xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: Raccoons

Monday, July 15, 2013

Raccoons

Awww, look how adorable this spawn of Satan is. It's like he's wearing a mask!!!!!!!

Last night, it was relatively early, it had just gotten dark. Child 2 and I were in the kitchen and the door was open; we have a deck-type thing right off our kitchen door with a chain link fence behind it and some big trees. Anyway, the door was open and we watched as a Mama raccoon and 2 babies walked past the open door, across the fence and up the tree. Child 2 was delighted, to say the least. "AWWWWWWWW," he says, "look at the raccoons! AWWWWWWWWW!!!!" I did not sputter with surprise and disgust, in order to maintain an air of calm, and just watched as the demon creatures slowly walked by our OPEN DOOR.

Raccoons: they suck. Here in the flatlands of Berkeley there are a SHITLOAD of raccoons during spring and summer. They come into the house through the cat door and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it. The people who live around here think these fucking things are their pets, so they leave food out for them (and, I shit you not, when they go out of town they actually will ASK YOU TO FEED THEIR RACCOONS WHILE THEY'RE GONE.) So the raccoon population is not only smart, as raccoons are, they're also practically domesticated. But when they come in the house to eat the cat food, they make an enormous fucking mess of the place. They eat the food and they wash their little paws in the cat water (ok, that's actually kind of cute, at least in theory, but not at 7:00 in the morning when I come downstairs to a giant bowl of mud) and sometimes they just fucking trash the place for fun, I think. They break into bags of food and if they're energetic enough they'll go through your garbage, take the stuff they want and then scatter the rest of it all around your house.

So, what do we do about our nightly invaders? Nothing, really, there's nothing we can do. We can't block off the cat door, which is the simplest option, because we have 4 cats and no litterbox and they need to get outside to crap (well, we might actually have 3 cats now; I'll get back to you about that next week). What used to work was this thing where you take a radio and set it to NPR (any talk radio will do but this is Berkeley so NPR is kind of the law) and put it on the floor near the cat door. The raccoons will hear the voices and think there are people inside and not want to come in. The problem with this option is that 1. raccoons are really fucking smart and over the course of the summer will eventually figure out that it's just a radio and not a person and 2. the raccoons around here have no fear whatsoever of humans, so they really just don't give a shit if you're in there or not. You've got the cat food so they're coming in the door after it; that's just how it is.

For a while, when we only had 1 cat, we had one of those fancy magnetic collar thingies that the cat wore around his neck; the cat door was locked closed with a magnet and when the cat gets close to it the thingy he wears unlocks the door so that only he can get in and out. The problem with this version, however, is that raccoons are really fucking smart, and they figured out that the door isn't actually locked and all you have to do is press this little button thingy with one paw and then you can lift the door open with the other. But opening the door like this was was a bit of a process for them, so whenever we would come downstairs and try to chase them away, they would bolt for the cat door and find themselves locked in. They're smart, but apparently not rockets scientists, because when trapped like this none of them could ever figure out how to get the door open to escape, so they would then turn and run in a different direction... FARTHER into our house. And then we would be stuck with this fucking panicky raccoon running around our house, which is SO much worse than just an empty bowl of cat food, so we got rid of this option.

Don't be fooled! If a raccoon ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!
One time this happened and the goddamn thing ran up the stairs, into our bedroom, climbed onto our bed where a toddler Child 1 was sitting, sat on MY PILLOW, drooling and fucking growling at us. It was perhaps the most insulting thing I've ever experienced. He was on my bed! Drooling! And fucking growling! Are you kidding me with this shit? This is MY house you striped bastard, you don't sit on my pillow and growl at ME. Eventually hubs brilliantly thought to start the vacuum; no animal is immune from the vacuum, I don't care what species you are.  Too bad we can't just leave one running next to the cat door all night long....

Images courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



25 comments:

Right wing bastard said...

I have to admit. If I had a raccoon problem, I would have my cats stay with a friend or relative for a couple weeks, and fill the cat food bowl with rat poison/ cat food mix. Make it a little haven for raccoons for a while until they all die.

But that's just me.

jillsmo said...

That would work on the 4 raccoons who would come into our house for that period but would do nothing about the 500 others that don't

jillsmo said...

Honestly, though, the one thing that will make this stop forever would be to get a dog

Lizzie said...

you can borrow mine!

Mark said...

omg that's horrible.

you need:
http://www.pet-expo.com/Electric_Cat_Doors.htm

Right wing bastard said...

