Monday, July 23, 2007


I have been wanting to write this post for almost a week and yesterday I finally got a picture to go with it!

My mom has a very temperamental fat cat that's been around for 10 or 12 years. It is an indoor-outdoor cat so the porch door is usually left open for it and it gets fed in the bathroom near the porch. A couple of days after I got here my mom let us know that she had had a visitor the night before.

"A skunk came into my house last night. It was eating the cat food."

This is a definite possibility since we do have skunks in the neighborhood and you can certainly smell them when one has had a confrontation with a neighbor's dog!

My brother says,
"Close the door! Turn that cat into an outdoor cat and the skunk won't be coming in to eat the cat food!"

I actually caught a glimpse of the skunk skittering out the door one evening, but just enough to know that it wasn't the cat.

Then last Wednesday I spent the day with my mom in Urgent Care right? Well, that night I decided that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to leave her alone all night so I camped out on her living room rug with a pillow and blanket. I even left a table lamp on since I wasn't sure if I'd be doing some care work that night or not. At about three in the morning I hear a thump-thumping on the other side of the room and I grabbed my glasses and looked wildly around. The cat was sitting near the window. She wasn't making the noise. Less than two feet away there was the skunk thumping at the front door! I don't know what surprised me more, the skunk or the cat just peacefully watching it! The skunk meandered through the living room giving me a glance as it passed and then waddled back into the dark bedroom (Mother still peacefully sleeping). Actually I wasn't sure if the skunk had left or not, and I certainly didn't want to close the porch door and lock the skunk in the house. So I stayed on the floor and had the camera handy (the one that clicked) and waited to see if the skunk would come back. It didn't and I finally fell asleep about an hour later.

A little before morning I am jolted awake by more sounds. The skunk is back and is walking around the living room and is checking me out! My toes were sticking out from under the blanket and the skunk was sniffing them. I was feeling around for the camera again, and trying not to make any sudden moves. I wanted proof that I was cohabiting with a skunk! No luck. The camera wouldn't flash, the skunk didn't think my feet smelled good (I could say the same about his) and he wandered into the bedroom again. The cat was up on the chair this time but didn't seem at all perturbed about the situation. For the rest of the night I moved up onto the sofa.

So since that Wednesday night I've been trying to get a picture of the skunk. He's been back a couple of times (my mom always comes into the main house reporting that she has a skunk in her house. I wonder if she is surprised each time it visits) and my brother keeps telling her to close the door so that it can't get in. I go over with the camera for a couple of hours hoping to catch a digital image and my vigilance was finally rewarded last night.

"Crunch, crunch, crunch."
"What's that?"
"The skunk's eating the cat food!" (He has a different crunching sound.)

Leiya and I tip-toed into the bedroom and peered into the bathroom. Marcy and mom stayed in the living room ready to make their escape through the front door. The skunk very happily finished off the bowl of cat food and he had a long drink before he decided there were too many nosy people and cameras flashing so he left.

I've got the picture and I think we'll start closing the porch door from now on. I don't think my mom needs a skunk for a pet. And you never know when a skunk might take offense of the amateur media and leave in a huff! (or a puff! pee-hewww!)


Laurie Ann said...

Good idea! Can you imagine if a skunk sprayed INSIDE a house! I'll bet that smell would never really come out. I had an office mate who used to have raccoons come into her house at night through the cat door. It's funny he was sniffing your toes!!

The Calico Cat said...

Oh my - I want to laugh, but I know a skunk in the house isn't funny....

That cat is beautiful... (Looks like my girl.)

Fiona said...

This was so funny - made even more so by the way you describe the nonchalence of the skunk as it just ambled through the house.

JudyL said...

I wonder if he is/was someone's pet and has escaped from them. You're braver than I am -- I would definitely keep my distance!

meggie said...

I could scarcely believe your story! It seems incredible, to think the cat just accepts the skunk! Very nice to look at, but I hear not nice if upset! You are very brave not to scream!

Kairle said...

WOW! That's quite a story. You're so brave to lay quietly and watch!!!

Elaine Adair said...

Great Story! Shut that door! 8-)

nihal said...

Konnichiwa Watanabe-san,
Tokidoki anata no blog o yonde ite taihen yorokonde imasu. Kyou wa kono nooto o kakitakatta desu. Watashi mo patchwork ni tsuite iroiro na koto o yatte jibun no blog o dekiru to omoimasu.
Ja mata ne...

Isutanbuuru, TORUKO

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

great story, but oh my goodness, you do not want that skunk in the house. We were out camping and our dog got sprayed by a skunk. my mom, who hadn't realized the dog had already been gotten, locked him in the car, where he rolled and rolled all over the seats. I cannot begin to tell you how much it stank and how miserable it was to ride in the car. Thank goodness it was a rental. I think you'd be in a lot more trouble with a house.

Bellydancingknitter said...

I had never heard about household skunks... perhaps the cat already knows what happens if she bothers the skunk, and simply lets her be.

rumi said...

Funny story! I enjoyed it very much. The skunk looks so cute in your story and on the picture. We never have a chance to see skunk near our houses in Japan. I once read about how terrible it would be once it stinks. Thank you for your interesting report from California!

Jeanne said...

Loved your story and picture! I don't think I could have hung around long enough to get the picture. I agree it's best to close the door.

Jane Weston said...

I'm a bit late commenting...but I couldn't help think that you could name the skunk Peppe le Pew! LOL