The sweet smell of skunkcess

I don't care what they tell you: Tomato juice will not remove skunk smell from a cat. Especially a cat that likes to sleep in the bed with you. A cat that likes to walk around and rub up against you. A cat that likes to sleep under the dining room table while you eat, especially when you are having company. A cat that will jump into your lap after you have just changed into non-skunky clothes for an important meeting. A cat that yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy will iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii walk across a computer ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] keyboard while you are trying to wo /////////////// rk.

Not only is the tomato juice bath a waste of time and juice, it takes three days to clean up the bathroom.

Is there anything more clinging than skunk spray? How many times have you passed a dead skunk on the road, and 30 miles later remarked that you can still smell it?

After many other bogus home remedies, we found something on the Internet that recommended a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. That worked pretty well when rubbed into his wet fur, but as soon as it dried, the old fumes wafted back. We considered and rejected a series of other options -- banishment, shearing, roll-on deodorant, the delicate cycle. Nothing seemed appropriate.



One thing was obvious: Since we couldn't get rid of the cat, we must get rid of the skunk. I set a large Havahart trap out on the front lawn. In case you're not familiar with them, they don't hurt the woodchuck, squirrel, chipmunk or skunk you are trying to get rid of. They just contain it in a wire cage until you can release it on the front lawn of someone you don't like. An ex-brother-in-law, perhaps. The football coach who made you sit on the bench all through high school. The jerk who gave you that tip to buy oil stock.

Sure enough, the next morning I had a caught a huge skunk. It was really kind of beautiful -- long, glossy black hair, two thick white stripes running down the back. Very intelligent-looking. So what if it sprayed the cat and dug up big patches of lawn? I almost wanted to let it out and pet it.

Let it out? What is wrong with me? How am I going to get near enough to the thing to let it out without getting blasted? Even if it didn't blast me, what kind of a nut would put this thing inside his car to take it over to Coach Philby's house in the middle of the night? What if it let fly while we were in the car? We'd never get the Blue Book value for it.

Sue explained to me that I had not thought this whole trap thing through. "You," she said, "are an idiot."

I called around and after a few good laughs, the neighbors recommended a local guy, R. Moody, who knows a thing or two about animal control.

"The first thing you do in a situation like this," he said, pausing so I could soak up his words of animal removal wisdom, "is to write me a check for $100. Thank you, sir. Now get back in your house."

We watched R. Moody through the living room window. He pulled a large tarp out of his pickup and held it up in front of himself so all we -- and the skunk -- could see was a big blue wall moving slowly towards the cage. When he was only a step away, he let the tarp fall, covering the trap so the skunk could see nothing. A few quick turns of baling twine, and he loaded the trap and tarp into his truck.

"Well, I could have done that," I told him. "I can't believe you charged me a hundred dollars for that!"

"No sir, that part was free. It's the letting him go that costs a hundred dollars. Do you want your check back?"

Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.

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