It’s Always Something Around Here

I can’t make this stuff up, folks.  Telly came in the house yesterday morning smelling like skunk – not as if she’d been sprayed but like she’d been near one.  I walked to the shop and the odor was very strong. – I came back to the house smelling like Telly.  I really felt I should cancel at Concord because I couldn’t get away from that smell but what would Marline , the activity director, do at the last minute for the birthday party?  The garage smelled really bad so I quickly jumped in the car and left Rick and all the dogs to go skunk hunting.  I stood in the wind when I got to Concord hoping the smell would blow away.  I asked Marline if she could smell it and she agreed she could, a bit, but I sat down and played for an hour anyway.

When I got home Rick was standing by the garage with the rifle.  He had just shot the skunk right beside the walk-thru garage door!  Do you know how many times all of us walked by that area?  This could have been so so bad with 3 boarding dogs and a skunk in the light of day which often suggests rabies.  God was watching over us all.  No dog got sprayed and came in the house.  No dog got in a fight with the skunk and got bit.  And the skunk did not get away to cause us further grief in the future.

Last night Marline called to say I forgot my glasses on top of the piano and added that one of the new employees who was helping in the dining area during the party complimented my piano playing but added, ” I don’t know about her choice of perfume tho”.   Ba Da Boom!!!

I keep forgetting to update you about the cat above the garage.  He/she is still there, does not hear me coming, seems to be healthy enough but very afraid of me and I don’t know what I’m going to do when spring arrives.  Just open the door and let the cat come and go as if the room above the garage is its permanent home?

Last night I got up with Claire about 3 am and it was a beautiful night – very calm and quiet, so quiet that for the first time ever I heard the coyotes around our property barking and howling.  They can’t get in our yard because of the 6′ fence but I think they were in our hay ground and west of our grove and they were very vocal.  Rick says it’s because it’s mating season.  The snow is melting and the temps are in the 40s during the day which does feel almost like spring.

40 thoughts on “It’s Always Something Around Here

  1. Carol Garverick

    Our female Australian Shepherd has been coming inside all week smelling faintly like skunk. You can tell she was rolling in something. I could not smell anything in the air, so I am wondering if a skunk’s stool smells like their spray.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol – good question. She might just be rolling on the ground or in the weeds where the skunk sprayed. You know how they love to roll in stinky stuff!

  2. brenda A in sunny AZ

    I hate to tell you, but those coyotes can leap higher than 6′ if they want to, at least they do around here. They jump up on the 6′ walls and walk along them like tightrope walkers in the circus. And, it sounds like a three ring circus around your home all the time.
    As to the skunk, one would think that if there’s one, there must be another lurking in the background. Be careful. Spring is in the air.
    Have no idea how to lure scardy cat out of her/his lair, and maybe just leaving her/him alone will be the best for all concerned.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda – it sorta feels like a three ring circus around here most of the time!

  3. Angie Rowland

    Boy you could say that your perfume is musk of skunk. That comment was a gem. Skunks don’t usually go solo so be careful.

  4. Bernadette Jackson

    Garage kitty is lucky to be out of the reach of coyotes — and within reach of the cat show bag. Smart kitty. Is this the one you spoke about months ago?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Bernadette – yes, this is the cat who showed up late last fall when my garage door was still open in the nice weather and he went upstairs where he’s been sleeping ever since!

  5. Arla in Arizona

    This was the best story, glad no one got sprayed. Coyotes in Arizona can scale our 6 foot fences very easily, always hearing how they get into yards and attack small dogs. Be careful.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Arla – nice to hear from you. We don’t have many small animals out at nite for the coyotes to want to get but its always a fear of mine. I have never heard them so close, ever. It was alarming.

  6. Bernadette Jackson

    I agree with the prior comment about coyotes being able to scale a 6 foot fence, no problemo. Tucson neighbors have confirmed this has happened in their yards. They can be very clever about climbing chain link. Of course, there are probably plenty of bunnies and such for them out in the fields.

  7. Another Mary

    Brenda in Az is so right! Coyotes run up and over 8′ cinderblock walls without a care. Chain link fencing is just a bunch of footholds on a vertical path for them. Safe to assume the food source in their habitat is sufficient to keep them on their side of fencing.

  8. Katie

    What a exciting skunk time, but a plus that you shared your gift to the folks , music a good thing..😊

  9. Kathy

    Ahhh, life in the country! Our Great Pyr Lexie would go insane when she heard coyotes. She would bark and everyone would shut up. Is Concord the same facility where your mother lived? When I saw the picture of the residents, I was hoping for a glimpse of my cousin Gary. (I am the customer with the speeding ticket show and tell ). It is so good of you to play for them. I know they enjoy it. Thanks for continuing the blog. I really enjoy it!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – Gary Maben or Gary Clement – neither was there yesterday. Yes, this was where Mom lived and I’ve continued to go back. I just love those folks!

      1. Kathy

        Gary Maben. I live in WI and cannot get there very often. He is my mothers cousin and he was a huge part of my life growing up.

  10. Dorothy Sheldrake

    We live where there are many coyotes. Hear them daily. My husband has done some research.
    Coyotes CAN GET OVER A SIX FOOT FENCE. unless you install roller bars across the top.
    Hope all your sweeties stay safe.

    1. Bernadette Jackson

      I have heard about coyote proofing the tops of chain link fences. We don’t have a fence at all around our property. But our dog is not allowed out unattended and without a lash. She would probably love to be a farm dog!

  11. Noel

    Neighbors have seen coyotes in our well populated suburb recently. Scary! Anyone know if they are repelled by anything? This city girl never thought she’d have to worry about them.

