I Smell A Rat

I trapped, and poisoned, and locked out all the rats.  What I smell, is something completely different.

Twice, last summer and fall, our two new Scottie Terrors Terriers came back into the house at night, smelling of skunk (….only, not).  They didn’t get sprayed, but were nearby when it happened.  A quick bath for each of them and their collars, and everyone slept peacefully.

Everybody knows what a skunk looks like, and what one smells like.  The odor is sharp, acrid, bitter, nasty.  This smell was none of those; it had more like a ‘husband crawling into bed, after a baked bean dinner’ stench – almost a sweetish tinge to it.

After the second occurrence, I was in the back yard, picking up what dogs put down and – What’s this??  A chunk of dried hide, as big as my hand, with black and white fur on it…. and over there, a second piece, just as big,,,, and yet a third piece, half as big.

The wife insisted that her little angels wouldn’t eat a skunk, and we found no bones, but I don’t see any cat-sized animal losing that much skin, and surviving.  It’s a pity, too!  Skunks will eat rats, and garden slugs.  As the snow began to fall, I noticed cat-prints in it, across my driveway, up my front walk, across in front of my porch, and disappearing, because the house kept the nearby snow melted.  Probably a cat that a neighbor allows to roam.

As winter progressed, and the snow piled up nearer the house, I realized that these ‘cat-prints’ led to a hole under my concrete porch.  😯 Uh-oh!  This can’t be good!  My resident skunk was no fool.  It roamed both my neighbors’ yards, usually keeping 8-foot wooden fences between it and the too-often yappy dogs.

Skunks are nocturnal.  I flicked on the light, and opened the front door one night at 4 AM, to retrieve my ‘morning’ newspaper, and there, six feet away, was the skunk!  I quickly and quietly closed the door.  The wife went out for a coffee date with an ex-co-worker.  Just as the women returned at 3 PM, the “nocturnal” skunk retraced that earlier path, right in front of them.

They both got a good look at it.  It was definitely a skunk…. only, it wasn’t marked like a ‘skunk’, and it didn’t move in that hoppy, undulating way that skunks move.  When she got in and settled, the wife grabbed her laptop, and researched “Skunks.”


Has no natural habitat, only un-natural, like its own imagination, and Ego-sphere

This is the American Mac-and Cheese-Head skunk.  It is continually raising a big stink, but it’s usually restricted to the Washington DC, or Mar-a-Lago areas.

 

Spotted Skunk

Apparently, there are 12 kinds of skunks, several of which can exist where I live.  It couldn’t be a European Polecat.  At first we thought that it might be an Eastern Spotted Skunk that we’d spotted.  More careful study revealed that it is most likely a Hooded Skunk.

Hooded Skunk

This explains the difference in the smell of the spray.  More recently, I opened the front door again at 4 AM, and heard squeaking and squealing beneath my porch.  Either it was complaining about the new Wi-Fi password I’d installed, or I have a female, raising a litter.  👿  It’s gonna be an interesting spring.  Besides a husband who likes spicy burritos, 🌯 what do you have that creates a stench where you live?