Saturday, March 20, 2010

the raccoon chronicles

i know that people are starting to think i've gone over the edge w/ this raccoon business & my friends & family members are openly mocking me now. this makes no difference to me. i just love me some raccoons!

i did some research about raccoons & how to get rid of them. you pretty much can't. once you've attracted them w/ your trash or bird feeders or cozy attic spaces, you are stuck with them unless you're willing to trap & remove them. this will never happen where i live. we have too much wooded area around us, so i'm convinced we have an unlimited supply of the round-butted buggers. i'm not willing to do the only other thing that's suggested to get rid of them & that's spread around coyote pee. i'm will not be spending the money to buy it or going through the indignity of spritzing it about my yard & foundation.

it was after doing this research that i decided to just embrace them (in a figurative way) and let them come. i've put out smaller portions of bird food each day so it can't be stolen and gobbled so quickly & i've also introduced a food and water bowl to my deck. i know, this is where the mocking comes in. people can kinda get over me watching them or taking pictures of them, but giving them a food bowl? somehow that crosses the line for most people. i do not care! i'm home every night while my husband works & my child sleeps & i just don't have enough to keep me busy, so this is my new form of free entertainment.

i tell ya what, those raccoonies love that water bowl! the first thing they do each night when they arrive is to go straight to the bowl for a sipple & a hand & face wash. the food bowl is next to the water & sometimes they wash their food too, but apparently it's mostly used for washing themselves. once they're done eating the peanut butter & lard patties they almost always go down to clean themselves up again. don't want to be wandering around outside on the ground at night w/ greasy fingers!

i've been trying to think of things i can put in the bowl that they'll like but won't cost me any money. stuff i would normally throw away because it's stale or getting rotten. their food bowl is my compost pile! my contribution to greenness. plus i figure if it's in their bowl & not my garbage can, they're less likely to knock my cans over & pillage in the nastiness.

the thing they've liked best, i think, is a raw chicken egg, slightly out of date. they roll it around while licking up the slime & spreading eggshell bits everywhere. one night when i left an egg in the bowl, they left me a marble in return. i think they left it as a gift. is that my crazy talking?

yesterday i left them a cut up apple that was past its prime & this morning i found a bowl full of seeds & apple peels! i am endlessly amused to see what they'll do with the stuff i give them. they sometimes carry orange bits around the deck & take them up onto the railing where they leave them. they don't like carrots at all, even the nice organic ones. just like kids!

i've also found that they have differing personalities & somehow that surprised me. i mean, i know dogs & cats do, so it would follow that all animals do, but i never thought of it before. some are quiet & sneak up here alone & leave if someone else comes up. the quiet ones usually eat calmly & neatly, while the rowdy ones are loud & messy & come in packs! one night i heard 4 of them come galloping up onto my deck all at once. they were fighting & shaking things & slamming feeders & stuff around. they were all fairly small, so i felt like if they'd been human, it would have been 4 teenage boys, revving their engines at stop lights & throwing trash out their windows. those wild boys sure were amusing though! they came in like a whirlwind & then disappeared after just a couple minutes.

ok, i'll shut up about my new pets  hobby  scientific, wildlife observation project. and now i'll go find some rotten food to put in their food bowl. oh & i think they might need fresh water...


  1. You have lost your damn mind. But I still love you!

  2. What are you going to do when there are 20? :-)
    Have fun.. you are a mess.

  3. Cracking me up. Raccoons were my favorite as a kid. I have a book where the kids adopt one as a pet somewhere. If I find it, I'll pass it along!


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