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So I'm sleeping. It's 3:50AM, EDT. The Dude is up, but that's his problem. He's the one who catches the first train, not me. I'm not due to get up for approximately an hour yet. Not to mention falling asleep somewhere around 11PM last night. Criminal Minds was really good.

He comes into the dark bedroom.
"I have a problem. There's a raccoon in the house."

First thought: Did I leave any doors open? Nope.
Second thought: Not my problem. Your problem. Go away.
Third thought: Oh all right. You're apparently trying to tell me this is a two-man job, getting an omnivorous rodent back out of the house.

I immediately go into animal crisis mode. Put on clogs, not sandals, to protect feet. Has the Dude put on work gloves? Where are mine? Shut the door to the bedroom half of the house to prevent strange rodent from going down there to where child sleeps.

"So how did the raccoon get in the house in the first place?"
Logical question. I'm pleased that my brain is functional.

"I opened the door to let the cats in for breakfast. Mrs. Gaines came running inside and something came running after her, like it was chasing her. And I had this sudden thought 'That's not a cat.'"

Wow. His brain is functioning, too.

"And then I herded it away from the bedrooms and it promptly tried to climb the bookcases in my office."

He provides this running commentary while he's going after something in the living room, which dashes into the dining room and towards the rest of the house, sees me making shooing motions, and veers AWAY from me, AWAY from the open door and BACK into the living room.

It's a very fine-looking raccoon. And not foaming at the mouth.

I move forward into the living room doorway as soon as the Dude opens the two glass doors in there, blocking access to the rest of the house.

"So where is it now?"

The Dude points to our bay window, where the raccoon has treed itself on a window. Meanwhile, we have cats underfoot who are very interested in The Chase. We shoo them away and finally pick PD up and put him out in the dining room. I have the presence of mind to shut the dining room glass door (so cats can't go out) and then the living room doors to shut the raccoon in a single room with two exits to the great outdoors. And remember to get my camera. (The brain is really firing this morning.)

The Dude goes off to get ready for work. After a few photos, the raccoon calmly jumps down from the window and walks past the open doors several times. Must be a young male. It's large, but not very bright. Even blinded by the living room ceiling spot lights, its nose should have told it where the (open) doors were.

The Dude checks later and it has gone behind the couch. Even later, it seems to have exited, or so the Dude concludes and goes off to catch his train leaving me with a living room that may or may not contain a raccoon. So I'm keeping the glass doors open and the living room doors shut and the cats inside. Until the sun comes up.

The cats are not amused.


At least it wasn't a skunk. We have a few around, but they tend to hang around our neighbor's house, much to my disappointment. I like skunks. They're not afraid of very much. And as I said, at least it wasn't a skunk, though it's unlikely a skunk would waddle into the house on its own (they don't exactly run). A friend of mine in high school once stuffed a skunk through his family's cat door thinking it was one of his cats. Now that's a brain that isn't functioning.

Frog Out



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
Holy poop!

That's just not something that happens every day!
Sep. 25th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
Around here, it is, though preferably not at 4am and not in the house. Not raccoons, we haven't seen them this close before. But if you check the farm posts, assorted wildlife is normal, especially woodchucks. The Dude saw what seemed to be two young raccoons playing pretty close by one morning so we knew they were around. But interacting with the cats? (Mrs. G resembles a raccoon if you have really bad eyesight.)

Raccoons are usually a suburban issue. They like garbage cans a lot. We had a family back at our townhouse. They also like cat food. Which might be the current problem, if the raccoon has discovered the cat food that's kept outdoors for Fat Head Pouf, the cat that's not our cat but thinks he is.
Sep. 25th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
You just called it a rodent for fun, right? They're not rodents, you know. They're carnivores on the weasels, dogs, and bears side of the carnivore family tree. Very cute picture. I wish I could get a picture of one of our neighborhood raccoons, but I forgot my camera last time they were raiding the garbage can under my window, so I'm jealous.
Sep. 25th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
I like to think of raccoons as North American monkeys.
Sep. 25th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
OMG. That would scare the wits out of me.

Have you ever heard the Squirrel Cop episode on David Sedaris?
Sep. 25th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Ooh, nifty. We have raccoons and possums and skunks and feral cats out behind the hotel. A cat came in the hotel once, but as far as I know, no other critters. We've gotten a whiff of the skunk though, because it gets in the ventilation. Guests just LOVE that. :>p
Sep. 25th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
When I was living in a big old Victorian in Newton, I had a dog who taught the raccoons to use the doggie door to get into the basement where I kept the dog food. Doing the laundry, for a solid year, required taking a broom downstairs in case I had to chase a raccoon out from the laundry room. Getting rid of them was an epic struggle involving Haveaheart traps and peanut butter and the smell of angry raccoon permeating the cellar for months.

And then there was the time we had an oppossum in the house--not nearly as cute as Pogo, believe me. Not to mention the bats, who used to set off the burgler alarm with depressing frequency. Oh, those were the days, all right. I'm so glad I don't live there any more.
Sep. 25th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, he's fluffy and adorable. Too bad they're so vicious, or Miss E could have a new pet.
Sep. 26th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
You sure he didn't yell "Trick or Treat!" before entering?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )