A skunk has taken over my neighbourhood, it's official, there's no denying it, the skunk is in charge.

This is not the first time I've been forced to cohabitate with a skunk, in fact, I dealt with a similar pandemic in the suburb where I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario.

Starting around the early 2010s, the skunks managed to take over what had previously been raccoon territory. The skunks became the reigning suburban mammal and, being in my youth, it was a tense and uncertain time in Applewood Acres.

You just don't ever think you're going to miss a raccoon... until you do.

Because a skunk has the ability to make you really live in fear.

And this skunk, yet to be named, who has taken over as lord and czar of my cozy little backyard in Côte-des-Neiges, officially has me running scared.

It all started a couple weeks ago, when I woke with a start in the night - to the piercing and unmistakable smell
of Skunk.

I knew it immediately, even in my unconscious state, and the sharp, instant instinct was simply to run.

In a pair of undies and honestly nothing else, where? Where was I to go?

I slammed all the windows shut and I have chills even now thinking about it - I had trapped the smell inside.

Now what?

I stepped back into my bedroom and tried not to gasp - had the Skunk entered my bedroom via the air conditioning duct? Why was the smell so strong?!

As I mentioned above, this is not the first time I have been faced with the thuggery of a skunk. In highschool, the skunks took over my neighbourhood in Mississauga. I'll never forget being outside with my friends smoking a joint when we heard him - he heard us - and then the smell. We were lucky that the skunk was on the other side of a cedar bush, but my Doc Martens lived outside for at least a week as the rubber soles refused to relinquish the sharp, pungent odour of frightened skunk.


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But to have the skunk effectively spray the interior of your entire house? This was a suffering I could have never imagined. 

The scent had officially entered my apartment via the air conditioning duct and had infiltrated the entirety of the small, confined space.

I had to soak the air conditioning duct in my bathtub with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and dish soap for two days to get rid of the smell. I slept in the living room for two nights because the bedroom was a war zone. I've never diffused more essential oil or burned through more candles in my life.

I learned recently, upon further investigation to my new furry mafioso, that it can feel like populations are increasing in late summer as newborn baby skunks start to flex their muscles and seek out territory of their own.

This is why my friends and I have to sit silently in the backyard during our picnics as the tiny striped hustler does his stroll through the backyard, infuriatingly aloof to our presence, taking his time like he really owns the place.

The smell of skunk is now etched into that ever-powerful sensory memory bank of smells that exists in my brain. The simple thought of a skunk can now make my stomach turn.

Just last night I sat on my back steps when the wee devil sauntered by, portly and self-assured with his ass in the air.

He was no more than three feet from me and I shivered with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Skunk Disorder).

I backed up slowly and reached for the door handle - he stopped.

Was I doomed?

Slowly, slowly I shut the old wooden door, hoping it wouldn't make a noise.

The Skunk sauntered on. I took a deep breath and watched him through the window, ambling his way across the lawn...

When, suddenly, from the darkness, jumped the skinny white cat from the building next door.

The Skunk and I both jumped, and what happened next between the skunk and the cat I'll never know.

I was too busy running, stumbling inside, screeching to my boyfriend to shut the fucking windows.


The Montreal SPCA provides tips on how to cohabitate peacefully with wildlife on the island. Take a look on their website here.

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