Notes from Windward: #63
There's a Skunk in My Home
[Scene One: Tara asleep with her trusty kitten "Kira" nestled at her side]
What's that sound?
'Kira, it's three o'clock in the morning what are' ...Oh! ... It's not Kira...
She's asleep here on the bed.... Who, or what, is eating the cat food?
I turned on the light and went over to the kitten's dish. Nothing there. I
went back to bed and turned off the light. Five minutes later...
I turned on the light and went over to the kitten's dish. Again, nothing
there. I picked up my flashlight, went back to bed and turned off the light.
Three minutes later...
I pointed the flashlight toward the kitten's dish and turned it on. A SKUNK
had come in through the cat door and was helping itself to the kitten's
breakfast. Not bothered by the flashlight, it brazenly continued munching
away. I turned off the flashlight, turned on the light and went over to the
kitten's dish a third time. The skunk was gone. I went outside and looked
around. No sign of it. I went back inside, closed the door and went back to
Three days later, this skunk met its doom. Lured by old duck eggs, it was
captured in the live trap and subsequently drowned.
We knew that there are skunks around - the dogs have had encounters of the
odiferous kind and eggs have been taken from duck and chicken nests. This was
my first experience of a skunk coming into an occupied human habitat. I
didn't realize cat food was so alluring.
Varmits are a fact of life here at Windward. Skunks, owls, ravens, squirrels,
mice and various other critters are attracted to the animals and gardens.
They come after eggs, baby birds, garden greens, fruit, grain, and sometimes,
full grown ducks, chickens or even lambs. The dogs keep the coyotes and deer
away. The cats entertain the mice. But we must deal with some of the
A "palace" has been constructed for the ducks that is raven, owl and skunk
proof. The sheep are safely penned. We use the live trap to remove some of
the other pests. So far this season we've trapped two skunks and a squirrel.
We expect to get more squirrels as the summer progresses.
There's a part of me that objects to killing healthy animals for our
convenience. However, it's necessary for the protection of our animals and
our food supply. Here we come face to face with the knowledge that something
else must die in order for us, our plants and animals to live.