Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
First of all, you need a skunk. But that isn't too hard when you live next to a river.
And sometimes you don't even need a river.
Last fall, a big ol', fat skunk kept coming around eating up all the kitty food. When you live on a ranch, you need kittens and cats around to keep down the mice and pack rat population.
So, I was after that critter. Besides, I like my baby kitties, and I hate skunks.
One night, Ani started barking at the front door, so I flipped on the porch light and opened the door.
Oh good grief!
Sitting on a lawn chair was momma cat and her baby kitties. They all had their heads hanging over the edge, watching ol' skunk devour their kitty food. I bet they weren't 3 feet away.
The skunk just kept on a gobbling food and could have cared less that I was standing about six feet away.
The skunk would turn its tail toward me, and then when I'd step back, it'd turn the other way. We danced this little tune for about 1 1/2 minutes while my brain finally decided to kick in and told me to get the .22.
One .22 sandwich did that ol' skunk in, and there never was a smell.
Some folks say if you hit them in the right spot they won't spray or smell. I must have done just that, but for the life of me, I can't tell you to this day where that spot is because I just opened the door and let one go and that was the end of that story.
Of course, like I already stated, I was only about six feet away, and if you miss a target that close, then you don't have any business shooting.
So I haven't had anymore skunk problems up until just a couple weeks ago. We started smelling one in the vicinity but hadn't seen that critter, so I got out my big trap.
Oh, quit it, you animal lovers out there.
It was just one of those traps that doesn't hurt animals. However, I'm not saying what happens after it gets caught.
I decided that if I were a skunk, I'd like nibbling on apples, bread with molasses and, maybe, some corn. You can't put cat food in there because I don't want to catch a cat, only a skunk.
I got it all set and away from the house and was feeling good about catching the stinker. I got up the next morning and checked my trap.
For Pete's sake. There sat ol' yeller Tom Cat, and he sure wasn't much happy.
Ani ran up to the trap with her tail a waggin', and you could just see the conversation between them.
Ani asks, "Whatcha doing in there?"
Tom snarls, "Get me outta here, you crazy dog!"
He had polished off part of the bread and molasses. The only response I got was a very loud "Yeeeooowwwwlll" like he was trying to be a mountain lion or something.
When I undid the latch on the trap, he shot out of there like a bullet and headed straight to the barn.
I haven't seen him for a couple days. I reckon he is still off somewhere sulking.
And, yeppers, all I'm doing is catching kitties. I bet the skunk is up on the hill laughing like a nut. He keeps coming back in the night when he thinks I'm sleeping.
But I'll get him. I'm determined.
Meanwhile, if you or your pet get sprayed by a skunk and you want to get rid of the smell, the following tactics will not work, according to AAAnimal Control:
• Tomato juice bath.
• Lemon or orange citrus spray.
• Perfume or Febreze.
But, I guarantee this will work because I've used it not only on the dog, but also the ex when he came home smelling like a skunk:
• One quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide,
• A cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent. Put it into spray bottle and spray away.
It can also be used like a shampoo or rub down. Use all of it immediately as it is unstable and will explode. I used it in the washing machine, and one washing took care of the skunk smell.