“The Porcupines" By Doug Fincher

February 8, 2021 - My daughter Caralee lives in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York State and has  porcupines gnawing off the finish of her deck. After swatting them with a broom and coating her deck with a porcupine repellent and trying to chase them off with a broom, she coated her deck with  fox urine but the urine only brought a male fox to her deck to find a mate.. Porcupines are supposed to fear foxes, but hers got along with them quite well him and “Foxy” was more interested in eating Carolee’s plums than her porcupines.. When I told Caralee  I was going to write an article about it,  she sent me a letter and I just made her letter my article.  

Her letter:

Dad, that's weird. Angus and I were just talking about that yesterday. I remember going out in the middle of the night with my broom and tripped over a rock, cut my knee, and went to the emergency room for stitches. First, I tried using this stuff that's supposed to taste really vile. I sprayed it on the deck that night and later heard them gagging! Since my bedroom window was right above the deck, they kept me up all night with their loud gnawing! When the foul-tasting stuff didn't work, I bought the fox urine. Spread it on the deck, and the next morning, a fox was resting on the deck next to the porcupines. One night I went out and there was a whole family on the deck……. Mom, Dad, and three baby porcupines. They were so cute and ready to eat my deck for supper! People kept telling me to just shoot them, but there's no way I would do that.

Did you know they live in trees? I saw one in a tree above my roof. But they are pretty slow on the ground...they waddle. You really don't have to run from them or worry about getting quills. They do not shoot them at you like some people think. The quills just come off if you brush against them. I threw a blanket over one and then lifted it off ….and when he waddled away, the blanket was full of quills!

Also, twice since I've lived here, two neighbor dogs have shown up on my doorstep with quills in their mouth and nose. Couldn’t get them out, so I called the neighbor, and he was at work. I had to leave the dogs in my car till he got off and there were quills all inside my car. I'm still finding them!  He had a nurse friend that knew how to take them out. You'd think they'd learn! The only thing about the pics Dad, is they are on floppy discs and I don't have them anymore.

Love, Caralee