Once upon a Sunday morning not too long ago, Jared got up to let our dogs out. (This is because our dogs have a habit of getting up RIDICULOUSLY early. Stevie is a hungry monkey. He will jump on any exposed body parts, which wakes Bonnie up. Bonnie will then proceed lick you to death if you don’t get up by 7:00 to give them food. It’s been excellent practice for getting ready for the baby, right?).
Anyways, because I wasn’t feeling great, Jared was the one to let them out. The dogs usually bark and mess around when they are outside, so I didn’t think twice about that as I dozed back off. Surprisingly, just a few minutes after getting up, Jared called me -not called for me up the stairs; he called my CELL PHONE- telling me to get outside, immediately.
Naturally, that’s not the sort of call you ignore, so I got up and ran out to the front like he had asked. Jared was standing in the back of his truck with the hose poised to spray the roof of the garage. When I got closer, this is what I saw:
This little fella had been playing in our backyard when our dastardly dogs located him and chased him UP ON TO OUR ROOF of our garage. (I really would have liked to see how he managed that.) Then our raccoon friend started to try and get more safe and secure by apparently pulling at the siding of the house. Entre: Jared. Spotting this ridiculously scared raccoon on our roof, he decided the best way to get it to move was by spraying water at it to chase it off (which, by the way, is a top recommended method for discouraging raccoons to hang out by your house).
Unfortunately, this just motivated the raccoon to move from the back of the house to the front, which is when I came into the picture (and took that pathetic picture).
After convincing Jared to do some research on the best way to handle raccoons, we went back inside (and did research- imagine that!). We quickly learned that if you have a raccoon issue, animal control and wildlife services don’t really care. The best way to get rid of them is if you pay a pest control service or try to remove them yourself with various methods (like spraying water at them).
Naturally, this called for some creative thinking. We devised a master plan. I would stand in the back of the truck in front of the house with the hose poised to spray. Jared would get on the back of the house with a very long piece of house trimming and try and guide it into the tree, where then the raccoon could make a quick escape onto a fence or the ground. The end.
It all went as planned. Except for the part where the raccoon was supposed to go DOWN the tree. Instead, the ridiculous raccoon went UP the tree. Extremely up the tree. Wrong, wrong direction.
And there Mr. Raccoon stayed there for over TWO DAYS.
Monday morning before work, I went out and tried to check with a flashlight (because of the “Spring Forward” time change, it’s still pretty dark when I leave for work), but couldn’t see him. I was hopeful that he got smart during the night and left, but NO. Jared texted me at work to let me know that Raccoon was on the same section of tree as he had been all Sunday.
By Tuesday evening, I was concerned. We were supposed to have a monster storm, and the raccoon had stayed in the same vincinity for over 48 hours.Was this thing sick? WHY would you sit in a tree for that long without food if you were feeling okay? I called a pest control place who said there wasn’t much they could do except set some traps out at the base of the tree and hope the raccoon would get to the food first (because we have LOTS of awesome critters… squirrels, frogs/toads, big birds, cats, OPOSSUMS -which had been the previously coolest critter we had seen in the yard up to this point, if you wanted to know- that could get stuck instead). He also said that it was unusual for healthy raccoons to behave this way, but not unheard of, and call him in a day or so if we still had The Issue.
Thanks for NOTHING, Mr. Pest Control.
So here we were, with a pathetic raccoon stuck in the tree and a monster storm on the way, and no new ideas. All we had left to do is wait out the storm and hope the raccoon was smart (and healthy) enough to move on. And boy, did we have a storm. Midnight to 6:00AM was all about the thunder, lightening, heavy rain, and hail.
I fully expected to see a dead raccoon in our backyard Wednesday morning. (I’m Captain Positive-O, right?)
Wait for it…
The raccoon was gone. Without a trace. Not in any of our trees, or on the roof, not dead on the ground, not anywhere on our premises. The raccoon finally made his great escape!
Over a week later, I am happy to say we have had no further raccoon incidences. As cute as he was, I think it’s probably best that he stay away. I like to pretend that he found a nice, dry tree to hide in away from any humanoids, and now is happily scavenging around without running into further trouble. (See, I CAN be positive sometimes, JARED!)
But perhaps I speak out of turn. It may be too soon to tell…
Stay tuned for any return reports on Wretched Raccoon sitings!