Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nesting

For the last few weeks Stinkerbell has decided to make her nest behind the dryer. Since the cats' litter box is in the laundry room, when she needs to doodle she just climbs in there and goes.

That, to me, is worth having the dryer pulled 8 inches out from the wall.

She also likes to build her nest with random items like grocery bags and dishtowels. Since we regularly throw the dirty dishtowels on the floor in front of the washer, she has stolen an entire pile of them to sleep on.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lovings...

Maui is the most friendly and un-discriminating of our cats. He will tolerate snuggling with anyone, and while he doesn't seek out Buster or Stinkerbell to snuggle with, he doesn't mind if it just "happens."

I think that Stink likes Maui's fur.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Better

For those concerned, whatever the issue was seems to have passed. Stinker's breathing is fine and she is back to her silly self - eating wasabi almonds and chasing Buster around the living room.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Scare

This morning around 7am I woke up to Stinkerbell sleeping on my chest. I moved her so I could sleep on my side and a little while later she started hacking. It sounded like she was trying to cough something up, like maybe something was stuck in her throat.

She was obviously still getting air, but the hacking went on for about fifteen minutes. After it stopped her breathing was ok but she was making some little clicking noises with about half of her breaths.

She got down and ate a few bites of cat food, and we've made sure she has lots of water available.

I've checked on her a few times throughout the day and she seems to be alright, sleeping in the corner of our closet.

In the even that she has to go to the vet, we would need to go to South Carolina, where pet skunks are legal. Fortunately our friend Amy takes her dogs to a vet that she is pretty happy with, and from the appearances of their website they take exotics.

I'm going to call and verify if they'll treat a skunk just in case.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Retro


I just had to share this pic again (I posted it originally on Butterneck Toad) ... it's from about a month after we got The Stink - she was probably only about six months old.

I used to take her to work with me a few times a week and would transport her in my Coach purse. She was pretty tolerant with the whole idea.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Q & A #3

Stinkerbell's biggest fan asked some good questions...

Vaguely interpreted I assume the first was asking if/why the dog runs from the skunk, and second, "Was it easy to house train her?"

Buster generally stays out of Stinkerbell's way because she likes to bite him. She doesn't draw blood, but her teeth are rather sharp and she likes to nip at his tail and feet. Sometimes they will chase each other around the living room, when Buster is chasing Stink he'll run up to her and stick his nose right up to her butt.

For the most part if we see her sneaking up on him, we say "No Bite!" in a stern voice and she'll back off, at least for a bit.

As for the ease of house-training her, yes and no. I would say that she's not totally house-trained even now.

Skunks are like ferrets and rabbits and other rodent-types in that they are corner poopers. When she is in her cage she poops in a particular corner, and in the house she likes to poop in particular corners as well.

One of her favorite corners has often been the corner next to Scott's side of the bed. Fortunately we've been able to dissuade her from there for the most part.

The cat's litter box is in the laundry room and Stinkerbell poops primarily in or very close to it. On the rare occasions that she chooses somewhere else it's next to the bathtub.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Q & A #2

A reader asked this question:

" Is there some kind of association you joined to learn how to take care of such an exotic pet?"

When I was given Stinkerbell as a birthday present, I was working at the pet store as the General Manager. In the state of Florida, skunks are considered an exotic pet and in order to own or sell an exotic pet you must have a Class 3 Wildlife license.

This is obtainable through the Florida Fish & Wildlife department. The application and questionnaire can be downloaded and printed, and must be mailed in. There is no fee, but you must do a little research in order to complete the questionnaire to the satisfaction of the FWC.

The purpose of the questionnaire is to ensure that someone obtaining an exotic pet knows what they are getting into and is willing to care for that pet in an appropriate manner. Skunks are not like rabbits or ferrets, which are caged the majority of the time. They need exercise on a regular basis and enjoy being a part of the household like a dog or cat.

I did the majority of my research online, wikipedia and google were both very helpful, as was the FWC's info on pet skunks and their requirements according to state regulations.

Once I sent in the application and questionnaire, it was only about a week until I received my license in the mail.

While I was waiting, she stayed at the pet store, which also gave us time to get the house prepared.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Daddy Writes, Too...

I've authorized Scott to author this blog as well... so there will be posts from his point of view as well...

Welcome Scotty!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hilarity Ensues

This is the under-the-sheets trick:



And these are more of her playing on the floor. She was very active this evening...





Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is what is affectionately referred to at our house as a "monkey foot." When she's sleeping she lets me play with her feet. The pads are quite soft, and having your skunk comfortable with you messing with her feet makes nail-clipping MUCH easier.


This is Stinkerbell and I smiling for the camera. One of us needs to wax our upper lip.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is that a Skunk in your bed or are you happy to see me?

Stinkerbell's latest trick is climbing the side of the master bed box spring and mattress, then climbing underneath the fitted sheet.

Apparently she decided this is a good place to hibernate during the day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Skunk Play and Dinner Prep



This is a short clip of Stinkerbell playing. Buster apparently wanted his fifteen minutes, too, but got a few good shots of her scampering around and stomping at me.

