December 16, 2008
A Rocky Raccoon Sunday
Ok, here's the scoop. I'm sure I'll find a way to make this more humourous in the future, but right now I'm not feeling that vibe, so basically last Sunday night ...
One of my new neighbors, who I hadn't met yet, knocked on my door Sunday afternoon to let me know there was a commotion going on in my front yard. There was a sick/dying raccoon who was trying to pass peacefully under the tree in my front yard that was closest to the road. My neighbors were parading by, bringing their kids around to see "the sweet sick animal". Not so smart. I called animal control and then ended up sitting outside from 4:00 - 7:30 pm, keeping an eye on the darn thing and keeping people away.
It got pretty cold as the sun went down, and eventually one of my neighbors called another neighbor. They sent their daughter's boyfriend over. My neighbor went and got a clear 10 gallon tote. The boyfriend ended up talking the racoon into the tub, and then setting the tub down over him. We stole some bricks off someone else's landscaping to put on top of the tote. The intention was to keep it from running under someone's house to die.
Actually, the poor thing couldn't run. An earlier drive by another neighbor in a truck had determined that someone had shot him in the butt. He had some convulsions, so I think he had a stroke. He was confused. Cars, people, and barking dogs did not scare him. I would estimate he was about 25-30 pounds.
In any case, since he was secured under the tote, I was about to go inside and finish waiting for animal control to show up, when one of my neighbors allowed their estimated 10 year old to come out at night with a flashlight! He wanted to know if we had captured it. I said, "Yes."
He asked, "What is it?" I thought, "Are you kidding?" He'd been over with his father just a few hours earlier watching it. So, I said, "It's a raccoon!" He then wanted to know if was a boy or a girl. Because I blessedly speechless, the boyfriend told him we didn't get that close.
Then the kid, whose father is standing on their front porch watching says, "Can I lift up the tub and look at him?" Thankfully the boyfriend was like, "NO! It's a wounded wild animal and it will attack and rip you to shreds if it gets out of that tote." The kid took off towards home screaming. When he got there, the father yelled something I didn't understand, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't intended to be nice. I waved back in a friendly manner anyway.
At that point, I decided since a lack of sense seemed to be in abundance, I'd better stay outside just in case someone else decided it would be fun to peek under the tote. I got in the van and cranked up the heat. One of my neighbors called my cell and asked me if I would like some hot cocoa. That sounded good to me. I had to get off the phone then because the police showed up. Not animal control, mind you, a patrol cop.
So, after I told him three times that I was absolutely sure the critter wasn't dead, he reluctantly got out to take a look-see. He asked me if I wanted to keep the crate. I told him, "It's not a crate, it's an upside down tote. When you lift the tote off he's gonna be free." "Well," he said, "You're sayin' you don't want the tote ,then?" I said, "I suppose I could always buy my neighbor another one, so I guess not."
"Ok," he said, "I'm gonna shoot it through the side of the tote." He immediately pulled out his gun and told me to walk around the other side of my house. The boyfriend was on his way back over from across the street to see if he could be of more assistance. So I waved him over and told him to walk to the side of the house with me.
I also called my next door neighbor to let her know that the policeman was going to shoot the raccoon. Unfortunately, he shot before I could warn her. She was still shrieking as she answered the phone.
"I was calling to tell you they were going to shoot it," I lamely said.
"Well, that's fine," she huffed. "There's now cocoa powder all over my kitchen!"
As I turned around I saw that almost everyone on my street and the next street over had turned on their porch lights and run out of their houses to stand on their lawns or front porches. I guess Michiganders don't know about the New York code of common sense when you hear gun shots! If you hear gunshots outside your home, drop yourself down to the floor and stay there. Don't run out your front door and risk getting it by a random bullet. And for goodness sake, don't drag your little kids out with you.
Another one of my other neighbors showed up to talk to the cop after the shooting. I was still on the phone trying to apologize to my neighbor and getting her to breathe evenly. I guess the policeman filled out his report by whatever Mr. Across the Street said because the next thing I know, the cop got in his car and drove away. He totally left a bloody-dead double-shot raccoon and a totally mangled holey-bloody tote in my front yard.
Mr. Across the Street, bless him, said if animal control wasn't out by the morning to pick the beast up, he'd bury it for me in my backyard. When I got home Monday night, all the evidence was gone. I haven't checked the backyard. And I haven't caught up with Mr. Across the Street yet to ask him what happened and to thank him if necessary. I have a fear one of my neighbors grabbed it and made raccoon stew and I don't really want to know about it.
So, that's how my week started - with the cranky-meter up way at a reading of 10.
Thanks to Mr. Across the Street and my next door neighbors who tolerate my yearly visits by the police, and for having the decency and foresight to hose spray the splattered stuff from the side of the house and the lawn area where Rocky died.
Thus, I've managed to add another entry to my latest book. I've decided to call this one, "The Amused Widow's Guide to Unusual Circumstances." It's beginning to have best seller potential.
Posted by jaselin at December 16, 2008 08:47 PM