Thursday, September 27, 2007

Skunk Central

Since we've been talking skunk lately - I'll fill everyone in on what it's like to HAVE a pet skunk.

This is her cage. It fits nicely between our entertainment center and the wall.

It looks pretty different now - this picture was from the first day she was home. The bed is now on the main floor, the inner ladder is removed and the hammock is gone. She wasn't getting the hang of the inner ladder and just sleeping on the floor - so I decided to just keep it one level for now.

Her litter pan is triangular and goes in the back left corner. She has a big ceramic water bowl in the front left corner and her blue bed is on the right side, underneath a big green plastic igloo she likes to hide in.

Skunks are nocturnal, so she's been sleeping during the day for the most part. I'm trying to get her to interact with me in hopes we can switch her schedule around, but I haven't tried too hard yet. Stinkerbell is only in her cage when we are going to be gone for more than a half hour or at night when we go to bed. That will probably change with time, but for now I want her to be able to really establish it as her space - her safety zone.

Feeding happens in the morning - anytime between 8am and 10:30am - and evening around 8pm. She's been pretty good about being patient, she likes to wait at my feet while I'm making her meal and then follows me back to her cage - she knows that's where she eats.

The Diet is a mixture of skunk food pellets (made by Exotic Nutrition), cottage cheese, and thawed or fresh veggies and a little bit of fruit. Initially the veggie portion was some mixed veggies (peas, green beans, carrots and lima beans) but she doesn't like the lima beans. I try to give her some variety at breakfast, lately a couple slices of yellow squash and green beans or peas and then the mixed veggies until they run out at night.

For snacks she gets a baby carrot or a couple of seedless grapes, we also have some dog treats that are made from dried lamb lung (sounds disgusting to me) that Stinkerbell and Buster both love.

The main hurdle is keeping her out of the dog dish. Buster is catching on that he has to eat while he has the chance because then the dish gets put up out of reach.

We do a lot of snuggling on the couch - she likes to lay right above our heads if she's not in our laps. She's been showing interest in toes - playfully nipping at them. We have to discourage this though, because even if it is meant as play, the teeth are pretty sharp and her bite will only get stronger as she gets older.

I have to schedule an appointment for her to be spayed soon, apparently skunks can develop nasty attitudes when they hit "puberty" (sound familiar to any moms of teens?).

I commented to Scott last night that Stinkerbell is easily the cleanest pet we own. She poops consistently in her litter pan, and cleaning it is far easier than cleaning the cat box or picking up dog poop outside. She is also the quietest pet. She doesn't whine like a dog or meow like a cat. Very peaceful in general.

Pet Skunks kick ass.


Angela said...

Awesome ending line and photo. And her name. PERFECT! I would LOVE to come and help you with gardening. I think the photo makes me look like more of a gardener than I am, but I would relish being able to come to Florida! :)

ReesePie said...

Anytime, my friend.

Atypical California Girl said...

I'm jealous.
I want a skunk.

ReesePie said...

She's pretty fabulous, I must admit.