(Nope, this one is welcome. Just not ON my computer.)
OH MY GOSH.
This morning the cat let me sleep in until 5am. I was so happy. I got up and did the usual routine, feed her, open the cat door, go to the bathroom, go back upstairs to bed. About five minutes later we heard a commotion downstairs. I said, "Doug can you please go down and see what that was?”
No, argument, he got right up since I had just been up. I just thought she knocked something over. I heard it again as Doug went down, so I thought maybe her most unfavorite cat-brother made his way in the cat door and there was a kerfuffle.
Then I heard Doug making stomping running noises. So I got up and yelled down the stairs, “What is it?”
"RACCOONS!!!" He stomped some more.
I yelled, “Don’t try to chase them out. You’re supposed to lock yourself in a room with your pets until they find their way out. They are MEAN!”
So he grabbed the cat, who was perched up on the back of the couch just a few feet away from the raccoon. The one raccoon that was in the house was in the corner behind the conga drums—just a couple feet from the cat door. Doug carried Fia upstairs and we barricaded ourselves in the bedroom. Doug said that there was a whole family of raccoons outside of the cat door, but the rest ran off when they saw and heard Doug charging.
Over the next 15 or 20 minutes we never heard the raccoon rummaging through the kitchen, which is what I’ve heard they do. So Fia and I stayed in the bedroom while Doug slowly ventured down. He saw that the raccoon was not in the corner anymore. So he looked around to make sure it wasn’t anywhere else: under the downstairs guest bed, under the couches, in any other corners downstairs. For good measure I checked the upstairs bedrooms in case he had ventured upstairs.
The coast was clear and we all went downstairs and had breakfast at command central. I read stories on the internet about raccoons in the house.
The plumber came at 8am to replace our water heater circulation pump.
I moved my internet reading to the back deck. I was intending to start trying to write in the mornings, but no way could I write with all the left-over stress/excitement. I read all the Donald Trump news, the Brexit news, and why you shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough.
After the plumber left, I told Doug, “I’m trying this new thing to just not worry about things that might happen in the future. We will just not open the cat door in the mornings until we actually get up (when it’s light outside). We’ll figure out what to do when we are gone for a night or two. But probably, if we just keep the cat door closed all night (and morning), the raccoons will learn it’s usually closed. Probably they won’t try on the one or two nights we happen to be away. After all, we’ve had Fia for a year and a half now, and it’s never happened before.” That type of conversation. I was proud of myself for almost having let this whole thing go. For moving on.
I came inside and unloaded the dishwasher. Now it’s about 9:30. Fia was in and out all morning. While I was unloading, I noticed her pawing at the little cube chair under Doug’s desk in the kitchen. Then she darted away. I thought maybe she had brought a lizard in. Although that seemed weird since she would usually meow and not dart away if she brought a lizard in. So I pulled the chair out (which is really a little ottoman cube that I slip covered with nice fabric.)
There was that raccoon!!!!
Hiding behind the little ottoman I slipcovered. All morning. While we were eating breakfast at command central just two feet away. While I was READING about raccoons on the internet. While the plumber was here, while I was outside binging on news. While I was unloading the dishwasher.
I jumped back and shrieked, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!”
Doug yelled down the stairs, “What? What? What?”
“It’s still here, the raccoon is still here!” He raced downstairs and I showed him. The raccoon was actually kind of cute. Scared, huddled in the corner under the desk. He didn’t know what to do either.
So we opened the back door, closed off the doors to most of the front of the house, the dining room has no door so we put up a child gate there. At one point we saw the little guy making his way to the open back door, but then he saw us and darted back to his corner.
So I got on Doug’s iPhone, took the cat outside to the front of the house, and called the Humane Society to see if I could get advice on what to do. I was not calm. I was assured that I was first in the hold queue. I was on hold for what seemed like forever. But they know how important my call is.
After about 10 minutes, while I was still on hold, Doug came out front where I was keeping my eye on Fia so she would not go to the back yard and back into the house. He said the raccoon was gone. Doug saw him leave, and then followed him out to watch him disappear over the back fence.
Just to be sure he didn’t have an accomplice, I checked every single room, what I think is every single possible hiding place.
I think we’re all clear. I hope.
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