Monday, March 12, 2007

God's Creatures Good - Visitors Bad

God's Creatures Good - Visitors Bad

Leslie and I ended up with an unwanted visitor on our apartment balcony. Over the winter, we kept our bikes, some patio furniture, and a cooler under a tarp on our 2nd floor apartment balcony. The weeks leading up to our trip to Peoria for three weeks, we heard some noises outside our windows, but I (Mike) didn't think anything of it (Leslie did, but I continually calmed her by saying it was nothing). When we returned from our three weeks away, I went out onto our balcony to see if we could store something inside our cooler. I lifted the tarp to reveal debris. As I lifted some more, I saw some excrement. I thought to myself "How in the world did a cat get up here?" I pulled the tarp a little further and saw some dark fur and two large eyes staring at me. IT WAS A RACCOON!!!!

Knowing enough about raccoons, that they can be dangerous when cornered, I threw the tarp down and ran back into the apartment. I went up to our leasing office to find out if they had any ideas. The complex owns a live animal trap (as our complex is completely lined with trees, raccoons are apparently a common occurrence). Leslie was out grocery shopping, so I called and had her pick up a can of cat food (as apparently raccoons love cat food). Who ever knew cats like Salmon, Tuna and seashell stuff. Leslie was overwhelmed by the variety to choose from- much less, what would a raccoon like?

Dave, our maintenance supervisor brought the trap over to our apartment and set the trap on our balcony. We then waited for nightfall. We heard a couple of different noises on the balcony, so we decided to take a look. We discovered the can of cat food outside of the trap and completely empty. That raccoon was smart.

On Saturday during the day, I decided to see if the raccoon was still there. I lifted the tarp as I had done before, and didn't see anything. It was then that I discovered that the debris I had seen was the foam that previously had covered the handle bars of my bike. I lifted more of the tarp to discover that both of the seats on Leslie's and my bike and been eaten through and the foam centers were part of the debris on our balcony.

Not seeing the raccoon under the tarp, I began to pull the tarp to the other side of the balcony to reveal the total extent of the damage. I got to near the end of the tarp only to discover the raccoon had wrapped himself up in the tarp like it was a blanket and he was taking a nap after a nice big meal of cat food.

I dropped the tarp once again and ran back into the apartment. My bravery (or is it my stupidity, I'm not sure which) built up and I took another stab at pulling back the tarp. This time, the raccoon lazily got up out of the tarp and back into the corner.

At this point, I was determined that we were going to catch this guy. Leslie went to the store and bought a couple more cans of cat food. This time we decided to secure the cat food can to the cage. Around 7pm Sat. night we heard the raccoon stuck in the trap. "Ah, Poor guy" Leslie would think but then "you little stinker" for chewing our bikes.

Rest assured the raccoon was taken to a garage for safe keeping till the wildlife people could take him and release it FAR away. That's the story of Rocky the Raccoon adventure in the newlywed's (Rebs) abode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Reb,

you look good in your yellow gloves getting ready to take your coon for a walk!