Saw an article in the paper about how the scent of polecats signals the coming of spring. I showed it to my children, and then I had to explain exactly what a polecat was. “You mean that’s a real word?! I thought it was just an expression.” Good heavens, children. Ain’t yer momma never taught you nothin’?
Well, being a modern mother, I looked it up on Wikipedia, and you know, there are more different kinds of polecats in this world than you’d think. There’s critters, and rock bands, and aircraft–even barbershop quartets have polecats. But I don’t know if their scent really signals the advent of spring.
Just in case you run into a polecat, here’s a recipe to keep on hand.
1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
¼ cup Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Liquid Soap
Wet the animal down and then rub the soapy mixture on the fur (mixture will bubble); really work it in. Do not get the mixture in or near the animal’s eyes, nose, ears, or mouth. Leave solution on for three to four minutes and rinse thoroughly.
WARNING: DO NOT STORE LEFTOVER SOLUTION – this chemical combination can be dangerous when stored.
What’s the trick? When mixed together, these ingredients form an alkaline peroxide which chemically changes the skunk essence into sulfonic acid, an odorless chemical. The soap breaks down the oily skunk essence, making it more susceptible to other chemicals.