Saturday, April 5, 2014

No Ordinary Raccoon

One summer I watched a cat named Rocky who used a cat door that was installed on the back door of the garage apartment in which he lived.  During one visit I noticed Rocky had made a huge mess of things in his eating area.   Now the apartment's small kitchen was undergoing a renovation and there were tools and various other construction items about the house.  However, I always made sure Rocky's area was neat and clean after every visit cuz that's just what I do.

As I picked up his water bowl to clean out I noticed it was very murky - one of the tell-tale signs of a raccoon.  They like to wash their food and in doing so their dirty feet get washed too.  I realized they were coming in through the cat door.

I notified the client right away and told them it would be a good idea to lock the cat door.  They agreed.  Rocky wouldn't be able to venture in and out.  The next day I couldn't find Rocky.  A short time later he came through the cat door.  The locking mechanism was broken.  I checked his food area and could see that indeed the raccoon had gotten in again, made a mess of the food area and scatted.

This time I barricaded the cat door with a wood panel that I found and braced it with a heavy tool bucket.  I exited out of the front door.  The next day I entered through the front door and immediately went to check the back door.  The bucket and the wood panel had been moved!  This was no ordinary raccoon.  At this point I'm thinking this sucker must be a behemoth and could probably take my lunch money if he wanted to.  

I went to clean Rocky's eating area again and when I bent down "something" scurried under the big chair next to his food area.  I'm never one to panic.  I like to survey, deduce the entire situation...and then decide whether or not I'm going to panic.  

At a distance I bent down to see what was under the chair.  There I discovered two little raccoon cubs!  They were just as startled as I was.  They were not able to get back through the cat door which was still partially barricaded.  I assumed the Momma raccoon couldn't get them out of there.   After much hissing and spitting trying to herd them out with a broom, I knew what I had to do.   I cleared the cat door and propped it open.  I had to cordon Rocky off in the bedroom and leave traces of cat food leading from the chair to the cat door (Jack Hannah would be proud).   

The next day there were no resident raccoons but there was much raccoon poop to clean up.  With the owner's permission I found a much heavier item to barricade the cat door with, which worked.  Poor Rocky couldn't come and go as he pleased for the rest of the time his owner was away, but it was better than him having to deal with an over sized raccoon and her brood.  And I would no longer have to fear a large paw grabbing my leg from under the bed!

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