1. johnson catman says

    Seeing those skunks reminded me of a house I rented once for a while. On more than one occasion, I woke up to the stench of skunk spray where they had gotten under the house and been frightened (probably by a neighborhood cat that was also under there). After the second time, I called the rental company and insisted that they come out and block off the holes around the foundation to keep the critters out.

  2. rq says

    Trash pandas! They’re so adorable with their little handses and their getting into the garage and their washing things and with their fighting the skunk… okay, that last, less adorable, esp. if the windows are open -- I was worried the second video would end badly (you can see his parent being all ‘get away from that!’). But they’re so cute! And you can’t really see in these videos, but they have the most expressive little faces! Here’s my favourite raccoon video of all time. (They can also do bipedalism. It’s a race between them and octopoda.)

  3. Kengi says

    The skunks here are very tolerant of other critters in the feeding area. The local watering hole seems to be a place where everyone calls a truce. I’ve even seen an interesting behavior where a skunk and raccoon both want to eat from one particular spot but refuse be openly aggressive. One will turn their back on the other and then try to back up into the spot. I can just imagine the “Oh, pardon me. I didn’t see you there.”

    The one time a skunk has sprayed is when the neighbor’s black lab came running in at full speed while there were multiple animals around, including skunks, raccoons and a possum. Everyone scattered and one of the poor skunks was confused and didn’t run in time, so turned and sprayed instead.

    Usually just the threat (putting the tail up high) is enough to keep everyone polite. Sometimes a raccoon (especially a young one) will do the “dominance rush” at a skunk, but they generally ignore it and just stand their ground.

  4. rq says

    Your critters seem to have better relationships than the ones I know in Canada, the raccoon-skunk fiasco is a regular occurrence, and, unfortunately, unscheduled, so my mum will have the windows open for the nice evening breeze and… well, it’s not pleasant. :D
    Must be we only have the one (raccoon-proof, don’t make me laugh) trashcan…

  5. Kengi says

    I seem to have very well-behaved critters in general. The raccoons don’t bother our garbage cans at all. In fact, we have open recycle bins with no top and, when I put them out on trash night, the raccoons don’t bother them at all.

    The deer used to empty our bird feeders (they tipped them up horizontal and let the seed flow into their mouths). But then I put out deer feed for them (that’s the bucket in the videos) and they stopped going for the bird seed. I think feeding the critters something they like better keeps them away from what you don’t want them to eat. Of course that’s an expensive solution, but, if you have a night vision camera, provides a lot of valuable entertainment.

    In my case that means lots of peanuts and sunflower hearts. I’m fortunate to have a cheap source for 50 lb bags of those nearby.

  6. blf says

    Whilst the mildly deranged penguin typically provides trebuchet-assisted flying lessons to kitties and the occasional puppy, she has also helped skunks. Which is impressive, since there aren’t any wild skunks in Ye Olde Worlde. That, in fact, is critical. It avoids having to take precautions against certain obvious problems whilst still helping the start of a flying lesson. It also avoids related complaints from the neighbours / landing zone, albeit they do wonder how she makes the student invisible.

  7. rq says

    I think feeding the critters something they like better keeps them away from what you don’t want them to eat. Of course that’s an expensive solution

    I’ve also heard that the raccoons escalate things and start demanding more and gain access to your house via their instinctive and incredible lock-picking skills… :D

  8. Kengi says

    So far they’ve stuck to just ringing the doorbell when the food runs low. It’s probably just that Midwestern politeness.

    Seriously, though, the feral cats will sometimes sit on the front steps and meow just before sunset knowing I’m about to bring some peanuts out. Our neighbor puts cat food out for them, but sometimes she gets home late and the cats demand I bring some peanuts out early.

  9. rq says

    So far they’ve stuck to just ringing the doorbell when the food runs low.

    So long as they’re not doing that at all hours of the night.

  10. Kengi says

    Not all hours of the night. Just when the food runs low. They figure it was time for me to get up and go to the bathroom anyway. And they are usually correct.

    I can always just through some muffins or sesame balls out the window to satisfy them.

  11. Kengi says

    …they will have you trained…

    What a ridiculous thought. There’s no way I would ever become the trained ape of…

    Hold on. I can’t respond right now. A cat is at the door, and I have to go feed the birds and squirrels as well. And I need to go to the store for more oranges for the orioles. I may be awhile.

  12. Kengi says

    The most complicated dish they’ve requested so far is a Thai peanut noodle dish. I’m not a very good cook so it didn’t turn out as well as it should have. They were pretty understanding, though. I’m best when they just want a simple tossed dwarf dandelion and lemon clover green salad with peanuts and sunflower hearts.

  13. rq says

    One day you might run across your own Yelp! review and be disappointed (“worst Thai EVER!!! Not going back!!! Until later tonight!”). Good luck with the beasties!

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