Achilles loves cats. He likes to play with them, and cuddle with them. He would never chase them to be mean, but he is certain that they like to play tag. Tag, that, naturally, involves him running toward the cat first.
He's never been aggressive toward a cat, so he's completely puzzled as to why the sight of a 70+ pound slobbering boxer rushing at them makes cats that don't know Achilles hiss and claw and, finally, run. Once a cat has figured out that Achilles is harmless, they tend to ignore him, so from his perspective, a strange cat is way more fun than the farm cats that don't want to play very often.
This is why Achilles was very excited to learn that there was another sort of cat on the farm. This cat doesn't tend to run when you try to play with it - it tends to turn its rear toward you. And then, if you continue to try to play, it sprays you, and Achilles is not bothered by that perfume one bit. In fact, I think he likes it, because 10 p.m. last night marked the fourth time he has played with this wonderfully perfumed cat.
And this time, the funny-looking cat met Achilles right at the corner of the house, so the wonderful aroma lingers this morning, in spite of the fact that Achilles had a bath last night. The only thing I have to be thankful for, I think, is that it's cold outside, so the smell isn't overly intense.
And, this morning, since I am out of school for a few days, I am searching the 'net for polecat repellants. Because, evidently, the skunk's usual repellant has no effect on Achilles at all, so perhaps it's time to make Clay Hill a bit less attractive to the skunk. Fox urine granules seem to be the best solution, although I am certain that this product comes from foxes raised for the fur trade, and I am vehemently opposed to supporting the fur industry.
And I should clarify that last bit - I am not opposed to raising animals for food, and I am not opposed to raising animals for feathers/hide/hair/etc... but I am opposed to gratuitous cruelty and the fur industry seems saturated with it. (For that matter, so does the egg industry - hence our little henhouse outside!). And I'd rather find an option that doesn't support cruel practices.
So, if anybody has any ideas, please pass them along. In the meantime, I have every scented candle in the house burning and I can still smell the faint undertone of skunk. Don't you wish you had some of that perfume???