Alison told her skunk story the other day. It reminded me of several of ours.
When we lived on the eastern plains of Colorado, the house was 4 miles out of town. The church, parsonage and cemetary were surrounded by fields. When our road started drifting over at the cemetary, it was our responsibility to call the school and let them know. There was just enough time left to end classes, get the kids on the buses and home before it was too dangerous.
Nathan had severe asthma, so we had outside cats. For convenience, the cat food was kept outside on the front porch, in a metal bin that had originally held popcorn. The cat food attracted skunks. Cucumber (and the other resident cats who were there for shorter times Rosie and Blackie) learned to eat quickly if they didn't wish to share. Didn't matter, the skunks would investigate the porch to see if there were any crumbs.
After a while, the blasted things figured out that they could open the bin by pushing at it with a nose until it fell off. There would be a loud CRASH as the metal lid hit the concrete floor. Not conducive to sleep. One night, I'd had enough. I heard the CRASH and jumped up out of bed, raced downstairs, threw open the front doors and stormed out on the porch. DUMB but I wasn't thinking at the time! The skunk tried to spray me, while balancing on the rim of the bin. Instead, it fell on its back. I came to my senses and leapt back into the house, slammed the front door, then looked out through the window in the door (heart pounding!) The skunk rolled over, looked around, then waddled off the porch.
The next day the house was sprayed in a different place about every hour. The smell lingered for a long time. The day after that Nathan, waiting for the school bus, leaned against a post on the front porch. It became obvious, as the bus made its way to school, that he had found one of the places that had been sprayed. A polite phone call from the school asked us to please pick up that coat and bring something to keep Nathan warm, so the smell wouldn't permeate the school.
After that, the cat food bin was kept inside. I do learn, sometimes slowly!