We are going to Seattle for six days and Carrie is house/animal sitting. I made up ziploc baggies for each day we are gone with Stinkerbell's dinner in them so all she has to do is put them in her bowl and add some skunk vitamins and maybe some yogurt or applesauce.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Belly Up!

For a moment I was tempted to NOT post this picture because I thought "everyone will get sick of seeing pictures of Stinkerbell being cute."

Then I realized that if you get sick of it, you'll just not come back anymore and that's YOUR issue, not mine.

So...

The ONLY time you can view her pretty belly is when she is sleeping VERY deeply. She had been sleeping like this on my lap under a blanket and decided she was hot, so she slid off the couch, went back to sleep on the floor and then rolled over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Snacks

Tonight we discovered that Stinkerbell loves Blue Diamond Almonds in the "Jalapeno Smokehouse" variety. She also loves the "Wasabi Soy" flavor. A lot. She was hanging from the side of the can trying to get some.

She's been following Scott all around the house and climbing all over him every time he sits down.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering she loves jalapenos themselves.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New Love


Stinkerbell discovered Peanut Butter. She's a fan.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ready for Travel?

Several of my coworkers have asked how we intend to get all the animals to the new house (in another state and about a 13-hour drive away).

When I moved from Washington state, Scott and I drove in my Honda with the back seats folded down and the litter box in the trunk so the cats could use it any time they wanted. We also had a medium sized dog kennel in the car for them to hang out in if they wanted to or for when we had to transport them inside somewhere.

Since this trip will not be as long, I think we'll do something pretty similar. Whenever Stinkerbell has taken the hour-long trip to the vet she has slept the entire way, either on a lap or on our shoulders.

I'm anticipating that the cats and the skunk will go with me in the Honda and Buster (the dog) will ride in the BMW with Scott. I think the cats and skunk should be able to co-exist in that amount of space, and Stinkerbell will likely sleep the entire drive.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sharp Teeth

Stinkerbell has tapeworms. I found a little "rice" bit on our bed, as she's been sleeping with us for a few hours every night.

I called the vet and they okay'd giving her a cat de-wormer, which is fine in ideology, but a bit tough in practice.

The size of the pill is bigger than her throat and after a few attempts at shoving it down her and getting bit I decided to break it up into some cottage cheese.

I think she ate all of it.

My finger hurts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Transpecies


Stinkerbell is going to officially become a "Cat". Ok?

Everyone got that? She's now a kitty with a very fluffy tail.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Family Snuggle

Usually I post about my insomnia and other sleep issues on my regular blog. But tonight Miss Stinkerbell is half the reason I'm up.

While my husband was on his business trip, Stinky started sleeping in the bed with me for about an hour every night/morning around 2am.

Tonight Scott and I got home from an evening out around 2am and at about three she put her paws up on the side of the bed and asked to come up. I wasn't asleep yet so I pulled her up and she snuggled in between Scott and I.

The other half of why I'm up is that the dog was already on the bed in addition to the three cats and once Stinkerbell was there I was pinned on all sides and got very hot.

Since I'm far too nice of an animal mommy I let everyone but me be comfortable until I realized that I wasn't sure we put a bunny back in it's cage before closing up the pet store, so at 5:30am I hopped out of bed and drove over to double check.

I think when I go back to the bed I'm going to kick all the furry things out. Except my husband.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Poor Thing

Stinkerbell has the hiccups.

It's actually a pretty frequent affliction, almost daily after she eats. I think she probably eats too fast, although has anyone ever determined the cause of hiccups?

In any case, she is sitting in my lap with her head curled under, jerking mightily ever 30 seconds or so.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I've Never Been So Proud!

Stinkerbell has decided (all on her own) to poop in the cat litter box.

This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened at our house. For those of you without pet skunks, equate this with a child taking their first poop in a potty.

We did not try to train her to go in the litter box, she climbed in there and did it all on her own.

The first time I saw her do it we praised her and gave her treats, and it's evident that she's done it at least twice since.

Hooray!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cuddling Pillows



It's not often that Stinkerbell will lay with her belly exposed at all... this is about as close as it gets.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh Baby!

cat
more cat pictures

No, this is not Stinkerbell, but it was too cute to pass up sharing!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Toast of the Town

Stinkerbell had her first public outing tonight. She's been back and forth to the pet store with me several times, but this was the first time she's been somewhere "real."

We went down to Duval street (the main drag here in Key West, kind of like a shorter and smaller Las Vegas Blvd) and strolled along with the skunk on my shoulder. It was fun to see all the different reactions from locals and tourists, "oh my gosh, a skunk!" "Is that a skunk?" "Is that a ferret?" and my personal favorite, "Is that a monkey?"

Stinker was remarkably well behaved and calm, she didn't hide her head and didn't appear to be afraid or even nervous. We ultimately went home after a couple of hours because even though it was after midnight, it was still quite hot out and I didn't want her to overheat.

Monday, July 7, 2008

More Swimming

We've enjoyed a few days off this last week and the weather was beautiful.

Stinkerbell is getting more used to the pool.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Little TOO Smart.

Little miss smarty-pants caught in the act.



