August 31st, 2010


The Wild Animals Of Allendale?

Saturday Night, Minding Our Own Business

Around 11:30 pm we were downstairs in the kitty room with our cats. The weather had broken for a few days, so the highs were in the 70s and low 80s and the humidity was way down, so we had the windows open, listening to the midnight summery bug noises. Nearby a dog barked, but then stopped. Probably from the neighbors to the west, and we were pleased that it stopped barking, because sometimes the dogs are outside when the owners come home late and we're treated to non-stop dog barking for hours. The annoying part of that is that our bedroom window faces them, so sometimes we have to close the damned window just to screen out some of the noise. Being out in the country we get all sorts of odd critter and bug noises. For a while in the spring I sometimes heard some sounds from the swamp about two miles north of us that sounded like coyotes, which isn't impossible. But this story isn't about that.

A few minutes later there was quite a commotion outside. Lots of thrashing through the weeds, some snarling and sounds like possibly digging. Now the basement level isn't dug into the ground so much as they built up sand around the house. So the window on the south side is just a few inches above the stones along the border of the house. The floor lamp in the kitty room and the darkness outside meant we really couldn't see anything, but I got up from the futon sofa/daybed and went over to the window. Turned out the light and couldn't see anything, but there was a smell.

Eau du Skunk?

Earlier in the day one of the nephews had posted on Facebook that they hated the smell of skunk. I had pointed out that some people like the smell. Sure, it's intense and I really don't want to get any of it on me, but a bit of skunk wafting in through the window is more amusing than awful to us.

I don't know if this was a skunk or some other musky creature. The smell coming in the window had some elements of skunk, but also a burnt smell. It was, however, pretty strong. I wasn't sure if this was a scent feature of being really close to the source, so to speak. A few minutes later there was some more rustling noises and I finally got up to close the window. The screens weren't going to stop any kind of dedicated attack with claws and besides, the smell was pouring in now.

Throughout all this the kitties lay lounging on the futon -- it neither interested or fazed them in the slightest.

When we got upstairs, after closing up the kitty room for the night, there was some strong smell coming in and we had to close windows. At this point I couldn't tell if I was catching the scent or whether my time near the open window hadn't saturated the scent receptors in my nasal passages and I wasn't just smelling what I had detected earlier. But neither my clothes nor my beard seemed to be holding onto any scent.


Sunday we had some relatives over for dinner and made some curry and chicken vindaloo. But when you came in from outside, you could catch some of the smell. Also at the top of the stairs to the basement, and coming into the bedroom. Part of this is these places have kind of box shape in the ceiling and it's possible that the air doesn't circulate much there.

We'd hoped that the Indian curries would knock out the skunkies, but not totally. Even more than 48 hours later I can still catch a whiff of the smell. Still don't know what happened or even what kind of critter.

But this wasn't a nice "pleasant" skunk smell out in the country. (grin)

Dr. Phil