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Story ID:9808
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Gilboa New York USA
Person:Skunk family
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By Fred Wickert

I have a large garage. When I lost my old house I had some additional buildings. There was a two story barn and there was another building behind the barn that was 18 feet wide by 60 feet long.

When I moved to my new quarters where I am now there was only the three bedroom house. There was a one car garage in the basement. I removed the garage door, closed in the door space with insulation and put vinyl siding on the outside to match the rest of the house. I put in a slider window and finished the interior. I then had carpeting installed. That gave me a very large room for my office, but there was no garage. There was no place to store my tractor and lawn and garden equipment or any of my tools. There was no place to use as a work shop to do repairs or make something useful from time to time.

I needed a large garage and I needed it bad. I paid a visit to Morton Builders and looked over the various deigns they had available, and then signed a contract for them to construct a 36 by 40 foot building. It was to have six light panels in the roof, a window in each side which I provided, two overhead drive through doors in the front with a walk through door in the middle and a single overhead garage door in the back, which I provided. I had the one I had removed from the basement of the house.

After the garage was built a number of stray cats took up residence. I built a couple of large work benches along the left side. Tae had me buy a sofa and chair for them at a lawn sale and she donated a large wicker chair. I bought an old used camper trailer. I parked it behind the garage and removed cabinet doors. I put blankets from the good will store on the beds, made a door for them to enter and leave. I put an extension cord from the garage to the trailer for lights and installed a couple of electric heaters. We had food in the garage and electrically heated water bowl so they had water all winter long. Later, I even built an insulated cat house in the garage with picture windows and shelves with pillows to lie on. Litter boxes were provided in the trailer, in the cat house and on the garage floor.

The walk in door in the front of the garage was left open in the day. After all the cars were in at night the door was closed. Eventually I put a block of six by six on the floor so the door could not close and attached a bungee cord so that the wind could not blow it open. The cats came and went as they pleased.

Later we had a large possum take up residence in the cat house. He didnít bother the cats and the cats didnít bother him. When spring came he left and never came back. One year we were troubled with three raccoons who took up residence in the garage. There was a rabies epidemic at the time and one got aggressive with my wife. She fended him off with a broom but for her and the developmentally disabled people we were taking care of at the time I believed they were too dangerous to cope with and reluctantly I shot and killed them.

Over the years we had no more problems with wildlife in the garage. Until now that is. Now all of a sudden I have a family of skunks that has taken up residence in my garage. There are two adults and three little ones. It is only June but my real concern is when winter comes. I need to cause them to think there are better places before then.

For the summer months I have other fears. I do not know where they are holed up in the garage. There are many places to hide in there. When I need some equipment, a tool or tools, or need to work on the bench repairing something, or later on hopefully, when I go to straighten up the garage and restore order in there, I risk disturbing them. I risk a lot more than that if I actually do disturb them.

Does anyone have any old tried and true skunk removal remedies? I want only humane ones of course. I donít want to harm any of the cute little critters. I just want them out of my garage. If I shut the garage door when they are outside it might help, but if I do that the stray cats will also be out of a home. If I shut the cats out of the garage but feed the cats outside it might work. I am sure the cats will return to the garage in the fall but the skunks will have found new quarters by that time, or maybe not.

Any good ideas will be welcome and appreciated.

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