The Couple Who Came to Dinner

5 Jun

A pair of raccoons have made a nest in a drainage pipe that runs under our back yard. Most evenings they come out to eat the food I put out for the foxes. (They’ve decided that if it’s a case of take it or leave it, they’ll take it.)

I’m only guessing, but judging from the amount of food being consumed, and the casualness with which at least one of the critters is willing to come out to eat, there are probably kits in there. I tried dangling the camera over the hole, but didn’t see anything.

I had just put the dish down the other evening, and a little head popped out. The cat ignores the raccoons completely, but the dog has a fit. I’m not sure if Blazer is saying “Hey! It’s good to see you!” or “What the devil  are you doing in MY back yard?” but we have decided to keep dog inside for the duration.

I settled into the rocker on the patio to see what would happen, and the raccoon came out to chow down. After he (she?) finished eating, it wandered over and sniffed at my toes, then moseyed back down into the drain. Yes, I know raccoons carry rabies, even if they don’t show signs. These two are not aggressive, don’t stagger or walk in circles, and I’ve lived in the country long enough to take precautions.  Other than going barefoot all the time…

Last night, I found one of the animals sitting on its haunches outside the kitchen door, calmly watching and waiting. Startled me, frankly. As soon as I started to open the door, the critter scuttled over to the edge of the patio and waited for me to put down the dish. As I approached he ran off a bit, but then followed me back towards the door, as if to see if there might be a better selection inside.

I stomped my foot – rather ineffectual when you are not wearing shoes – and told him to scoot, which he did. A while later I looked out and saw the pair of them, eating side by side from the dish.  Maggie and Jiggs, out to dinner. (Oh, how old does that reference make me?)

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