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I took Milo back to his people Wednesday afternoon, then spent the evening at the NESFA Clubhouse. Shortly after I returned home in the wee hours, I heard scratching sounds. Loud scratching sounds, much more than the mouse sounds that have been refreshingly absent of late.

I got up, looked around a bit, and pulled out the mouse poison that I'd put out of reach while Milo was visiting. Then I returned to my computer.

Quiet, then more rustles, then quiet. Then Loud Scratchy Rustle Sounds. Really Loud!

I went stomping into the kitchen, calling out in a firm voice, "All right! Who's in MY house?!"

The scratching continued, as demanding as my stampfoot and voice. Thankfully, it wasn't coming from inside.

There was something on the deck, scratching at the screen door as if it desperately wanted to come in. For a split-second, I panicked. Oh, no! Had I accidentally left the dog outdoors? That couldn't be; I'd taken the dog home. He wasn't here any more. So who the heck was so desperate to come in?

I flipped on the outside light. I should have grabbed my camera first, for there at the patio door, standing up on his or her hind legs, claws gripping the screen, was an adult raccoon staring up at me. It didn't move while I returned its stare, but vanished when stepped away from the door to grab the camera.

There was a raccoon on the deck a few years ago, back when I was keeping the bird feeders full. But never before has one come a'knockin' at my door.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
Louie and I had to deal with a raccoon the last time we went camping -- it stole a box of saltines out of the trunk of our car, just for instance. They are cute, but they are not our friends. Will you be at Minicon?

Mar. 27th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry, no Minicon for me
I can't make it to Minicon again this year. I am hoping to come in near the end of the month for Gavi's orchestra concert, then stick around through MayDay at Powderhorn Park. It's not yet clear that the money is going to work out for that.
Mar. 25th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
I had an experience like that. When I opened the back door, I was looking at a little kitten right in the eyes. It had climbed almost the whole way up the screen door.
Mar. 25th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Dad fed one of his cats outside, and every night a raccoon would come and finish the food off while poor Morty looked on from the safety of his heated, elevated box. The raccoon must have been in shock after Dad died and we closed up the house.
Mar. 25th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Coons aren't afraid of much. As omnivores they are naturally curious. They're top predators--too big for a coyote to eat, and we don't have wolves or pumas any more. Their biggest killer is cars.

When I was a kid we had a few generations of wild coons eating out of our hands on our back porch. I can tell you they will roll raisins in their paws and babies can climb jeans with claws almost as sharp as a cats'. Then my grandmother scared one and we learned they carry rabies.

They are very intelligent and can be raised as pets. Or they may just chose to eat out of your garbage cans.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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