For the past several weeks we have been trying to oust a family of raccoons from our roof.
It hasn’t been going very well.
My sister called it immediately when I complained to her about the aggressiveness of this particular trespasser.
“Baby raccoons.” she stated.
“No way!” I said, “Just stubborn.” then I went back to my somewhat unscientific attempts to make life as unpleasant as possible for our unwanted tenant– bug bombing it and whoomping on the side of the dormer with a shovel, yelling, “Go AWAY, you stupid raccoon!”
It was even less effective than you might imagine.
Eventually, it took to standing on our back steps, claiming dominance over the yard. This was a problem, since we were in the midst of having our front steps redone and we had to resort to entering our home by grabbing the edge of the our front door’s frame and hoisting ourselves the four feet into the house. The kids thought it was a hoot. I, with the natural grace of a drunken elephant, found it an inelegant solution at best. So we called in a professional.
“Baby raccoons,” he said. (From across the state, my sister raised an eyebrow and felt a very strong, psychic assurance that she told me so.)
He then proceeded to tell us there were signs that, in addition to the dominant mother and her offspring, we had been housing whole herds, FLOCKS of raccoons over the winter and more than likely had been for years. Also, every raccoon ever born into the house is now imprinted with its location, putting our home on their short list of desirable housing.
I am so going to need a bigger shovel.
When I looked sufficiently woozy with dread, he laid out the plan: more than any predator, momma racoons fear male raccoons. Apparently they will rip little baby raccoons apart. (Let me tell you, this put a lot of things in perspective for me. I mean, Hubby and I sometimes disagree about how to discipline the kids, but at least he doesn’t dismember them.) Our guy, upon locating the female’s entry point, proposed smearing the opening with something he called “Boar Juice.” Momma raccoon, when she went out to forage, would get this stuff all over her fur and carry the scent back into the den. Sensing a threat, she would pack up shop and move her and the babies out of there.
What IS Boar Juice? Well, that would be the blenderized innards and sexual organs of a male raccoon, of course.
I’m trying super hard not to think about the karmic ramifications of that. I mean, it can’t be good, right? In my defense, I get up every morning, before I have have so much as a single cup of coffee, and mash stinky, wet cat food with water lest The Fatness (AKA the world’s most lovable and potentially stupidest cat) develop another near-fatal bladder infection. That has to count for something.
My largess, however, does not extend to raccoons. After I mulled the plan over for a bit, I have to say that I began to appreciate the, um, sincerity of the gesture–painting my house with the blood of my enemy, as it were. I felt a little like Michale Corleone: “You come into MY house? MY house???!!!”
The more I thought about it, the more I liked it and gave our guy the go-ahead.
Last night we had bats in the house, again. Because, of course we would. The girls clambered down the stairs screaming and yelling for Hubby to get the bat out of their room. (Cue Benny Hill theme song.) When the bat was disposed of, the girls went back upstairs. A mere minute later, Miss Teen Wonder let out a shriek.
“The RACCOON! The RACCOON!”
And there she was, standing on her hind legs and looking through the girl’s dormer windows. I swear she narrowed her eyes and pointed right at me.
She is the devil, I think.
Our 'bat in the house' episode is one of my fondest memories.