We awoke to skunk smell. A smell that crept in the window like a green wisp of air like in the cartoons. And behind that wisp, another wisp. Behind that? More wisp. Lots, and lots of green wavy stink. Impressive, really.
When we got of bed we noticed the stink had surrounded our apartment. Stink crawled in the kitchen window, it mingled with the smell of shower gel, it waited to escort my husband to work. What a thoughtful stink.
Soon, my nice neighbor—we’ll call him Archibald—informs me that the meandering cat that “belongs” to the downstairs neighbors got sprayed. I say quote-unquote belongs because the care the cat receives is minimal at best. The cat kind of gets fed. It’s kind of given shelter. It kind of has a litter of kittens who are kind of given love in the form of a box shoved in the bushes next to the tree that is constantly covered in bees. But it quote-unquote belongs to them. It no-quotes-needed-at-all-does-not belong to me.
But here we were, Archibald and I, discussing what should be done about Stinkila the cat. Apparently she had wriggled into his apartment earlier and now Archibald was in go mode. I gave him some latex gloves and he took his bottle of Skunk-Stink Off© down to assault/help the cat.
Except the cat freaked, wriggled out of his hands, and bolted into the nearest thorny bush.
Archibald had to go back to work. I couldn’t help at the moment because my 1-year-old was awake and dangerous, so it would have to wait. We’d have to let Stinkila prowl, recirculating her new fragrance here and there and everywhere.
Later, for some unknown reason, I was feeling ambitious. So I made myself a trash bag skirt, snapped on some latex gloves, and headed down to scrub the skunk-gland juice off this poor wretched animal. Stinkila did not enjoy this process. I did not enjoy this process. Un-enjoyment had by all. But in the end, she was less stinky than she was before, and I was uncomfortable and sweaty so…mission accomplished.
Come to find out, latex gloves and Skunk-Stink Off© are not enough of a barrier to keep your hands smelling minty fresh (or any variety of fresh, for that matter) when bathing a cat covered in skunk anger. Imagine my disappointment.
As one should do for all serious matters, I turned to the internet. Since you come here to melaniecrutchfield.com for all of your practical life advice, here are the steps I followed:
Wash With Dish Soap
Wash hands with dish soap, being sure to make that suck-slorp sounds that frequently accompanies too-soapy hands.
Rub with Hand Sanitizer
This was just a guess for me. Why not slather something else on there.
Scrub with Apricot Scrub of Some Kind
Again, this is just something I had in my bathroom. Might as well. Then…
Slorp Hands with Mouthwash
I had read to use peroxide, then mouthwash, but my mouthwash is one of the fancy whitening kinds that has peroxide in it, so double-point score for me.
Soak Hands with Lemon Juice
Hope you don’t have any paper cuts…
Scrub Hands with Baking Soda Paste
Little bit o’ baking soda, little bit o’ water. Then more baking soda, and more water, and much more slorping.
Apply Much More Hand Gel
Because why the freak not at this point?
Your hands will be dry, crackly, and akin to lizard thighs. Might want to address that.
And tada! Your hands will be less stinky!
“What?!” you say. “They won’t be fresh as a daisy, Melanie?” No, kitten. No they won’t. They got skunk juice on them. What did you expect?
There’s only one thing that really and truly works.
This step CANNOT be overlooked.
Don’t wash the cat that “belongs” to the neighbors.
photo via Enokson at Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0