So, porch light on (at just before dawn, when I can see the light on the eastern horizon), flashlight in hand, I let Xena out for her morning pee. I scan the yard to make sure the skunk isn't there. All clear.
Then, with Xena already in the yard, I scan the parking lot, just to make sure.
Yow! There it is, just on the other side of the chain link fence, next to the rectory garden! I shine the flashlight in its eyes, but Xena is already on it - thank God for the fence!
Then follows the drama of Xena running from one end of the fence to the other trying to control a skunk on the other side. The skunk clearly wants to get into the yard. It is its goal. Every time it retreats and we run to the other side of the garage, our blind spot outside the fence, to see it slink off, I return to the garden gate and there it is! Teeth bared, tail up, but backing away in the glare of the flashlight.
Finally, it runs, yes runs!, across the parking lot to Berkeley Street and disappears, but not before turning its butt toward us a couple of times as if its spraying.
Funny thing: I did not notice any skunk spray smell. Maybe it had already used it all up earlier. I don't know. But that much adrenalin first thing in the morning can't be good for a girl!
Clearly, this is a skunk that has taken up residence. Where, I don't know, but I do know that night before last I woke up at around 2:34 to the smell of skunk in my bedroom, just over the porch. That's not the first time, either. And its worse when I have the window open.
We'll take the full walk in the full light of day, thank you very much.