A few years ago I took an old picnic cooler, cut a square hole in one corner large enough for a cat to go through, put an old blanket on the bottom, and set it on our back step. It was meant as a shelter for our cats if they were outside in cold or stormy weather.
Tuesday morning Chris opened the door to let Angus and Poolie go outside. A half-grown kitten emerged from the cat shelter and walked in the open door. He has made himself right at home here, even though we’re not sure we need another cat. Angus and Pookie are especially dubious about that.
He is obviously accustomed to being a house cat and has been well cared for, though probably went a day or two without food. He is going to be big, his ancestry is probably largely Norwegian Forest cat, (I had to look that up, I knew there was a long-haired Norwegian cat with a ruff, the only name that came to mind was Norwegian Elkhound and that’s a dog so it couldn’t be right.)
If he had been a stray that long hair would be messy and matted, and it wasn’t. He didn’t wander in from the farm next door (we asked) and the next closest house is a kilometre away. Chris’s guess is that he is getting to the age that he should be neutered and the previous owner didn’t want to pay the vet bill.
He is gentle, friendly, playful, cute and pushes himself into the middle of whatever is happening. Chris thinks we should call him Frosty, for the colour of the fur on his back. I’m afraid that if we give him a name that means we have accepted him as part of the family.
My wife woke me at 7:00 AM Saturday, saying “We’ve got to get out of the house!” When the cobwebs had cleared from my brain, my nose told me the cause of her concern. The pungent odour of skunk was permeating the house.
We live in a mobile home and were aware that a skunk had burrowed under the house. We have every intention of sealing off the perimeter of the house so this won’t happen again. But we don’t want to seal the skunk in, and we can’t do much as long as the ground is frozen. As long as the skunk was minding its manners it seemed like waiting was the best plan.
I got up, turned the furnace off to stop circulating the aroma through the house, then opened windows. Saturday was a sunny and mild day and the house didn’t cool down all that much. We left for part of the day, had dinner in the city and came home to a house that was somewhat less repugnant. I turned on a few electric heaters for heat and we tried to stay away from the part of the house that smelled the worst.
Angus, our middle cat went outside in the evening and it was quite late when he returned home. We didn’t notice anything on him, except that he was wet (and it was not raining outside) and seemed nervous. A few minutes later he was attacked by Pookie, our smallest cat. We separated the two and put Angus in a room by himself for the night. He seemed traumatized and even afraid of us. He has scratches on his face and shoulder; we don’t know if that happened outside or was the result of Pookie’s attack. These two often squabble, but no harm has been done before. It was almost like Pookie didn’t recognize Angus – perhaps he didn’t smell right.
Angus has made a quick recovery and there is no more evidence of animosity between him and Pookie. Today there is a little white-faced tabby on our doorstep.He comes running whenever he sees us at the window, yet dashes down the hole dug by the skunk when we get too close.
Could there be a connection between the skunk spray, this newcomer and what happened to Angus? We don’t know, but it has been an eventful weekend.
The skunk scent has dissipated from most of the house, except right by our entrance door. The hole is close to the doorstep and I suspect the wood under our entrance is saturated. So if you come to visit us, hold your nose until you get further into the house.