I know I used 'tail' instead of 'tale', it was on purpose. I've had critter problems this summer. I love animals. A lot. We have a duck, chickens, two dogs, and honeybees. Our neighbors asked if we would like to bottle feed a couple of lambs for them and I was extremely giddy. I would unashamedly baby-talk to the lambs every time I gave them a bottle. I really love animals. I do have a problem with bats, though. A big problem. An unhealthy, irrational, sacrifice my children to save myself, fear of bats.
And that is how it began. A bat flying in the house and it flew into hiding. We couldn't find it. Well, I shouldn't say we. Because I was locked in the bedroom hyperventilating. Finally, after several hours minutes, it was found.
Then there was the time I awoke in the middle of the night to the smell of skunk. "Wow", I thought, "that is the strongest skunk smell ever. Almost smells like it's in the house." It dissipated a little bit, we went out for the day only to arrive home to awful skunk smell and the realization that there were four baby skunks in one of our window wells. Thankfully, my brother-in-law Blaine (who is pretty much McGyver) was able to safely remove all the skunks and return them back into the wild, at my request.
I am so glad that I asked Blaine to let the skunks go because otherwise, we would not have had the pleasure of meeting them again on a walk around the farm. The dogs found them first, I saw black and white, and started screaming "SKUNK!" and took off running with my daughter Liza up the hill. (I ran with Liza because it wasn't a bat. Had it been a bat, I would have pushed her out of the way to save myself). Unfortunately, one of the dogs was sprayed. I had no tomato juice, so I covered the dog in tomato soup and tried to bathe her. She hates baths. So, she took off running and jumped up on my pallet bed on the back porch, covered in skunk stench and tomato soup. We were able to finally get the dog and the pallet bed cleaned.
The next day, the kids and I went to my parents' home on the lake. I had to get away from the smell of skunk which was still lingering inside the house. As I am walking across my parents' yard, I see something crawling across the yard. "What is that?", I asked out loud even though I was alone. I got a little closer only to realize it's a BAT! I couldn't even get the words out. "b..b...b...bat...", I whispered. My dad was watching from the window and he knocked. "DADDY, IT'S A BAT!", I screamed. Because when you are in your forties and have an irrational fear of bats, you can still call your dad 'Daddy'. Daddy to the rescue.
And then yesterday happened. A black cat showed up in our yard and it was lying there and wouldn't move. It did not look well at all. I tried to give it some milk and it ran away and hid under the pallet bed. I took the milk and pushed it under the bed in hopes it might drink if I left it alone. I thought, "Oh no, that poor cat has come to die under the pallet bed." I kept checking on it throughout the day and it would stare at me, no movement, and refused to eat.
Last evening, we went out to check on it and there was a puddle of cat pee. On the pallet bed. No cat. Just pee. I felt sorry for it all day thinking it was going to die under the bed, but no...it peed and left. Didn't even say thank you for the offer of milk.
Summer isn't over yet. I wonder what the next encounter will be?
I will end with happy animal photos, to remind me of the good encounters.