Monday, February 6, 2012

Girl vs. Wild

I've shared houses with love-makers and I'm OK with it.

Have I walked in on two people consumating?

Have I heard things going on in rooms around me?

Have I not heard things going on in rooms around me and wondered if they ever did it?

Am I alright with the love-making situation going on under the Cottage at the present time?
Hell to the no.

Would I be able to sit comfortably in my warm bed if I could see the creatures that I hear under my floorboards right now?
*more emphatically* NO.

So, you've known, as have I, that creatures have lived under the Cottage. I use the past tense because I stopped hearing them and assumed they'd moved on. The dumbass that I am did not clog the hole.

It's night-time. 8 p.m. I go to bed. Exhausted.
Midnight. I'm awakened by tumbling and squeaks and fighting under my floorboards. Not only does it wake me up, but I can't go back to sleep.

I grab my broom.
Because that's what every 20-something single girl in a Cottage does.

I started with negative reinforcement. Every time I heard a squeak, I banged on the floor with the broom handle. Not one squeak went unbanged.

And then, as if on cue, every creature under the Cottage, however many there were, gave me the middle finger via their anal glands.

The entire Cottage erupted in one big skunk fart.

To say that I was stunned is an understatement.
I went back to bed.

I flexed some serious Google muscle and found out that white vinegar works wonders on skunk odor. I also learned that skunk scent is oil-based and therefore absorbs into your human pores. Your human pores. And that for days after being exposed to the smell, you'll catch a whiff of it and it's yourself.


One gallon of white vinegar later and the Cottage was glistening in pungent cleanliness. Next up: get rid of the skunks.

My idea was to poison them and I read that they are deathly allergic to chocolate. I also read that it hardens their blood and dries up their innards, making for a slow death best sped up by blunt force trauma to the head with a shovel.
Um, no.

In some states poisoning them is illegal.
I can't go to jail for skunks.

I could try trapping them. I have a trap and apparently they like dog food.
But if they are of the hog-nosed variety, they are impossible to trap.

I read that if you soak a rag in vinegar and put it outside at night, it will deter them.
So I soaked four paper towels and threw them out the kitchen window in the general vicinity of their entrance.

I also discovered that it's skunk mating season. And males will travel 4 to 6 miles to get to a female. And that they're getting it on right now under my bed.

I am traumatized. It sounds violent and not fun, and it stinks.
It all stinks.

My nose is so assaulted that it can't tell what the heck it's smelling anymore. Between skunk juice, vinegar and Febreeze, I've got some sort of chemical concoction going on that's probably HAZMAT worthy.

I'm afraid skunks are going to pop out of my air vent.
I'm afraid they're going to eat through the floorboard and attack me in my sleep.
I'm afraid they'll never come out.
I'm afraid I'm going to go to work and smell like either skunk or vinegar.

"I feel like a skunk stake-out is in order," I texted a friend. "Apparently they like dog food. Maybe I can coax them out and then clog the hole."

"Maybe," was her reply, and then more practically, "If you want you can come sleep on our couch tonight until someone can come fix it tomorrow."

I'm going to try the dog food. The dog food and the trap.

This isn't rocket science. This is me against nature, which, OK, probably resembles a NASA-approved formula for a spaceship launch, but I'm a patient hunter.

(Not really), but I'll getcha.

Or at least I'll try.

Armed with a broom...

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