“Shhhhh! Do you hear something?”
“I think it’s the dryer.”
Boo, the cat and I were all looking up toward the ceiling in the den. We stood up and walked, almost in synchronized form, following the sound as it moved around overhead.
“Whoa,” Boo said. “Whatever is in our attic is huge!”
After the third night of sounds, Boo determined it must be a large squirrel. At first, he used the regular sized trap we had once caught a rat with. He shelled some old pecans and put some inside the trap with a line of pecans leading up to the door. We continued to hear sounds the next night, so he went up to the attic and the trap was still set, but the pecans were gone.
Gol darn it!
Once more we tried the same trap and got the same results. No pecans and no squirrel.
A few days later, Boo came back from Home Depot with the mac-daddy of all traps and declared, “This will get him!” Him or her, whatever it was, could not out smart this trap. It was 32” long and 13” wide, with a large metal handle and a spring trap that was sure to surprise.
“Why don’t we just call Critter Ridders?” I suggested.
“No, it’s personal now. It ate half a bag of pecans.”
Looking in the pantry I gasped, “You gave that ‘whatever it is’ the good pecans from my friend Cynthia? I was saving those for another pecan pie.”
“I can’t set my trap with just any ol’ pecans, now. This is serious.”
And so, Boo went back into the attic, set the mac-daddy trap, and put the good pecans leading up to and inside. “This will get him.”
The next night was silent, so Boo went up to check and the pecans were gone, and the trap was still set. “Damn it to hell!”
“That bastard has got to be thirsty now after so many pecans, so Boo put a plastic container of water inside the trap and more pecans. “There goes our pecan pie,” I sighed.
Fast forward to 3:00 a.m. and a loud Snap! Bang! and Thud! We both bolted from the bed and Boo said, “We got him!” The last thing I remember was Boo saying he was going up to the attic to check. I went back to sleep, but the cat, with an anxious look, jumped into bed with me. I admit that later I realized I should have spotted Boo as he went up those creaky attic stairs at 3:00 a.m. but, I didn’t. I vaguely remember him saying it was a raccoon when he got back in bed. But the next morning Rocky Raccoon was in our trap sitting in the garage.
“He looks so cute,” I said.
“Well, he’s not that cute. He chewed up the water bowl and hissed at me as I carried him down.”
Boo fed him a few more pecans and drove him to a park about a mile away from our house. We were so happy and both of us were proud of Boo’s courage and ingenuity. “It’s the water that got him!” he said, and we high-fived.
THREE separate people told us that one mile was not far enough away and that sometimes raccoons will come back to the same house. We laughed!
One week later, early one morning while the cat and I were sittin’ ugly, we heard something in the attic. Emmy cat jumped to the top of her kitty condo and sat looking straight up at the ceiling, then her wide green eyes looked at me like ‘what the heck?’
When Boo got up, he went straight to work preparing the trap, water, and pecans, and two nights later…Snap! Bang! Thud!
This time I spotted Boo as he ascended the treacherous steps to the attic. I heard the usual string of cuss words as he yelled down, “He’s back, and he broke off the handle of the trap.”
I don’t know if you are familiar with raccoons, but they have long, slender arms, with long, sharp nails. That’s how he was able to get the pecans without even going into the trap the first time.
Boo began the slow descent down the rickety attic steps, while both hands held the trap. One step at a time, slowly he tried to stay balanced while Rocky continued to move around. He had thrown an old towel over the cage to help protect his hands from Rocky’s clawing.
“Be careful, Babe!” I hollered, trying to be supportive while standing behind a large shovel, ready to defend myself if necessary.
Before I knew what happened, the trap, raccoon and all, tumbled down the last few steps and landed upright on the garage floor. “Boo!! You dropped him!” I yelled.
“What about me? That bastard tried to claw me while I was carrying him down. He might have rabies. I could have fallen too.”
Well, Boo had to go to work so Rocky spent the day and night in his cage with the rest of the pecans. Boo even rigged a water dispenser to the top of the trap so he could get water.
The next morning when I went out to check on Rocky, he didn’t move and didn’t open his eyes when I rattled the trash cans and made more noise.
“He’s dead!” I whispered to Boo, while he was still asleep. “I think the fall killed him.”
When Boo came outside, Rocky perked up and opened one eye. He was still alive!
Boo bungeed the trap to the inside of the truck bed and we took off for greener pastures, so to speak. As we drove, Rocky put his arm out of the cage and with the air in his face, seemed to be enjoying a leisurely ride in the sunshine. He looked at me with his beautiful brown eyes and almost smiled. Approximately ten miles away, we found a lovely, wooded area and let Rocky out of the cage. He paused just for a split second, as if to say farewell, but instead he pooped in his cage which fell onto the truck bed then he sprinted out into the woods. Our raccoon days were over.
Lest you think we are foolish, or suckers for pecan-loving raccoons, we will somehow find the point of entry. For right now, Boo declares we do not need professional help, but I am asking for prayers that no accidents, hazards or other rodents befall us, and that Boo is able to repair the damage that no doubt is on the roof and in the attic. But for now, I will bid adieu.
And to quote the famous Ice Cube, “Bye Felicia!”