Monday, October 23, 2006

(Wo)Man vs. Nature

I was sleeping soundly, about 2:00 this morning, when I was gradually awakened by a scrabbling sort of noise on the corrugated plastic roof of the sunporch. Assuming it was the neighbor’s cat, with whom we have a running battle of wits, I went over to the porch and rattled the roof to scare him away. Returning to bed, I looked out the window in time to see what looked like a gigantic rat crawling down the side of the house. Not a cat. I repaired to the backyard to investigate. Yep, a big ol’ raccoon, that’s what it was, and I confronted him coming around the corner of the house. Waved my arms. Hissed at him. Stomped my foot. He was completely unfazed. I returned to the house for the flashlight. Raccoons are nocturnal. Light freaks them out, right? No. I shined the flashlight in his eyes and he had no reaction whatsoever. Meanwhile, more rustling in the bushes, now there are two of them. I looked around for rocks to throw; the only one I found was pretty big. I heaved it over in the direction of one of the critters, it landed right next to him with a thud. He nonchalantly turned his head and sniffed it to see if it might be food. So there we were. I wasn’t afraid of these animals. But they weren’t afraid of me, either! They weren’t likely to attack, but I had no urge to attack them, either. I was in my backyard in my nightshirt at 2:00 in the morning, and I felt pretty stupid. Finally I got fed up and ran towards one of them. That had some effect, and with repeated charging rhino tactics I was able to convince them to leave my yard. Belatedly, I thought of the garden hose which had been available to me as a weapon. Next time.

My brave he-man husband slept through the entire drama. He had had a hard weekend, two days of 8 hours working and 5 hours driving. Our feisty little cat woke up when I first went outside, and watched the whole show, with great interest. This morning it was evident that when I came back to bed and went to sleep until the alarm woke me, the kitty must have stayed awake the rest of the night to keep watch—she was completely exhausted this morning, didn’t wake up even when I put food in her dish, and was still sleeping when I left for work.


Anonymous said...

We feed a stray cat on the back deck, and occasionally the raccoons help themselves. We can tell it was the raccoons because the food is completely gone and the water dish is muddy from them washing their paws. If we see them, they just stare at us through the sliding glass door, but run if we approach them, thank goodness.

Killer coons were reported in Olympia, WA:


yellojkt said...

You've got racoons. All I ever get in my neighborhood is rabbits and plenty of them. My dog used to chase them, but he's now either to blind or lazy to care.