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September 14th, 2002

Battle of the Raccoons

So, I've got these naughty little raccoons that are driving me crazy. They're so nervy! Last year it was just the one, but this year there are two. At first they would just sit outsid e my office window and bark at me, and every now and again I'd see them on the back grotto. But they've gotten incredibly bold.

It started with surreptitious trips into the kitchen through the back door to steal the cat's food. I'd come in and find her food scattered all over the floor, and the trash can tipped over. Since raccoons like to dip their food before eating it, i'd also find her water bowl all mucky and dirty from cat food being dunked, or stale bread, or whatever they got their little mitts on.

Then, I was sitting right here at my computer once when I saw one of them tugging at the screen window in the office. I chased him off (I call him Robespierre) but later he came back and tugged himself a hole. Still, I figured, no way they'd come in through the upstairs window, right?

Wrong! Even when the back door is firmly shut, they'll sneak in through the screen window and waddle down to the kitchen. Also, I found that I could leave the kitchen window open with the (intact) screen down, and keep the door closed. The little buggers found out that if they push hard on the door, it'll swing open. Since the door knob is busted, the only way for me to prevent them from opening the door is to bar it shut with the slide-lock.

So now, if I slip up even a little. Robespierre and his buddy will get in the house and eat the cat's food. I actually worried about this quite a bit while I was in California - what if they got in and ate all of Lolita's food while I was away? She could starve to death! It didn't happen though, and they were fine.

Last night I was sitting here yakking on "the board" (from which I will be taking a hiatus due to the nasty bigotry which has become overwhelming) when Robespierre just strolled in through the hole in the screen and sat on the windowsill. He was so casual about it, I thought for sure it was actually the cat out of the corner of the eye. Then I realized she was curled up next to me. I look over, and there he is, just staring at me. Like, "Do you mind? I was going to go down stairs and have a snack!" I scared him off, but he certainly wasn't in a hurry to leave. He stared at me indignantly and slowly backed out of the window.

I swear, I think these guys are breaking in to watch the satellite TV while i'm away. I never shoulda got TiVo!

So now I'm a constant state of siege. I've got to be careful the door is barred shut at night, the window is closed all the way and locked. I'm just waiting - eventually they're going to figure out how to pick locks... then what do I do? Just let 'em move in, I guess.

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