I am always asked what our pet skunks eat. Right now, at 5:15 pm, they are eating nothing because they are waiting for Mama to come home from the cottage office and feed them. So, short and sweet, lest they starve, pet skunks eat what you let them get away with in deciding what they eat.
If you have a pet skunk, you think you’re the boss. But they are. If they are spoiled and if they can get away with the guilt trip, they will use that card. The skunk is the boss. Just ask a room full of cats and dog pets who will sit around a bowl while the skunk eats it all. The skunk wins every time, smelly gland or not.
A story. Last week, in the middle of moving to our new home, since Hubby was working days, I mistakenly thought I might rush into town for brunch and coffee. To do so, I decided to take the short track, skipping the usually lightly scrambled egg for their breakfast. I decided to serve them a bit of organic celery, a slice of organic Honeycrisp apple, a touch of organic cottage cheese and a splash of goat’s milk. With a bit of the omelet left from the brunch before, the one from moving day. It was an omelet with sundried tomato, spinach and Swiss cheese. But I did not heat it, I never heat anything in the microwave, a personal paranoia of mine, so they got the omelet cold.
I took the little dears their breakie right the the door of their den in their new room. Neither of them would come out. And usually they charge out. But moving to a new home is traumatic, so I figured they were too traumatized to come out, so soon after moving.
I peered in the den and Blossom was in front, sniffing with her head kind of back, not forward, an angle that said she did not like the smell of this plate at all, the plate with no warm fluffy scrambled egg on it. I could hear her in there….
“I’m not eating it. Look at this mess! Are you eating this stuff, Lacey?”
“Nope, I’m not even touching it. If we both hold out,” Lacey said, “she will make something else.”
So neither of them would come out.
I reached in and pulled out Lacey, left her on the floor with the plate. She nonchalantly stretched out beside the food and looked up at me then put her head down to rest.
I pulled Blossom out and held her so she could sniff the plate better. Toyed with her by holding the celery and apple under her nose. “Ugh!” She wriggled to get her head pointed the other way.
Mind you, I was on a deadline as the coffee shop would stop serving breakfast for me in ten minutes. I was in my coat and had a five minute drive.
But I knew when I decided to make this omelet switch on them that it would not go well. I owned it. I had two traumatized little skunks who did not want to be left alone in a new house anyway, even if I had to go to work for eight hours, poor things.
I went back to the kitchen with their china saucers, gold-gilded edges and all. Took off the omelet, mopped off the goat’s milk, lest that was the culprit though it is their favorite. Rinsed off the apple and celery. Scrambled a fresh, light fluffy egg. Organic egg. In all natural butter. Real butter.
Back to the den I went. Placed the saucers in front of the den and had two skunk princesses falling over one another getting out the door to their breakie first.
“Now this is more like it,” Blossom gasped as she gulped the egg then her freshly rinsed celery.
“Oh my god, I was starving,” Lacey said, drinking her goat’s milk.
I sat in the big butt chair I had placed in their room, eating my cottage cheese and peaches which I had the audacity to make for myself before coming back to their den room with the breakie. We had a nice breakie, the princesses and I. Sans my latte.
What do pet skunks eat? That will be another story.
Essa Adams is a writer and the publisher of ESSA Books. One novel she wrote with three pet skunks throughout is A Breath Floats By.