Matthew's Pictures

April 10, 2009

How to Catch a Coon

Ok, so this is a bit different than my regular posts, but I must share.

For more than a month now, we have had some very unwelcomed visitors going through our trash cans. I am only assuming they are raccoons, because almost every day (with the exception of trash pick up days) I go outside to find the cans knocked over, trash bags in shreds, and food and garbage all over the place. It doesn't sound like the work of an opposum, but you never know.

So my dad gave us a trap to borrow and catch the culprit. I put it out two nights ago with a bowl of grape jelly in the back. Nothing. We have two indoor/outdoor cats and I think I may have given them a little too much credit when I decided they were too smart to go in. It's jelly; do they ever jump on the table when I'm making peanut butter and jelly? Nope. Meatloaf? Of course.

I came back yesterday afternoon when I finished running some errands. Low and behold, who is meowing up a storm? None other than Little Kitty. Yes, that is her name. Sort of. Her real name is Roxy, but she only gets called that maybe once a year. Can you guess the other cats name? You got it- Big Kitty...aka Friend. Yes, we are a creative bunch.

Anyways, I had some extra beef left over from dinner last night and decided to give the coons a treat they couldn't resist. Abbie comes in my room at 5:30 this morning and wakes me up.

Abbie: "Mommy, I heared a noise outside my window!"
Me: "Do you think we caught something?"
Abbie: "Yeah, let's go out and look!"

Out we go into the cold, trying to determine what is in the trap. One of the trash cans is knocked over, that's a good sign. It's too dark to see what is in the trap, because the light from the front porch won't reach that far. Still about 15 feet away, we start inching forward. Not because I am afraid of what's in the cage- I know it can't hurt me when I'm out here- but because I'm afraid of the dark. (Yes, it's true. Yes, I'm a little ashamed. I keep our bathroom light on with the door cracked so there is light in the bedroom. Maybe I just need a night light.)

We hear some sort of rustling noise, but not from the cage. It's coming from the other side of my car, which we are standing right in front of. Suddenly, something comes out running like lightning from the other side of my car with a heavy panting sound. And it was big. I tell Abbie. "RUN!!!" We dash inside, our hearts pounding heavily.

I had absolutely no idea what it was, but it scared the socks off me. All I saw was the outline of the creature. When I think panting, I think dog. But it seemed heavier than a dog's panting, and only one time in the last 3 years living in our house have I seen a dog running losing near our house. It will probably remain a mystery, because I hope to never go outside, without my hubby, in the wee morning hours again. As far as the creature in the cage, it was Big Kitty. He was left in there until it was nice and sunny, about 7 AM. I'm sure he enjoyed that beef though!

We will try again tonight, with BOTH cats inside. If Abbie wakes me again, she will just have to wait! I will welcome any coon catching experts comments out there!