Have I mentioned the great Raccoon quest in our household before? No?
We have many feral cats that roam the neighborhood, hopfully keeping the rodent population down, begging for food, and looking cool... but they also need regular feeding, which is where the problem begins.
Now, many people set out a dish of dried cat food, as a sympathy gesture to these wild cats or a reward. Not all the cats are tame, and most are skittish. However, if they don't finish the handout by nightfall, there's another creature who will.... raccoons!
Now, I know what you're going to say: "Stop putting out food, and they'll go away." Not always.
We now take our dried cat food in at night, and the raccoons have been so bold as to raid our garbage can, shred our sacks and strewn garbage all over the area. And worse, they come up to the patio door and peer in at night, as if it's their territory!
After considering and rejecting several alternatives( from poison to shooting them), we decided the best thing to do to keep peace in the Greenfield household was to get a live trap. This cage is a simple design that slams shut when an animal walks into it for food.
But it doesn't discriminate between cats or raccoons, dogs or bunnies. But based upon what food you use for bait, you can get one or the other. I'm told raccoons like peanut butter, but the other animals don't.
We borrowed such a live "humane" trap from the dog shelter for a minimal deposit and set it out one night. By morning, we had a live raccoon who really wanted out! Desperately!
As it was raining, the wife rigged up a plastic trash bag over the cage to protect the poor thing overnight. Poor thing, my foot. It reached up, snagged the bag, and shredded it inside the cage. There was nothing left of it by morning.
Last night, we got another one, and this time, the strong creature reached between the bars with his thin paw and sharp claws...and got a hold of a patio chair. Worse, he hooked the upholstered cushion and began to shred it. By morning, the entire front of the chair's cushion has been ripped off, and is setting in tufts lining the inside of the cage.
Do you think the coon would be satisfied? No, he's dragging himself and the cage around the concrete patio slab through the force of one arm, gripping the rough concrete. It's amazing to the the power and determination of that little bugger.
Well, since the law states you may not transport a wild animal, I have to call the County Humane Officer to come get this viscous rodent... such sharp claws, sharp teeth and powerful arms. And it all comes with the cutest face and beady eyes.
Don't be fooled....
They're after your house next.