Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer haze

The dog days of summer, open windows at night, lead to indoor/outdoor experiences of many kinds.  Often these things happen at night, when you feel least prepared or least capable of dealing with the unexpected. 

A neighbor mentioned a sighting of a baby skunk the other day, one that apparently was too young to figure out how to spray the dog that was merrily playing with it.  This particular neighbor has successfully live-trapped several young skunks over the years and relocated them to the "wild" on some public land just out of town.

The middle of the night is often when we get a whiff of our resident odoriferous neighbors, the windows open next to the wildlife highway to the delectable goodies in the backyard garden allow sounds and odors to waft in to tickle our brains as we dream.  Dreams can become nightmarish, or at least unpleasant, as in the case of an encounter of the skunk kind several years ago when Resident Kid was but a toddler.

The Resident Cat at the time was a fluffy orange cat with a kingly white tuxedo shirt front.  This cat was a He Cat of the macho kind and liked to prowl the 'hood at night.  One evening we were hit with a powerful strong smell of skunk and went to the back door to see if we could catch sight of what we had caught wind of.  In came He Cat streaking through the house, and, in his wake, that powerful strong smell of skunk.  It didn't take long to find him hunkered down under Resident Kid's bed, squinty-eyed and drooling, obviously having taken the full blast straight in the face.  

Now He Cat was normally a cantankerous type that didn't appreciate even the most desultory grooming attempts on our part and as a a result his long fur was often matted because we would get scratched or bitten if we tried to brush him.  This night was a different matter.  Nary a growl as I picked him up and dunked him in the sink full of the special skunk remover formula that another neighbor had found after their dog was sprayed.  I scrubbed and washed and otherwise took action that would humiliate any self-respecting cat, but this cat was taken beyond humiliation by the utter misery of full strength skunk.  This cat didn't even care that his apparent heft was belied by wet fur that revealed the scrawniest kittenish figure beneath the fluff.  All he cared about was that the homemade skunk remover formula worked.

Homemade Skunk Remover Formula:
1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap

Mix together (it will foam up hugely) and rub all over skunk sprayed area.  Rinse well.

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