Thursday, March 18, 2010

"My house is the one with the cloud over it"

I ran across that line when I was Googling "skunk spray vinyl siding cleaning"...

Yes, a few days ago MY backyard was blessed by the presence of a dying skunk.
When I woke up Monday, there was the faint scent of skunk migration in the air, a familiar Sign of Spring.
But when I came home from my walk, and walked up the driveway, I sensed something was awry.
The "Cloud".

I went through the house to the patio, and stood there, wondering why the acrid smell wasn't dissipating; it was seeming to get worse every minute...
Because there, next to the south facing, sun-warmed house wall, was a dying skunk. Poor animal.

We often get groggy wild animals coming up to the protected, gravel lined southern el of the house in the early spring - opossums, skunks, feral cats. Our adopted feral cat PeeWee used to nurse her baby, Little Cat, there on a clump of Opuntia pads. But this skunk came to die in a warm untroubled spot. Poor animal.

I felt bad for him, in my better self I'd try to honor his slow death ... but the smell was infiltrating the house. I had to do something. I needed a Death Panel. So I called a local humane trapper - $85 to set the trap (which the skunk would have to rise from his deathbed to enter) and $50 to haul away. Remember I told you my budget is squeaking?

I called County Animal Control. No dice - they pick up pets only. But the nice public servant advised, after I mentioned the R word (Rabies, not Retard!), that in some communities the P.D. will send out a cop to shoot nuisance wild animals.
Great idea!

Grand Blanc Township Police sent out a policewoman within 10 minutes or so. Pretty impressive response time for a non-crime call. (Kudos to the GBPD!) In dismaying contrast, when my 2 year old granddaughter's bedroom door was being kicked in by a robber, it took Flint Police 3 hours to respond to the 911 call.

Of course, when all was said and done, the death panel decided we should wait until second shift before proceeding. The coppette told me the skunk probably didn't have rabies because it wasn't foaming and making the right noises. But to keep the cats indoors. And the angle of the coup de grace shot by her service revolver was too close to the house - siding, footing, perhaps the sewer pipe? could be compromised.
How did the situation resolve?
Herb came home. He took care of it.
A Day in The Life.

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