one of our orphaned skunks

As though I need any more excitement in my life.

The wedding is barely more than two weeks away and I suddenly find myself with something else to worry about. Skunks. Baby skunks. Orphans. Great.

A few weeks ago I was standing bleary eyed in the kitchen with my morning coffee when suddenly a big cat crawled under my back gate. A great big cat. A black and white cat. With a striped tail. SKUNK!!

See, you think that living in the city you get a break from all heaven’s creatures, great and small, but that’s just not the case. I might not have to contend with dreaded deer damage in the garden – instead of their beautiful (tasty) selves, I get this. Under the chicken coop no less. Hooray.

So we thought, no problem. He’ll leave at night to get food and we’ll just block the entrance to his den. Yep well, good in theory, in practice, not so much.

We piled a ton of lumber between the shed and the fence, thinking ourselves very smart. Only to remove it the next day to find a tiny little black and white mewling ball, eyes not even open, being bothered nearly to death by flies. These are times when the city girl in me comes out. Rather than drown it or who knows what of course it becomes a moral dilemma and next thing poor Jeff is spending the better part of the day making sure it doesn’t die before it’s mother gets home. Good grief. And after all that work we found ourselves right back where we started – a family of skunks camped out under the chicken coop.

Ok so Plan B. We’ll wait long enough for the kittens to be mobile and then we’ll trap mum and the kittens will follow. Again, great in theory. Yep.

Friday night Jeff rolls home from work and calls me outside. Commuters heading both directions on our street were holding their noses in the crooks of their arms, faces squashed up in grimaces. And then it hit me, SKUNK. Well, actually, it hit her. There she was in the middle of the road. Toast.

So technically that was one problem solved, but now I have another:

our four foraging orphans

There they are, apparently munching on my rapini seedlings. I held myself back from actually feeding them, but I did give them some water. I told myself because I can’t have them die under my shed . . . But mostly because they are just too darn cute!

The men of the house had been operating under the assumption that baby skunks can’t spray. Well I think we officially debunked that one on Saturday. Either that or they SERIOUSLY misjudged these little guys age. My sister, who finds our backyard farm amusing, but will have none of it – was into the house like a shot while the rest of us killed ourselves laughing and tried not to gag. Never a dull moment.

Jeff emerged from his emergency shower to report that apparently my AHA face scrub did a pretty good job cutting the stink. Note to self.

I had thought about getting a new perfume for the wedding, something that would remind me of the day. Eau de Pepe La Peau was not what I had in mind . . .

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