We live on a mountainside, and our sightings over the years have included squirrels, coyotes, possums, skunks, deer, raccoons and roosters. Rattlesnake and mountain lion warnings are often posted in late summer--but I am pleased to say no one in my family has personally come across one.
With the drought, it’s only natural for the animals to become more aggressive, and I admit I leave a water bowl out for “friends” who pass through our backyard, which I regularly freshen.
But when a sewer dwelling mama raccoon discovered our open cat door, and started bringing her three young-ins inside for nocturnal feasts, we had to take action. Locking locking the cat door when we went to bed, we found out, only encouraged them to show up earlier, and let me just tell you that it’s darned freaky to look up from your taco salad and lock eyes with a family of raccoons.
I researched raccoon deterrents and laughed out loud when I read the one thing that would keep them away: the scent of human urine. I told my sons to outside the kitchen door and have a field day!
Last night, I was drifting off to sleep when I heard rustling in the bamboo plant outside our window. I didn’t think much of it...a cat or squirrel or something...until the stench hit. POW. Skunk spray!
At first I thought it was coming in the a/c vents, but my husband--who then realized he’d left the sprinkler running on the bamboo plant--told me that older houses like ours simply aren’t air tight. And now here was the real rub. What to do while gagging? Turn off the a/c and open the windows? But the fresh air was skunk air! Go to a hotel? (Kidding.) So we spent the entire night sleeping with pillows over our faces, and woke to more pungent Eau Du Skunk, which I feared would hang endlessly in the air--as well as on our skin, hair and clothing. Don't they say the stench is hard to lose? (However, the PS here is I finally DID get the house aired out. We are once again skunk scent free.)
And that time, I didn’t need my friend Google. I’m sure the skunk was drawn to the running sprinkler (where he met up with a cat or raccoon or something that alarmed him). Believe me when I say we won’t run it overnight again. And meanwhile, I’ll just keep hoping for rain...
How about you? Mice in the attic? Bats in the belfry? Possums in the pantry? Share your stories!
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Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award www.tinaferraro.com