Monday, August 4, 2014

My First Blog Post Is About a Racoon

This post is not an ode to raccoons.  Rather, I fear them. My fear is etched in my DNA and is undoubtedly the reason that my lineage has extended into the 21st century.  Racoons have teeth and claws and I am terrified that they will choose to use these on me in a way that won't tickle. 

Case in point...okay the lead up to the explanation is going to take a few lines so bear with me.  Michael and I vacationed at the beach (Cape Henlopen, DE -- gorgeous!) with his family on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  We arrived home on Friday to discover our roommate left the porch door open.

No, the raccoon did not come in the porch door...thank God!  Rather, our cat, Artemis, went out.  (The other cat, Mezzi, did not. Michael contends that she is too fat and lazy to go outside. I disagree.) 

Obviously, we were frustrated with our roommate and desperate to get our cat back inside.  Friday, we searched and, then, slept on our neighbor's veranda next to a food bowl, hoping she would come up and eat. She did not.  Saturday, we searched and slept on the veranda again.  And something did happen on Saturday night.

At 2am, I hear something eating out of the food bowl through my sleep.  My first thought is "Artemis!  I'm gonna catch her and Michael will be so happy!"  I sit up quickly and notice it is not Artemis.  And, nope, it's not the gray cat that wanders around the neighborhood either.  It''s...a raccoon! And it is not but 3 feet away from me!

I look at him; he looks at me.  And I swear, for a moment, he's is deciding between kicking my ass or walking away.  As he's making this most fundamental of decisions, I, too, am acting on instinct as I inspect the claws and the teeth.  I hold remarkably still and my mind races through all the fight options available to me if it comes to that.  The conclusion, I would have to fight it with my bare hands or, possibly, a pillow.

So then I try my hand at telepathy.  "Walk away, Raccoon.  It is totally cool if you just walk away.  I will still have tons of respect for you...mostly because you have claws and teeth and my soft skin is absolutely no match against them. " 

As I await the raccoon's final decision, terror grips me to the point that only a strangled "Michael" escapes my lips.  Fortunately, I think, Michael continues to sleep soundly next to me.

Then, the raccoon decides walking away is totally cool and makes him the "bigger man" and ambles off the veranda, as if absolutely nothing strange happened.  He's not in a hurry; he knows he has the upper hand.  I, on the other hand, continue in my frozen state for another 30 to 45 seconds before I get up and move the food 25 feet away. 

Epilogue: To my credit, I was able to go back to sleep on the veranda after that encounter.

Score: Raccoon 1 Human 0.5


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