Raccoon Rant no. 18

The battles with the raccoon continue. He paid another destructive visit to the deck just after my last post, pulling out orchids and chewing on the roots, upturning ivy and rooting around in the soil. Two mornings later, I woke up to find the dog food container knocked over on to the floor, and more of the orchids pulled out…except they were in the enclosed back porch, where I had placed some of them to protect them from the cold spell. I scratched my head a bit, and blamed it on the cat. On awaking, Laird asked me what the heck I was doing getting up in the middle of the night to watch TV. He told me he was wakened at 6AM by the blaring sound, and had to get up to turn it off. Unless I had been sleepwalking, it wasn’t me.

The next morning, all became clear. I walked into the kitchen to find dog food all over the floor, again. More plants uprooted in the back porch. Little muddy footprints that went from the porch, to the dog food container, to the window sill, to another window sill…..to the living room. In behind the TV, all the plugs were pulled out from the wall. The little fountain beside the TV was askew, water splashed all around it. Muddy little hand-like foot prints on the upholstered chairs. At least this time, he hadn’t stopped to watch TV.

For a few moments I panicked as I thought the coon was still in the house, until the grumbling and sleepy Laird finally pointed out the tear at the bottom of the screen in the sliding doors leading to the deck. We had been victims of a clever four-legged bandit for the past two nights.

The real puzzle was, what’s up with the dog, or even the cat? Neither of them made a peep. I figure that Jake probably even met him at the door, showed him around, and poured him a drink. Fine watchdog he is.

The Wildlife Service Guy on the phone couldn’t get over it either. “What kind of dog is it?”, he kept asking. Anyway, he informed that the rascal will now be a very determined repeat visitor, a smart one and strong at that. He told me to lock up tight — windows, doors, everything. The critter will be able to slide the glass door open if it’s not bolted. Ironic that in the middle of the largest city in Canada, I’ve never even thought twice about locking my doors to human bandits.

He gave me a few more tips. Bright lights, motion sensors, and plastic bags filled with ammonia soaked rags, with holes poked in the bags so the odour comes through. If all else fails, rent a humane trap and scare the sucker. I can even relocate him up to 1KM away, which makes High Park within striking distance.
Nowhere is safe from nature. In a weird way, I’m secretly pleased about that.