I just don't see what's wrong with killing the 4 you have problems with now, then if some show up later, do it again. Eventually, the word will get out among the raccoon-american community that your cat door is a one way only and no raccoon comes out alive. They will give it a name like "Hell Door" and old raccoons will tell stories about their fallen buddies or the night they almost went through the Hell Door. Then they will post a raccoon sign in native raccoon language saying "abandon all hope all ye who enter here". And a picture of you with horns and a tail will be used in their folklore as the keeper of Hells gates.

jillsmo said...

Well, when you put it that way it sounds kind of awesome.

Right wing bastard said...

Only if you are comfortable in the role of the evil keeper of the 9 levels of raccoon hell.

jillsmo said...

Yeah, I'm cool with that.

Cherie said...

I'm a little late reading this but it is so fucking hysterical I have to comment. This. Is. Fucking. HYSTERICAL!!!! P.S. I'm not going to mention opossums!

Sarah said...

This reminds me of a something my brother-in-law posted on craigslist last year, which it seems is worth pasting here in full. Maybe there's a way to lure them into your dryer vent?

--

Free clothes dryer w/ dead opossum inside (SE Woodstock)

Reply to: sale-901733661@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-11-01, 9:54AM PDT

While I was drying a load of laundry the other night, a couple of baby opossums crawled through my outside dryer vent, into the back of my dryer and, in what I assume was a spectacular moment, killed themselves and my dryer. I got one of the opossums out as it was just lying freestyle in the vent hose, but the other was way down the vent and half way around the corner with just its butt visible. My neighbor came over to assist. At one point he had ahold of the stuck opossum, but couldn't get it free. He asked if he should just yank it out but I said no because I didn't want half of a dead opossum in my dryer. I tried to manually rotate the drum a little bit and the opossum disappeared into the bowels of the dryer and has not been seen since. I tried to disassemble the appliance to remove the opossum, but have mostly destroyed every part of the dryer trying to get it apart and still can't get to where I think the dead animal is. It is driving me fucking insane. This opossum has been in there for 3 days now and I'm over it. I'm getting a new dryer.

So if you like broken appliances with dead animals, this is your lucky day. My loss is your gain. It is a Maytag Electric dryer. White. Separated into many pieces. But still contains one dead opossum.

I'll help you load it into your truck.


keywords: dryer, free, broken, scrap metal, dead opossum.

Lynn said...

You know that this is not a problem anywhere else in the world right? I've never heard of raccoons that were that domesticated. Sheesh...even the raccoons are crazy in California.

Big Daddy Autism said...

Although I hate to ever do this, I agree with Lynn. Back here on earth we're not completely batshit crazy. Why are your neigbors feeding these creatures anything but rat poison? Sometimes, I just don't understand you hippies.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

So how many raccoons can fit in one vacuum cleaner anyway?

jillsmo said...

There's only one way to find out....

kathleen said...

Holy crap! That's awful...I mean if something is gonna sit on my pillow and growl at me-they'd better be sexy..

K- floortime lite mama said...

Love it
what kathleen said

Loz said...

Over here we have possums that roar like Grizzly Bears - I sorta expect they're a bit like your raccoons.

PS - I'm over from Blog Gems

life in a pink fibro said...

No raccoons here. Which sounds like a very good thing. Like Loz, we have possums that scare the CRAP out of us, but they don't come into the house. Thank heavens. Visiting from Blog Gems.

Happy13 said...

"Please feed my rabid, drooling monster while I'm gone." Your neighbors are fucking nutballs.

Niksmom said...

I.am.DYING! I'm dead! You've killed me. HILARIOUS. Um, I mean, in that "so friggin' glad it's not MY house" kind of way.

Leigh@flappinessis said...

I suspect you'll be receiving raccoon themed jewelry and gifts for a long time. Rawrrr!

Jessi Cash said...

Your batshit neighbors ask you to feed rabies carrying raccoons? FUCK THAT. You know what MY neighbors in Louisiana would do? Eat them. Well... maybe not... but you know...

Molley Mills said...

but they look so cute!

jwg said...

You haven't lived with raccoons until you turn over in bed one night in your new house and there's one on the pile of books in the corner of the room. That one involved the cops and a chase out of a silent movie. It had torn a hole in the screen in the downstairs sunroom and made its way up the stairs and through the house. Six days later there was another one in the kitchen that my husband chased out. It had pushed open the tiny window in the basement laundry room. I told my husband that once was funny, twice was scary, and the third would have me living at the Marriott. We had to move the hot tub off the deck and into the sunroom so we wouldn't be held captive while in the tub. Disgusting creatures!

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