FUGITIVE

Skunks have an unmistakable aroma. So I’m pretty sure there’s one in my laundry room. I suppose it could be the possum we discovered in there last year, that let off a similar scent, but I’d thought he was long gone.

I was assaulted by the “perfume” after swinging open the door this morning to feed the cats. They dine by the dryer. At first I suspected my husband’s work shirts (which can be quite gamey after a day at the salt mine). But, he was innocent.

The smell was overwhelming. I didn’t see the offender, but as they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Our house, at 230 years young, has plenty of shadows for squatters. The laundry is off the kitchen in the unfinished part of the house attached to the barn. Years (and years) ago, a farmer would use it to avoid having to go out in the cold.

Last year, my daughter burst into my office in hysterics to report a rat behind the washer. I raced in with a broom (the first thing I grabbed) to find aforesaid possum reared up and brandishing several rows of sharp teeth.

As if in a movie, I screamed, he hissed, and we retreated in opposite directions.

Pablo, as he came to be known, was apparently living in the roof, disturbed by workers who were replacing it. He hung on for a few days, according to late-night sightings in the yard, and eventually just disappeared.

We were used to such visitations when we lived in the country, where winter meant mice in the kitchen, howling coyotes in the hills, and in spring, barn swallows down the chimney.

But here, in a busy downtown area it’s odd. With a small yard also inhabited by a woodchuck, and being regularly buzzed by bats, it’s perplexing how wildlife haunts us.

I’m not sure what to do about this latest development. But I do know that until I figure out a plan I have a great excuse not to do laundry.

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About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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