This entry was posted by KK on Friday, 13 March, 2009 at

I haven’t ever been but if I were going to start it would be today. My mom woke me up very early this morning (well, about 8 am, which is early since the boys spent the night with her and that is the only time I get to sleep in) screaming because there was a skunk in her front yard. We live in a subdivision and while in my 33 years of life I have never seen this I didn’t immediately think it was odd. So I got up and looked out the window. Indeed, there was a skunk wandering about her front yard. She was concerned because it was broad daylight and he was muttering about like he was confused. I thought he might just be blind. So she saw the lonely neighbor of hers coming out of his house and hung up the phone. She got him all over it and the next thing you know he was out tracking it’s travels (from a good distance, of course) along with two other neighbors like this was a burglar or something. So the neighbor gets on the horn with the city, and animal control, and TWRA and all sorts of people who proceed to tell him that they cannot do anything about it. Do we pay taxes? I thought we did. Anyway, while he is on the phone, the skunk manages to walk through 4 yards all diagonal and in front of my own before finding mine and ultimately finding my front shrubs. NOW we have a problem. NOW the skunk is in MY yard. So I began to worry a bit. I am running from window to window in the front of my house trying to keep an eye on him but he is lost in our overgrown shrubs. Two of the neighbors are standing in my front yard talking about the weather and proceed to lose the skunk. An office showed up and they all walk the grounds looking but find nothing. The word on the street (or from the officer) is that what we fear is a rabid skunk is actually a skunk infected by distemper which they have found very common over the last week or so catching about 4 infected by the disease. The skunk was not right at all but the officer said he would be showing more dramatic symptoms if he had rabies. So ultimately the officer left and the neighbors went into their houses and I was content telling myself the skunk went into the next subdivision and was in someone’s trash. So I began cleaning and go about my morning.

About an hour later, I walked out my back door to take something to my moms and the second I opened the door I smelled the skunk. It was so strong I thought he was at my feet on my back deck which is impossible because we have a 6 foot wooden privacy fence around our back yard that a rabbit cannot even penetrate. The smell came in to the house when I had the door open. I freaked out and ran into the house and opened the front door. I didn’t smell it there so I ran to my mom’s. I ran in her house and told her and asked her if she would walk over with me and she did. We began walking around my front yard and as soon as we met the front porch the neighbor across the street yelled “IS THAT HIM?” and we both jumped. He pointed around the side of the house where my heat and air unit sits. There he was, laying on the ground directly beside the unit. HOLY COW. That mangy animal has laid down to die right beside my heat and air unit. I ran into the house and immediately turned off the unit but it was too late. The entire house smelled like skunk. FRESH, ripe skunk. WHY? WHY? WHY? Why did he have to choose MY yard to die in and why did he have to pick that spot??? I went back out and my mom was throwing sticks at it and he didn’t move. By the way, have I mentioned that Jason was out of town in St. Louis? Nice. Leave the soccer mom to deal with a man’s job. Thanks. So I went in the house and got on the horn with some agencies. Animal Control was the first place I called. He said they do not pick up dead animals. “Well who in the heck does? This thing is laying beside my unit and the smell is seeping into my house!” He told me that no one is “in charge” of picking up dead animals. He suggested I call a critter control company. So I did. Of course their Lenoir City office has closed because of the economy and no one services our area. I called another company I found on google and they also do not service my area but they said they would dispatch one of their people and see if he would be willing to come out and that he would call and give me a quote. A quote? You mean I am going to have to pay for this? Shouldn’t the entire subdivision chip in? So he called me back about 10 minutes later and said he would come out, remove the skunk and deodorize my unit for 289. I asked “You mean two hundred and eighty nine dollars, right? Not $2.89?” He said “Yep”. I said, “I’m gonna need to call my husband.” knowing I would never be calling him back. My last hope was the city. You can’t tell me that when a 100 pound dog gets hit and killed in the road that he just lays there to rot and no one picks his body up. So I called the mayor’s office determined to find out why this did not exist and his secretary said that the city department does this. She also lives in my subdivision and knew exactly where I lived so she said she would get them out there asap. Knowing the city department, if you say “please come now” they might show up next week. I was hopeful they would smell the urgency….literally. As soon as I hung up the phone I heard my neighbor yelling outside. “HE’S MOVIN’!” I ran outside and yes, the skunk was up and dancing. He just needed a nap, apparently, and my mom woke him up with the sticks she threw at him. Thanks, mom. So I called the justice department. I told them he was back up and we thought he was dead but he isn’t and she said she would send the officer back out. This skunk had some major issues. He was up and dancing around but not walking. He looked like he was having a seizure. The officer came and said “Yep, he’s got distemper. We’ve seen this before.” My neighbor said “Well, are you gonna shoot it?” The officer said “I can’t do that. Even if I could I would have a three inch stack of paperwork to do because of it and I ain’t doin’ it”. My neighbor then offered to help with the paperwork. I thought that was funny. So the officer told us that he already had a game and fish guy on his way so all we needed to do was keep our eye on the skunk. At this point, we didn’t think he was going to get far in his condition but I didn’t want to take a chance. The officer told me he would need a box, some duct tape, a rake and a shovel. Off I went to round up the goods. Have I mentioned that it was sprinkling rain all day during all this? Yep. So I called Jason on my way to the barn and while I was getting all the supplies out of the barn I slipped on the wooden ramp coming out of our building and landed on my back and elbow and the phone flung out of my hand. I couldn’t move. After about 10 seconds when I realized my back wasn’t broken I tried to sit up. My elbow and shoulder hurt so bad I couldn’t move my entire arm. I picked up the phone and Jason was still there. I proceed to cuss him out for being out of town when he should be home keeping us sane and well and skunk-free. The ramp to the building was covered in slippery algae. I had no idea. I never go in there. That’s his territory. When I picked myself and my tools up and left the fence, holding back tears, I found the officer in the driveway taping up the box I pulled out of the garage. He and I then began our little escapade. I was able to snap one good pic with my iPhone during the battle with the skunk between whispers and darting to the road every time the skunk moved. By the time the game and fish guy showed up, we already had the skunk in the box. He walked up, taped it closed, and carried it to his truck. I then realized this game and fish guy was one of my soccer coaches this season. So, he began to talk to me in my front yard about his online training and things for coaching while I am standing there, in pajamas and a coat, wet, tired and shaking from the pain in my arm and shoulder. So off they went but not before the officer got one last suggestion in. He said if the skunk sprayed my unit then I could go to Wal-Mart and buy some of that “Madisongil” feminine spray and mix it up and spray it in the unit. “Will clear it right up and that’s what this place charge my friend thousands of dollars for and that’s all they did”. Did he just say “Madisongil”? First of all, this was an odd thing for a man who I don’t know to be chatting me up about. And secondly, what the heck is in that product that will kill a skunk smell? And what woman has such an odor that a product exists that can cure it AND a skunk smell all at the same time??? Is all this really happening? Am I sleep walking?


So with them gone I went into my stinky house and opened every window even though it was freezing cold outside. It was 3 o’clock and I hadn’t eaten anything all day. This has now taken 7 hours of my day and I am almost sick and in such pain and have soccer practice to coach in two hours. What a day. And then someone reminded me that is was Friday the 13th and it all made sense (although I am not superstitious). Luckily, by the time we got back from soccer practice at 8 pm the house was aired out and smell-free albeit freezing cold. And I didn’t want to turn the heat on.

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