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Raccoons and My Sanity

"If you let one of those critters in the house again, you'll sleep out there with them," my wife exclaimed as she slammed the door to the garage. She was yelling at me about the pair of young raccoons that visit our garage each night and eat our cat's food out of his dish. Last year, with a different litter of raccoons, I had accidentally left the door to the house open. My association with the raccoons at that point was fairly good because I may have treated them more like pets than trespassers.

After all, young ones are really cute. My cat Spike likes to eat his dinner in privacy without a couple of raccoons nudging him away from his Meow Mix. That's why I had to move his food bowl into the house at night. This year's litter of raccoons was eating all of his food! Bringing his food bowl into the house is an inconvenience for him, but his cat food is protected from the varmints by taking it out of the garage. His cat food is always in jeopardy. Since raccoons will eat practically anything, from cat food to dog food, everything that produces an aroma is fair game to the raccoons.

To call this bunch of free loaders pets, would not be appropriate for they are nothing more than pests! I'd hoped the raccoons that controlled Spike's food dish after dark would get the message that they weren't wanted and leave for better pastures. Not so! They keep coming through Spike's pet door into the garage each night creating a mess of my garage. Even though there is be no food for them when they sneak into the garage at night, they seemed to appear more often than before, scratching at boxes or savaging plastic containers trying to find a morsel of food. Through the door to the garage, you can hear them growling and fighting among themselves. I've even had to take the cat's litter box outside, so the raccoons wouldn't scatter the gravel all over the floor.

I've watched them grab a paw full of the litter and throw it across the room. It's amazing how raccoons can find fun in almost anything. Spike doesn't seem to mind the disturbance each night. He'll stretch out on his pillow on the work bench and survey the scene playing out in front of him, giving the occasional grumble or a raspy meow as they continue to destroy my garage each evening. Last year I'd tried to catch them in one of those cage type traps that don't hurt the animals.

The only thing I caught was Spike. I was determined to get rid of the raccoons once and for all! Earlier this year I had called a local coon hunters club's telephone number someone had given me. The fellow I called said that he would come out himself and set one of this traps and if caught, he would take the raccoons out to his farm and release them. This sounded great to me since it was free! This great plan didn't work either. The coon hunter came every evening for a week to put more bait in the trap, but to no avail.

Obviously the coons were smarter than the hunter. I boarded up Spike's cat door and brought his food dish and litter box back into the garage for the duration of the great raccoon round-up. The coon hunter removed his traps after two weeks, disgusted that he hadn't been able to catch at least one of the raccoons. It was up to me to figure some other way to rid our house of these pests! Finally when all else fails, you resort to giving the job to someone who knows what he's doing. I've finally come to wit's end and have called a professional wildlife removal company.

If their name is any indication, "Critters Be Gone", they will have the problem under control in no time at all. Maybe then Spike can eat his food in the garage in peace!.

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: http://www.homeandgardenbob http://www.bluemarlinbob.com


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