Follow Up

Some of you already know this, but many of you don’t, so I’ll tell you what happened to the little black and white kitty that got caught in my chipmunk trap (see last part of last e-mail).

After I wrote the last e-mail, I fretted and stewed so much about what to do with the “kitty” that I gave myself a stress headache. I didn’t want to get sprayed by an angry animal that just happened to wander into the wrong place, but most of you know that I’m tender hearted, and couldn’t stand the thought of leaving him/her there to die. At around 7 PM I told Jean I had figured out what I wanted to do, explained it to her, and asked her if she wanted to come out with me to help. Without saying exactly what she said, I’ll paraphrase it to “Heck no!”

I went back out to the cottage alone and stripped down to nothing but a smile. My apologies if that leaves a picture in your head that haunts you for days. Anyway, I put on an old pair of jeans, an old flannel shirt, old socks and old grass stained running shoes. I put on an old hat and got some old gloves from the garage. I have a couple of old undershirts I use as brewing rags, so I tied one around my face, covering my nose, mouth and chin. I didn’t want my glasses to get sprayed, so I went to the basement and got some goggles I use for carving ducks. I wanted to protect the jeans and flannel shirt as much as I could, so I put on a rain poncho that had a rip in it.

Wearing all this garb, I went out on the front porch holding an old towel between me and the beast. I put the towel over the trap, covering it completely, and the skunk didn’t spray, although the odor was definitely prominent. I covered the towel with a black plastic bag so, if he/she did spray, it wouldn’t get through the towel. I lifted the cage, placed it on piece of cardboard (Jean’s job was supposed to be to slide the cardboard under the trap when I lifted it…wasn’t this one of those “worse” times in the “for better or worse vows”?), and carried the whole mess out to the street. My neighbor came out of his garage where he had been working, laughing his xxx off. He said “Skunk?” I said yes, and he replied, “You’re certainly dressed for it.”

I pulled the towel back to expose the door to the cage. I pressed in on the catch, lifted the door, and expected the skunk to scurry out. My plan was to run toward the lake as the skunk ran toward the brush. He didn’t move. So I tunked the end of the trap. Still no movement. I tipped the cage so he/she would know which way to go and shook the cage a little. Still nothing. I tipped up the cage, and he/she rolled out, DEAD! He/she couldn’t have been in the cage for more than 15 hours or so, and was still alive three hours before when I left the lake. I know it wasn’t sunny or overly warm so he/she couldn’t have dehydrated, and he/she had eaten the peanut butter I put in the trap as bait, so couldn’t have starved. I felt awful, but it was too late. I’d like to be able to tell you that I dug him/her a nice grave, and placed a makeshift headstone with Pepe Le Pew carved on it. Not so! Let’s just say, I took him/her to a tree in the tall grass, rolled him/her out of the bag, and gave him/her a chance to wake up, just in case he/she had fallen into hibernation sleep.

I have since washed all the clothes, aired out the cage, and still have the poncho and shoes out in the garage at the lake. The residual odor has settled down, the Jehovah Witness ladies did not come to leave pamphlets, and all is well. I haven’t checked under the tree, but I’m going to assume the critter woke up, bounded away, and will never do that again.

Just (Another Minus To Offset What Few Plusses I have) Jack

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