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.