The Great Raccoon Caper

By Ruth Anne Savage in Community, People

Have you ever had one of those mornings when from the first moment you opened your eyes you just knew the best thing you could do for yourself is roll over and stay in bed for the rest of the day? Uh-huh. Jonah days. We’ve all had ‘em. And just the other day I had me a lulu.
It all started when I noticed a juvenile racoon asleep in the blue box I keep by the patio door.
Awwww, it was so cute all cuddled up in a furry ball, just snoring away. But did we really want to hang out the “Welcome” sign so close to our house. Hmmmm – no. So hubby dear (who is a quadriplegic in his bed near the patio door) tells me to simply tip the box over and Junior will high tail it for the com field next door.
First miscalculation. Junior (probably a teenager) did not appreciate the rude awakening so early in the morning. He snarled his displeasure and tried to hide in the flowers, or better yet, get under the ramp. Suddenly he wasn’t quite so cute anymore. I got the broom and decided to offer some encouragement to vacate the premises. Second miscalculation. Now he was really ticked off and attacked the broom, snarling and hissing. GULP. Maybe I should rethink this a bit. I dashed back into the house. Junior dashed right in behind me!
Now, normally I am a reasonably calm, competent person. Years of adjusting and adapting to serious setbacks and trauma have taught me to react quickly and appropriately during a crisis and then fall apart when it has safely passed.
Not this time. Nope. There is something about an insulted racoon skittering and skidding on the hardwood floor, streaking under the dresser and then doing a sharp U-turn into the kitchen that just sort of – well- freaked me out! I stood by hubby’s bed clutching his arm with one hand and my heart with the other and screamed. I literally froze and could not breathe. Although I could still scream. I could dimly hear my husband telling me to calm down and breathe. And I could still hear enough to detect more bumping and skittering noises in the kitchen. But while my heart and body were in momentary shut down, my brain was not. Various scenarios flashed through my mind. Raccoon attacking my helpless husband in his bed while I stood by gasping and shrieking. Raccoon climbing curtains; getting into cupboards; running upstairs to hide under beds and in closets. Raccoon running downstairs to commit havoc on chairs and couches.
Several minutes later when I finally realized I was probably not going to die right then and there, with a heart attack, my sensible self returned and I knew I had to face the music – er – raccoon. First of all I had to find the darn thing. Sneaking quietly around I located him in the kitchen. He was burrowed into a comer where two cupboards met, his nose as far under as he could get and I think he had his hands over his eyes.
Okay. So he wasn’t so tough after all. But I still wasn’t ready to tackle his eviction all by myself. But who to call? All the guys were likely at work already. The first SOS raised nobody. Man or woman. Oh dear, the furry little monster just twitched. How long could I count on him to stay put? The second phone call rang several times. This was not looking good. More furry twitching.
Oops, the old heart was starting to palpitate again. Then suddenly, blessedly, my brother-in-law answered the phone. My relief was so great I nearly burst into tears.
“Can you come rescue a damsel in distress?” I quavered in a wobbly voice.
Bruce laughed. “Who is this?”
“Ruth Anne. And I’ve got a raccoon in the house!”
After a stunned silence he says, “You be careful, they can get really nasty.”
No kidding!
“Can you come and help me?”
“Yep, I’ll be right there.”
My hero! My knight!
My rescuer arrived, wearing thick leather gloves that went well up on his arms. His trepidation eased considerably when he saw the small size of the house crasher. Even so, Junior did not come out of hiding willingly. He snarled and snapped and fought but Bruce managed to get hold of him around the belly and he could do nothing but kick and squirm, looking pathetic and scared. Even a little cute.
Bruce holds him up over the end of Howard’s bed.
“Sure you don’t want to keep this little guy as a pet?”
“NO!” we both say at the same time as Junior pees on Howard’s feet.
I can only say that the rest of the day got better. I actually laughed. About eight hours later.