.

He was MAD.

GB said...

That is amazing and one of the most fascinating posts I've read about everyday life in the US. I have never thought of skunks ending up in human habitation. 18 feet!!! Ohmygosh.

Cynthia L. H. said...

Wow! Yes! A BIG surprise!!! I had one like that once...I'll have to blog about it sometime....
GREAT lessons at the end of the post...
Thank you!

Dan Felstead said...

HOLEY MOLY!!! Another one of your great critter stories!!! I have nver been that close to a skunk and hope I never will be! Our dog, scooter got into one about 2 months the time we realized what was going on...she had already been up in our bed and on the couch! What a mess that was. Great pictures/story never disappoint!


Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration