My brother Aaron holds the mink he just caught in the closet.

Mink in the house!!

A mink is surely among the top few creatures that roam the wilds of Ohio that you do not want to encounter in close quarters. Minks are rarely seen but widely known for their beautiful pelts. They are also cunning, ferocious and have a musky odor that almost rivals a skunk. In short, a mink is not something you hope to find in your home.

My sister-in-law got home this week to find my brother holding two brooms with a look of sheer terror on his face after a mink was discovered in their house. The theory is that the mink came in to the basement through the sump pump drain tile that leads to the creek on their wooded property in northwest Ohio, but they don’t really know for sure. The mink was discovered when my five-year-old nephew opened the basement door to find it running up the steps at him. From there the varmint had the run of the house and a wild chase ensued. At one point it was in the bathroom (minks do prefer habitats with water). It tucked into the closet between a shampoo bottle and the washcloths with its beady eyes keenly watching from the shadows.

My brother tried to grab it but failed and the mink leapt from the closet and did several laps around the bathroom through the bathtub, shower and behind the toilet. My nephew opened the closed door to check on the situation and the mink then ran out and through every bedroom, living space and open area in the house, tucking itself into numerous dark and hidden places along the way.

The chase ended when my brother shut himself, wearing the thickest gloves his wife could find, in my niece’s four-by-four closet with the mink. He was moving blankets and clothes around to eliminate the myriad of potential hiding spots for the cagy monster when the stealthy mink leapt — illuminated by the flashlight beam — from a dark corner at his face. His entire family heard my brother’s high pitched scream, but he emerged victorious holding the squirming, frothing mink in his hand. Now they will have a nice pelt to show for the adventure, a lingering and very unpleasant aroma, and a great story to tell.

I am the oldest for four boys and all of our lives have been spent trying to one-up each other in terms of “man-points.” Needless to say, my brother’s man points just got a real boost (in spite of the high pitched scream) and I’m not sure what I can do to top catching a wild mink in the closet by hand. And, quite frankly, I’m not sure I want to try.


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