Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Skunk Incident

Since Alissa has aroused your curiosity, I will tell you what the smell of a skunk means to the Rausch family. As you would expect, it's NOT pleasant!

We live on a small farm in a very old house. It has taken many years to bring it up to modern standards, and one of the conditions we lived with for many years was an open foundation. Our house was originally built on stacked flat rocks, and it was anywhere from a few inches to a foot off the ground. We worked gradually on getting a footer and foundation installed underneath the house, but for many years, we had some sections that were open to the air, and to the wildlife. We had a possum living under our bathtub for awhile, and I'm sure we had mice under there, too. But the worst thing that ever took up residence under our kitchen was a skunk. It liked it there, and there was no way to lure it out without risking it spraying its distinctive odor. After wracking our brains and suffering the stink for a few days, Terry finally borrowed a "catch-'em-alive" trap from our friendly hardware store owner, and he baited it and waited for the skunk to enter it. First we caught our cat, but finally we caught the skunk. We went outside to find the skunk sleeping peacefully in the cage.

Now what to do? If Terry picked up the cage and disturbed the skunk, he risked getting sprayed-and we didn't have enough tomato juice to bathe him in for that! He decided it would be best to shoot the skunk in the head while it slept so that it wouldn't spray. He got his gun and put a shot neatly in the skunk's head, killing it instantly. But do you know what? Skunks spray as they die! And their spray is neon green! You learn something new every day, and this lesson is one we could have all done without! Terry didn't get sprayed, but the ground did.

The ground outside the kitchen window was saturated with the spray, and the odor was overpowering. The kids and I had to clear out while poor Terry tried to clean up the mess and dispose of the dead skunk. He ended up wrapping it in several layers of plastic and putting it in the back of his truck to take off to work and dump in the dumpster. It didn't help the smell of the truck, either.

The odor lingered for several days, and then Terry found a way to block the foundation to keep any more critters from holing up under the house. I don't think any of us in our family smells a skunk these days that it doesn't remind us of this distinctly unpleasant experience! But now, we have a foundation all around the house, and the skunks keep their distance, thank goodness. Life is good...


tAnYeTTa said...

Hi :) I'm here from alissa's blog :)

Anonymous said...

Yep. That's it. The whole house smelled like skunk for what seemed like forever!

And now there's one dead on the road about 100 feet up, so I get to smell it every time I step outside!

Susie said...

My dad (who is from KY) used to call them pole cats (sp?) I have a very funny skunk and possum story that I'll tell someday too.
That smell really permeates everything!

Motherkitty said...

Yes, it's skunk season in Kentucky right now. You can't drive down the road without having to swerve around the carcasses. We had one run over down the road from us months ago. The carcass was never picked up but vehicles kept driving over it. Can you believe you can still smell it?

Once we had one just walk around our house and you could smell the stink for about a week. We're just lucky that it didn't come in our cat door.

Nancy, I haven't visited in a while but I'm glad to see you are still here and doing well. Hope you had a great weekend.