I get up early. I always have. To me, the morning is the best part of the day. I don't understand why some people (like most of my family!) like to sleep the day away. So, as with most mornings, I got up at 5 a.m. to let the dogs out and go to the barn to take care of the birds. As I opened the bedroom door to go downstairs, I was hit with a very pungent odor.
The first thing that came to mind was either an onion had gone very, very bad, or maybe my son had been cooking up something late at night and whatever it was had burned. A quick check of the kitchen and pantry didn't reveal anything that would have that smell, yet, it persisted and was quite strong - overbearing, really!
I opened the back door to see if the smell was coming from outside. As I stepped out, Sophie the cat scooted in the door. I walked around the house but didn't detect anything out there either. This was a real mystery! I went back inside and proceeded to make coffee, hoping that would mask whatever the awful smell was. I just hit the start button on the coffeemaker when I heard this noise behind me. It was our cat, Sophie, trying to jump up on a kitchen stool and falling over Now, that was odd. Since when couldn't she jump that high?
A closer look revealed a copious amount of drool from her mouth as well as her eyes being nearly shut. No wonder she couldn't hit the top of the stool. What in the world?! I scooped her up and immediately found the source of the stench. It was the cat! The odd part was that she didn't smell of skunk. She smelled more like she had gotten into some sort of chemical. Poor baby! I scooped her up and wiped off her face, waiting to see if she was acting poisoned - remember, I am holding poor kitty very closely the whole time. No, whatever she had gotten into had gotten into her eyes but otherwise she seemed okay (we're not counting the smell she is giving off). I washed her face and front legs off and in doing so, noticed a clear yellow line across her face and both front legs. Ah ha!!! This was not poison or chemical! She had met up with a skunk!!! At this point I begin to realize how stupid I've been too!
Not only had she received a good dose of spray, I had brought it right into the house! Brilliant! Who knew?! I had only smelled this distinctive odor from a distance, never this close in proximity or to the event. It didn't/doesn't smell like skunk at first. It has been suggested that she may have had a run-in with a weasel or mink since they have similar defense mechanisms but, really, who cares? PHEW!!!! We were lucky in that she took the brunt of it and it wasn't on the house or cars. We never did detect the odor outside so that portion of her adventure, the who and where of it all, is still a mystery. Meanwhile, the guys could NOT believe I not only let her in the house, but that I let her stay and held her the whole while.
It took several days for the house to stop reeking and we used a mixture of peroxide, baking soda and dish soap to neutralize the smell on the cat. It bleached her head out a bit but was worth it in the end. (You can google the recipe if you ever need it but I hope you don't!! It was a learning experience for us all!) The house is finally back to normal although you can still pick up a faint reminder if you give Sophie's head a sniff.
The dear turkeys have a few days left here. I'll be sad to see them go. They're a jolly, funny bird and I've had fun learning more about them, fussing over them and laughed that they think I'm the mom.