We knew she was getting into the dog food, but this time she did it with witnesses.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Do Skunks Eat?

In the wild, skunks eat bugs, small rodents, fruits and veggies and whatever else they can scavenge.

As a pet, Stinkerbell is a bit more domestic. The main part of her diet is vegetables and a few fruits. She also gets a little bit of dairy in the form of low-fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt, and some protein in the form of pellets made by Exotic Nutrition and sometimes a few kernels of dog kibble. As a treat, I bring home a few super meal worms which she LOVES.

Most evenings, we microwave some frozen veggies for about a minute and then add the diary ingredient, pellets and some Vita-Skunk.

Once a week or so I give her some fresh fruit in with her dinner - a piece of apple or nectarine cut up.

Most of my research when we first got The Stink said that skunks will eat anything. Stinkerbell apparently didn't read the same research and has turned out to be pretty picky.

She WILL eat:
Fresh mushrooms, sliced (not whole)
Fresh carrots, sliced or baby
Peas
Corn
Cheese
Apples
Nectarines
Jalapenos (her FAVORITE)
Eggs
Cucumbers
Any color bell peppers
Strawberries
Mango
Pineapple

She will NOT eat:
Cauliflower
Lima Beans
Tomatoes
Blueberries
Bananas
Squash
Cooked Carrots
Limes
Watermelon
Papaya

Dog AND Cat food are very intriguing to the skunk and unfortunately are too high in protein to be good for her, so they are off-limits for the most part. A few dog kibbles are ok, but the cat food is far too high in protein to be safe for her to eat on a regular basis.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poolside


I swear I'm going to charge the battery to my camera so I can video The Stink swimming, but for now these pics will have to do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Q & A #1

A reader asked:

"... do skunks use a litter box and are they an indoor animal?"

Stinkerbell is very much an inside pet. She only has been outside en route to somewhere or being held by one of us. I have put her down in the back yard once to see what she would do, and she went right up next to the house and ran back to the sliding door.

This last weekend during a party in our back yard, we experimented to see if she can swim. She was lowered slowly into a small wading pool and as soon as her feet hit the water she started doggy-paddling. She swam right across the pool (about three feet) and climbed out.

In the living room Stinkerbell has a cage in the corner that is about 3.5 feet wide by 2.5 feet deep by about 3.5 feet high. There is a drawbridge style door that is open most of the time and she sleeps in a little hut that is on a shelf inside the cage. (I'll try to post a picture soon)

She has the run of the house most of the day and the house has been baby-proofed to an extent, anything that can be gotten into will get investigated and trash cans MUST be heavy enough to not get knocked over.

Skunks are similar to ferrets, other small animals and rodents in that they like to relieve themselves in a corner. Litter training is pretty easy, a plastic corner litter pan is placed in the corner that the animal prefers to use, and the animal will go in the pan.

In some cases, the animal may want to use a different corner than you want them to and it can be difficult to change their mind.

When we moved from the condo, Stinkerbell decided that she didn't want to poop in the pan in her cage anymore and the first two mornings Scott discovered that she was pooping in the shower. I thought it was a pretty good place but Scott was not as pleased, probably because he was IN the shower when he made the discovery.

Recently she started pooping in my closet in our bedroom, and near the front door. When we were cleaning up the house and getting ready for the party, I moved some things around and since the party she has been back to using the litter pan in her cage. Every time I see her go in the pan I praise her highly. I'm very thankful that the front door anointing was shortlived, as most guests probably don't wanted to be greeted by that aroma on their arrival.

Rear View


This is one of my favorite pictures of The Stink.

I took it not long after we got her, and she still likes to investigate the back of the couch - usually for purposes of trying to bite one of the cats.

All the animals get along, but the skunk definitely rules the house. She can bully any other animal out of their food dish and said animal just steps back and looks forlornly at us to do something about it.

Skunks are amazingly flexible for being shaped like a furry barrel with legs. They will look you in the eye and point their dangerous end at you at the same time. Skunks are known to be highly accurate with their spray, but not many people are aware that spraying is actually a skunk's LAST defense.

The first thing a skunk will do when threatened is stamp their front feet. Skunks will also do this in play, but when scared or angry it will often be accompanied by a high-pitched growl that kind of sounds like screaming with it's mouth shut.

The second (and third) line of defense are the teeth and claws. Skunk front claws are quite long, and need to be trimmed about once a week or every two weeks at most. Skunk teeth are very sharp and cause a bad puncture wound, so it is important to teach a skunk at an early age that biting is not acceptable behavior.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Little Intro...


This is Stinkerbell. She is our pet skunk.

I received "The Stink" as a birthday present from my boss last fall. I manage a pet store and the baby skunks arrived at about 9 weeks old.

The entire story of her arrival in our household can be found on my regular blog Butterneck Toad.

I've decided to start this blog for anyone that has questions about skunks as pets, as most sites I find have been helpful to ME, although sometimes they are hard to navigate and not always user-friendly. From time to time I will post humorous videos of Stinkerbell doing the silly things she does.

Feel free to ask questions about skunks and I will answer them as best I can.

Enjoy!