Well. Once my nose had recovered, I went into the bedroom where Kiska had lain down (on our bed!)
to have a sniff, and oh my. She did
get skunked. So, lacking the traditional remedy of tomato juice, I hit the web looking for alternatives, to see if there was anything I might be able to use in the meantime (intending to get tomato juice tomorrow) and discovered three things:
- Tomato juice, apparently, does not actually work to deodorize skunk spray. Neither does vinegar, sometimes recommended as an alternative. All either of them apparently do is mask the smell (and, in the case of tomato juice, stain your pet pink).
- It is imperative to get the spray off the animal right away, before it has a chance to soak in, or they can retain the odour for up to two years.
- There is an alternative, created by an industrial chemist, that uses baking soda, peroxide and dish soap, all of which I did happen to have in stock.
Virtually every site I pulled up recommended that same recipe, and most linked to the creator's site, so I took the hint and mixed up a scaled-down batch of the formula, given that (a) I only had one half-full bottle of peroxide, and (b) only her left shoulder and neck got hit, so I didn't need to put it all over her.
Then came the fun part of coaxing her into the kitchen and sponging the formula into her fur. I went a little outside the skunked area for good measure, doing pretty much the front left quarter of her body. She was pretty patient with this, considering how much she hates to get wet, and only once in a while tried to wriggle away. I kept the solution on her for about 10 minutes, while sitting in the doorway between the living room and kitchen so that she couldn't get back into the living room or bedroom and get soapy skunky peroxide all over everything. This waiting period was made more exciting by her frequent attempts to wriggle past me into the living room, alternating with shaking herself and thus spraying the solution all over the kitchen.
Then came the even more fun part of wrestling her into the bathroom and trying to find a creative way to rinse her off given our total lack of a bathtub. I did not set much store in the idea of being able to give her a shower in our very small shower stall at the same time as (a) being in there with her to help rinse off the formula, (b) blocking the opening so she couldn't get out, and (c) not getting water all over the entire bathroom. I ended up opting for corralling her in the shower stall and pouring pitchers of water over her with the plastic pitcher I usually use for iced tea, while crouching in the opening of the shower stall to block her in (after stripping my clothes off as I really should have done before I started this whole process at all). She was, again, relatively patient through all this, although she did keep an eye open for possible escape routes, meaning that every time I filled the pitcher from the sink (which I had to do while crouching half under the sink, a dandy logistical challenge) I had to be watching her carefully with my peripheral vision.
But eventually the deed was done, she was rinsed and towelled off, and it actually seems to have worked pretty well. She is far, far more pleasant smelling now. Once she was settled in on our bed (on top of a thick folded dog blanket, this time), I mopped the bathroom floor, rinsed myself off, and then went straight to my little BPAL shelf and applied Black Forest to about six different body parts. Was tempted to also apply some to Kiska, but I think she's been through enough.
Hopefully, at least, she will now know to stay far, far away from anything with black and white stripes.
And I still have a sizeable chunk more work to get done tonight... :-(