Sick Skunk

Hobkin has an upset tummy. His appetite is way down, and he’s feeling sorry for himself, alternating between being stompy and short tempered, to needing cuddles NOW.

Here he is wrapped up in blankies with a decidedly unhappy look about him

Poor little guy. He hasn’t sicked up, but from examining his litter box, all is definitely not well. Been feeding him bread soaked in Pepto Bismol and extra plain yogurt. He’s not dehydrated, which is always my first concern, especially since he doesn’t drink, so we haven’t called the vet. And he’s still eating, just not a lot.

I do have to wonder, considering how close this happened to my feeling under the weather if we’re passing around some flu thing.

Writing Stuff

Finally sent in my guest application to Dragon*Con. So much for my good intentions to get it done bright and early. But hey, at least it’s before the deadline.

Received 7 more crits from Critters. (Including yours, nmsunbear and aimeepoynter. Thank you!!) The tale continues to be fairly well received. There are exceptions, of course, like the guy who started off his critique “I’m not sure if you were going for a kids market with this story.” Makes me wonder how much of it he actually read, since I state quite clearly in my author’s notes that this is intended for younger readers. Oh well. Can’t please everyone.

Words: 1180 on A Harmony of Foxes. Hit a productive patch for a while there. And hey, I’m past the one-quarter mark.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,037 / 45,000

Club 100 For Writers


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33 Responses to Sick Skunk

  1. Aw, poor Hobkin. You’re right. He doesn’t look very happy (but still incredibly cute).


  2. Anonymous says:


    Hi Eugie,
    Thanks for directly me to Hobkin’s webpage. What a doll! Sorry he’s feeling puny.

    I hope my critique was helpful–I a bit confused as to why an editor of a children’s mag would want anyone to use commas inappropriately (coming from a former English teacher).

    I love your word count meter. Did you design it? Or is there somewhere I can pick up up for my blog? I’ve got to get in 3,000 words a week to complete my current novel by the end of May. Posting my progress may help me stay accountable to this goal.

    Keep up the good work. Best, Anne Fitten

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: Adorable

      Hi Anne. Post a link to your blog! Or better yet, if you have an RSS feed, let me know where that is so I can syndicate it to LJ!

      I love your word count meter. Did you design it?

      I can take no credit for the word meter. If you click on it in my entry, it’ll take you to the word meter tool at (or you can just click the link).

      I a bit confused as to why an editor of a children’s mag would want anyone to use commas inappropriately

      It’s not a question of inappropriate so much as house and personal style. I’m a big fan of grammar rules, but there’s a good deal of flexibility in comma use. Ergo, in a complex sentence, when the dependent clause follows the independent clause, while the rule of thumb is not to have the comma, it remains a stylistic choice to include it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Adorable

        Thanks, Eugie, for information about the word meter. I’m fairly new to the website game (still working out kinks), but you can check out my site in progress at and my blog at I’ve bookmarked you, and am looking forward to reading about Hobkin’s recovery and your writing (okay, I suppose that’s an optional comma–I’m still stuck on the “Don’t use unnecessary commas” rule–got pounded into my head in grad school, I think).

        Regarding the Critters experience: I ran the first two chapters of my novel-in-progress through Critters last week (my first experience on the receiving end). I got some great feedback. I also got a couple of critiques that started with, “I don’t really like fantasy…” So, why are you reading a story with a bit “F” at the top?

  3. gardenwaltz says:

    poor wittle hobkins. he does look like a miserable little skunk.

  4. Poor little Hobkin. I’m so sorry he’s sick. The picture’s adorable, but he does look unhappy.

    I hope he feels well soon.

  5. cmpriest says:

    now THAT is one pitiful skunk.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I really wish our fuzzy companions could do English. It would be so much easier to know what to do for Hobkin if he could tell me “my tummy hurts, Mommy” or “my nose is all stuffy. I can’t smell my food.” or “I have a sinus headache; I need huggins.”


  6. horrordiva says:

    Good thoughts going out to Hobkin. It’s not right when an animal is sick 🙁

  7. tstauffer says:

    Srangely enough, my dog Luna has the same symptoms. Hmmmm…

  8. teratologist says:

    Poor little Hobkin. Is it tough to find a vet who treats skunks?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Very! Even a lot of “exotics” vets don’t have any experience with skunks, but we’re very fortunate to have a vet who specializes in them. Our vet office sees the majority of the skunks in the area. It’s about an hour’s drive (and Hobkin does not like car rides), but it’s worth it to know that he’s getting the best care.

  9. Poor Hobkin! I do hope he feels better soon.

    Re: Critters — I think there’s a rule that you must get at least one clueless critique per submission. 🙂

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks! And Hobkin thanks you too!

      Critters — I think there’s a rule that you must get at least one clueless critique per submission.

      Sort of the Murphy’s Law of critique groups. Most definitely.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey Eugie,

    I’m a newbie here (kind of a RM lurker). Just popped in to gush and giggle about your cute skunk.


    Oliver Dale

  11. kittymel says:

    Yeah! past the 1/4 mark!

    Good wishes to Hobkin for a happy tummy and better furry self very soon!

  12. quasiskunk says:

    Awww…get well fast, li’l Skunkie 🙁

  13. puskunk says:

    Please. Skunks are such whiny babies when they are sick, at least the friendly ones are. You’d think some of mine were dying when they get sick, burying their heads, sneezing, etc.

  14. mroctober says:

    Wish I could afford to go to D*C.

    Skunks don’t drink water?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Wish you were going to D*C too! *pout*

      Skunks don’t drink water?

      Some skunks don’t. Hobkin doesn’t. A lot of them seem to get all the hydration they need from the fruits and veggies they eat. The closest Hobkin gets is that occasionally–very occasionally, as in I think I’ve seen him do it less than a half dozen times–he’ll dip his paw in the water bowl and lick the water off his paw. For all I know, he might’ve just been trying to clean his paw too.

      We still provide him full access to water, in case he should ever change his mind, but he routinely ignores it. It’s a little worrisome in case he should ever really get dehydrated. A couple times I’ve tried to force water into him using a feeding syringe. He was spectacularly unimpressed.

      Excessive thirst and water drinking is actually one of the first warning signs of a seizure-risk in skunks. So I’m just as glad that Hobkin has no interest in it. But it is definitely an oddity. I was quite worried for him as baby when he continued to show no interest in drinking until I got reassured from various skunk people that this wasn’t uncommon behavior.

      • pyanfar says:

        how interesting! i’ve learned something new today!

        heh, one of my cats ONLY drinks water by sticking her paw in the bowl and then licking it off her fuzzy little hand. very cute, but very odd, and she makes an awfully wet mess all around her water bowl…. heh


        feel better soon, Hobkin!
        well wishes from amy, Emmie, and Sherbie

  15. sonnydenbow says:

    Poor Hobkin. Definitely not a happy camper. Hope he starts feeling better real soon.

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