We have a feral cat who USED to come into the basement and get closed in at night. For a while, my husband insisted on leaving the basement door open slightly so that he could come and go as he pleased. After many, many arguments, I told him that allowing the door to remain open so HE could go in and out also meant any OTHER animals could go in and out. I had evidence of that because more than once, the food was all gone and the water dish was full of dirt so that I knew a raccoon had been inside. I told my husband that raccoons often carry rabies and that rabies are spread through their saliva…asking ME to clean up the dishes and feed the cat every day is dangerous, to say the least. The cat has been immunized against rabies but I haven’t. Finally, after many arguments about that and the wasted heat and air conditioning…eventually causing the air conditioner to leak all over his precious stuff…he listened because the repair man told him that the door CANNOT be left open. I told him that if the cat did not come in at night when he called him that he would HAVE to close the door and leave him outside. My thinking was that a few nights outside would likely convince him to come indoors. I was wrong…he moved onto the front porch and now, as far as I know, he only leaves there to go to the bathroom or if there is a delivery or they are grinding wood out in front of the house and the noise scares him. He is not afraid of me or my husband but he is terrified of other people. I relented and started feeding him on the porch. All was well until about a week ago when I noticed that all of the food was gone in the morning. First of all, I cannot AFFORD to feed the wildlife and secondly, I had no idea what I might be feeding. I knew there was a possum around and I didn’t mind throwing some scraps out for him because they eat ticks and throwing the scraps out the SIDE door meant I didn’t have to flush them or double bag them and throw them in the garbage. We used to have a compost heap but the yard is so torn up that I can’t get down there safely any more. The arrangement was working until these dishes started being emptied. I figured the possum was coming up on the porch and told my husband that I have to dramatically reduce the amount I am feeding the feral cat and bring the dishes inside after I feed him. Last night, I was about to do just that when I heard a noise from the porch…I turned on the light and looked out the window and saw a skunk looking back at me. I didn’t SMELL him and I didn’t see the feral cat so I turned the light off and left…the dishes were, of course, empty this morning. I guess the cat knows enough to stay away from the skunk because he was nowhere to be seen when the skunk was here and he doesn’t smell this morning. I have nothing against skunks except their smell…I had two cats in the past who went in and out and who were NOT smart about skunks…I had to bathe them more than once and that smell got into the house because one of them went into my son’s room and went to sleep in there so the entire room and his bed smelled HORRIBLE. It was as if the skunk had been IN there. I had to wash everything and open the windows and it still took time to dissipate. It smelled like burning tires. Just thought you might enjoy MY happy evening and the little visitor on my porch. This isn’t really HIM or HER…I just picked this off the internet. Skunks just MIGHT smell worse than WE did but only a LITTLE.