The Suitcase Lady


April 28, 2009, 10:34 pm

…dedicated to Chris and Cathy

The other night around midnight, I was about to go out the door to put a letter in our rural mailbox. I quickly changed my plan, however, when I saw a gigantic “Pepe” munching seeds under our bird feeder. We refer to all the skunks who grace our yard as “Pepes” in honor of the hilarious cartoon character, Pepe Le Pew, who was created by Brenda White.

Despite my interrupted mail run, we’re delighted to have skunk visitors again. They had been absent for a while, and we missed them.

Living in the country has taught us how to coexist with the wildlife. In thirteen years we have had only one skunk incident; statistically, that’s not bad.

It was that proverbial dark and stormy night, and we were on our front porch watching a huge storm roll in from the west. Unbeknown to us, the wind blew the back porch door open. Our indoor cat, Blaise, marched outdoors, apparently right into a skunk.

When we walked back into our house, the smell was overwhelming, and our poor, skunked cat was hiding under the couch. (At least the skunk hadn’t followed.) Blaise had taken a hit directly in his face.

A call to the vet got us the magic formula. Forget the tomato juice myth. The following recipe now hangs prominently on a kitchen cupboard door.

1 quart three percent hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid detergent

  • Mix ingredients
  • Lather animal (human or otherwise) and let sit 10 minutes
  • Rinse
  • Repeat

(Note: do not premix or store this formula… explosions may occur!)

The results were miraculous. Our cat was de-skunked and even slept with us that night. However, he did look weird. All his lovely black tabby stripes had bleached to a reddish-brown. So don’t be surprised if your black Lab turns chocolate.

2 Comments for this entry

  • PS(anafter-thought)

    Your one skunk encounter was about as bad as our one skunk encounter. Our dog was sleeping in the entryway of the old house. The entry way door was fully open, the regular door was open, with only a screen door between the dog and the living room. Our window was right next to the door, with only a screen between the dog and us. The skunk got the dog in the face, but the scent came into the living room and bed room in full force. I can attest that fresh skunk smells like burning tires. Wheeeeoww.

  • Noreen

    I used to have a skunk that camped out right under my bedroom window. This lasted till I eventually moved out. The city did not come pick up strays and the only remedy was to have a rag soaked with vinegar stuck inside the window casing to repel the critter. Smelling vinegar all night was not really any more pleasant than smelling skunk.