  12. Rose Mikulski

    Well this post just stinks today. Your reality TV show is just shaping up, we now have Goat Coat Report, Ricks Road Report and now Farm Fragrances. You can start a line of Eau D’Mary (pronounced Oh, It’s Mary) and this one will be No. 1. I don’t think you’re going to compete with Chanel but at least your stories are better. BTW, my son was on duty last night and he saw the goat running with the deers running across the street and he thinks the deers let the goat in because it will detract them from the coyotes.

  13. Delores

    Mary, I always enjoy your wonderful animals and your great stories. After reading this one to my husband, he said, “Mary should write a book”. We live outside Chicago and the TV news filmed a coyote walking in a park in the “heart” of the city. Love hearing that you continue to share your talents with the Golden Oldies. What a sweet treat for them.

  14. Mary Says Sew!

    Public TV has a documentary on Urban Coyotes – they’re quite smart and adaptable. They’ve developed new strategies and are changing behavior in suburban, sprawl and urban areas.

    I’m glad your garage cat has stayed with you and made it through the winter. S/he is not so scared of you that s/he was left! S/he may have something like ear mites that have created enough debris to plug her/his ears. If you’re willing to spend the time and money for this little soul, a trip to the vet might help her/his hearing and prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

    I finally bought a live trap last fall, and it helped a friend and me get a neighborhood kitty with a ruptured eye to the vet – he practically couldn’t wait for us to get out of the way so he could load himself in the trap to the clinic for his Ultimate Extreme Makeover – neuter, eye removal, vaccinations, parasite purging – the works! He now has a forever home with another neighbor, and a whole of lot of fans around us.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary – I am more than willing to take him to vet but can’t get near him so guess I will have to try the live trap. I won’t give up on him. Thanks for helping Your little buddy out with all his problems – he’s a lucky cat!

      1. Mary Says Sew!

        Thanks, Mary E.! The little neighborhood cat we helped is an extra-special guy. He was willing to trust us enough to let us take care of him. He’d been hanging around the neighborhood for a while, and was making friends with several of us. We’ve rescued many cats over the years, but this little guy warmed up to his ‘welfare committee’ quickly over the summer last year, and was even friendlier after his ‘makeover’.

        He’s the most relaxed cat I’ve seen in the vet’s office! The vets and their staff all say, “He’s a really sweet cat!”, with a hint of surprise in their voices. No wonder, considering his history and medical conditions. He’s also FIV-positive.

        His positive attitude and people skills made it easy to help him. I would have helped any animal, but this guy is easy. I figured if he’s willing to trust people and readily accept his treatment, I would go as far as he would. Neighbors at at least six other houses were looking out for him, too. “It takes a village” – sometimes for cats, too!

  15. Felicia Hamlin

    Never a dull moment at your house Mary. So glad you provide music for the residents.

    Have never heard a coyote “singing”, but I don’t think I want to, either. Felicia

  16. Carol

    Well, at least you would have taken comfort in the fact that, had your listeners said, “Man, that Mary really stinks,” they would not have been referring to your music! Pee-yoo you!

    That little kitty melts my heart, she looks so sweet!

  17. Dot

    That reminds me of a story told years ago by my mother’s cousin, who lived on an Iowa farm. One winter, civet cats moved into her attic, and she didn’t dare try to get them out. They never sprayed, but a faint skunk smell drifted down into the closets. She said that once, when she went to Ladies’ Aid, someone sniffed, and said “I wonder what they’re having for lunch?” She kept her mouth shut! In the spring, the civet cats moved out, thank goodness!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dot – love stories like that! Have not heard about civet cats since I was a kid.

  18. Rhonda D

    I loved the remark about your perfume! Glad the skunk is gone- besides being pungent they are worrisome around the dogs and cats.

  19. Ann Barlament

    I might welcome a bit of skunk compared to the “pee au deaux” that usually happens, in these places. Glad to hear that Rick got the culprit and nothing tangled with it.

    Singing with Coyotes actually sound interesting. About 40 years ago, I sat on a hillside in Ely, MN with a forest ranger….howling with the wolves.

  20. Betty Klosterman

    Oh, what fun life is and it’s trials. You were so lucky the skunk didn’t get into the house. Moth balls might help keep the critters , including your cats and dogs out of certain places. The smell would be better than skunk. Here in Rapid City we get an occasional skunk , but our big problem is mountain lions. They make life very interesting, too. A friend who lives just south of the hospital was working in her flowers and a squirrel was nearby and just making all kinds of racket. This kept up and finally she looked above her into the tree. She about died, there was a mountain lion on a big branch….. needless to say she called the police and they took care of the problem. There are so many deer in our city limits from people feeding them, etc and that sure looks like supper to the mountain lions. There are all sorts of stories of people’s meeting the critters. Also small pets have become a meal for them, too.

  21. Jeri Niksich

    Recently had my own little black and white visitor….I read through my emails at night in my garage with the door open about a foot, I felt something rub up against my calf like a cat would. What a surprise when I glanced down!!! I sat statue still for at least 15 minutes, finally slowly got up and SHUT the door. NO more open door at night for me!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jeri – are you kidding? How could you manage to be calm? And why do you have your garage door open? In winter?

  22. Diane

    HI Mary–I’m late catching up–just got back from the Quilt Guild Retreat:) Fun time. We had a Beagle that climbed our chain link fence. He just put his little feet right in those holes and up and over he went. Never got hurt and always came home!! We only had him a year, then he moved to a friend’s farm where he could roam to his heart’s content:) I’m still laughing at your “perfume” so funny. Keep trying with Garage Kitty. She/he will come along. A mama skunk and babies moved in under our back porch several years ago:( They finally left. Whew–stinky.

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