'Cause what'cha gonna do with a cowboy
When that old rooster crows at dawn
When he's lyin' there instead of getttin' out of bed
And puttin' on his boots and gettin' gone
What you gonna do when he says honey
I've got half a mind to stay
What'cha gonna do with a cowboy
When he don't saddle up and ride away
Last night was a perfect storm of terribleness from a trapping perspective. I awoke to find both armadillo traps half sprung, indicating that they either malfunctioned when an animal entered and/or a trapped armadillo managed to extricate itself (the latter has happened before, as I've grudgingly shared
It was bad enough that one or more armadillos eluded capture and continued to ravage our lawn, but I peered over the fence and found that instead of the usual raccoon...it was one of those black-and-white-striped kitties, aka una mofeta, aka a skunk. Great. Just. Great.
Of course, this isn't my first skunk rodeo [see here
and *sigh* here
; there was actually a fourth one that I didn't even bother to disclose], but it's been almost a year and 33 raccoons since one managed to get itself incarcerated.
I was in no real hurry to deal with it, and it was curling up for a nap as is the norm for skunks around daybreak, so MLB
and I went for a run and I tried to remember the correct sequence of events that yield an untrapped skunk and an unsprayed trapper.
At one point during the run, we briefly discuss the idea of calling the city animal services folks and letting them deal with it, but I decided against that since our lawn guys were due this morning and I wanted the skunk gone before they arrived.
So, upon our return I armed myself with an old beach towel and an utterly inappropriate feeling of confidence and began the methodical process of (1) covering the trap, (2) opening the trap, and (3) preparing to run like the wind (or at least a vigorous amble) when the skunk sprang from its prison.
Steps (1) and (2) went off in a rather boring -- for you readers, at least -- fashion. Step (3)? Not so much. As it turned out, el señor mofeta was rather content in his now-darkened bedroom. And, after all, it was past his bedtime. In other word, he wasn't coming out.
And he didn't.
And he didn't.
An hour later, the trap was still open and he was still snoozing inside it. Our lawn service hadn't shown up, but I figured they would at any time, so I took a more aggressive stance against the snoozing varmint.
I have a tree limb pruner mounted on an extendable pole, and I figured I could at least uncover the cage from a [hopefully] safe distance using it. It worked very well, in fact, and now the skunk had a little window in the side of the trap from which to look before returning to its nap. Really?
I began gently rocking the cage by pushing the pole against it. That did result in the skunk getting to its feet and sleepily assessing the situation. But it still didn't seem interested in leaving.
I finally jiggled the cage a bit more aggressively, and after almost three hours the skunk warily exited the trap and wandered slowly toward the creek (and away from me, so I didn't have to put my own escape plan into action).
After a lengthy consultation with myself, I think I'll put the trapping endeavors on hold for a while. Lawns are overrated anyway.
For purposes of maintaining the Very Important Accurate Historical Record, here's the scorecard as of today. Please study carefully; there will be a quiz later.
"So," I'm sure you're thinking,
"what's with the 'poetry' at the top of the page?" Well, I'm glad you asked. Those are the lyrics of the chorus from a song entitled
Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy, performed [YouTube it if you wish] by the late Chris LeDoux and the very much still with us Garth Brooks. I thought the lyrics were appropriate for this topic if you substitute "skunk" for "cowboy" and ignore all the other cowboy references and, you know, it all sounded a lot better in my head. But, then, so do most of my posts.