Posted in cats, dogs, pet health, pets

Risks of rural living

The pungent odor of skunk awakens me. The realization that one cat is possibly outdoors, experiencing the stench firsthand, gives me a sinking feeling. Sure enough, a miserable looking creature wanders into view, dripping with some type of goo on his fur. He’s not very cheerful about having to be patted down with puppy training pads, but because his eyes are barely two slits and nothing more, he’s not capable of putting up much of an argument.
Mind you, this is better than the time this cat got skunked right on the front step. Before we started his curfew, bringing him indoors at night, he got sprayed right at the door. And so the door got sprayed too … the spots are still there on the door, even after hours of scrubbing the vinyl and years of exposure to the sun, wind, rain and snow.
So what’s a human to do when a pet startles one of the Le P-U family? I’ve read that tomato sauce is a good remedy, but the idea of drenching the cat in tonight’s dinner doesn’t appeal to me. (Ever given a cat a bath in plain old water? Then you can imagine trying to do the same with one of the greatest stain-makers known to man, the tomato.)
There is a recipe or remedy solution available, reportedly the brainchild of a chemist (whose pet has about as much sense as our repeat-skunk-offender). Just search for “skunk odor cure” or something similar. The ingredients call for a quantity of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a small amount of dish soap, and lots of water. Sounds very effervescent, so proceed with caution. I’d check it out with a veterinarian beforehand. I haven’t tried it on my pet, so I can’t vouch for its effectiveness nor its safety.
Anything your pet has touched while in this condition will need to be deodorized too. In our case, kitty’s outdoor house was still faintly stinky for months, until warmer weather allowed for a good scrubbing with baking soda and water and a long day lying in the sun — one of the greatest odor eliminators.
Fortunately the skunks seem to have dug up all the Japanese beetle grubs they once came to our yard for, and we have kept kitty indoors at night, so no repeat offenses have occurred.
But the memory of the pure “skunked” look on that feline face is still enough to bring real tears to my eyes.

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Owned by three cats over age 13