While doing dishes last night my mind wandered and I recalled an incident with Fiona and a skunk which happened early in 2013.
I put Fiona and Gypsy out while I got breakfast ready then went to bring them in after I put their dishes down. Gypsy came right in but Fiona, well Fiona was busy with an animal that came to visit. First, out of the corner of my eye I saw a black nose. Hmmm, one of the cats in the neighborhood must be visiting, strange that neither Fiona nor Gypsy made a big deal about this by barking I thought to myself. Upon looking closer I thought I didn’t recall seeing a black and white cat around the neighborhood, certainly not one with white down its back. WAIT A MINUTE!!!! WHITE DOWN ITS BACK—THAT IS NOT A CAT!!!!! There was no telltale odor from a skunk. Image my panic seeing Fiona nose to nose with a skunk! Trying to stay calm so the skunk wasn’t frightened I started to call Fiona to the door, very quietly. She looked at my like “but I’m making a friend here” and proceeded to go around to the skunk’s rear end to sniff. OH LORD, DEAR JESUS NO! DON’T LET IT HAPPEN!!!! goes through my mind. The skunk just stood there and let Fiona sniff at it. FINALLY I was able to coax Fiona back into the house BUT the skunk followed her up to the step. Calmly I let Fiona in and closed the backdoor.
I still don’t know how it happened that there wasn’t any spraying of anyone by the skunk which I dubbed “Flower” (like the one in Bambi). All I can say is I was relieved and glad that Fiona had made a friend instead of an enemy. I am also amazed that Gypsy didn’t incite any adverse reaction from the skunk either. We haven’t seen Flower since then (at least not to my knowledge unless Flower visits without my knowledge). All I know is we make sure we have the makings for the de-skunking solution on hand “just in case”.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, Gypsy LOVES to chase squirrels. Our back porch is enclosed (more like a mud room) and we have a full view storm door as our outside door. During the summer the glass is replaced by a screen but right now it is a glass pane from top to bottom. Gypsy likes to lay on the back porch (when it is warm enough) and look out the back door.
Before she goes out she looks around the backyard to see if there are any beings she needs to “guard” against. She has been amazed when we open the inner door and there is a squirrel sitting on the back step looking at the house. Gypsy stares as the squirrel as if sizing it up and the squirrel stares back like it is daring her to try to catch it. We make a move to open the door and the chase begins always ending with the squirrel reaching the safety of a tree before Gypsy gets to the foot of the tree. If she could I think she would climb up after it. Many times, like once last week, she will take off up our back hill into the woods and normally she is chasing a squirrel. We have learned to look around the backyard as well to make sure there aren’t any deer or the neighbors chickens out there but when it comes to squirrels they aren’t as easily seen by us humans.
But I digress. Recently one morning I went to put the dogs out, took a look around the yard before opening the back door and didn’t see anything. However, Gypsy did: halfway up the hill and midway between the start of the tree line and the path to the back of our property she ran. I saw the squirrel dart up a tree and there she stood at the bottom of it. Then to her surprise, CRACK, down came a branch on the side opposite her and up jumped that squirrel (either he was hefty or that branch was weak). Gypsy stood there looked confused while the squirrel jumped up and ran to another tree. She then circled the bottom of the 2nd tree as if expecting another squirrel to fall from the sky! The squirrel survived to tease her another day.
It took a couple of minutes but she finally decided the excitement was over and came back to the house looking a bit disappointed. Gypsy hasn’t given up, she still checks out the yard before going out the door to see if she can chase any other squirrels up a tree.