Meet the Neighbors 04

I’ve said before that everyone is welcome at the backyard bowl as long as they behave themselves. Almost everyone does. Grey Tabby seems to keep the other cats in line, regulars and occasional visitors alike. The possum comes in quietly, eats, and leaves just as quietly.

Then there are these guys.


They’re loud, shove each other around, chase the cats, knock over the watering can, carry off the food bowl, get the water bowl all muddy. Nobody likes the raccoons.

No, let me amend that: they’re very cute. We like to watch them on the rare occasions when they’re being good. But they’re the reason we keep a loaded SuperSoaker next to the window that overlooks the bowls.

Yep, we’ve got weapons–big weapons–and we know how to use them. And the raccoons know that we know. It’s reached the point where all we have to do is open the window and they head for the hills. Of course, when they run they trip over each other, fall down, pop back up, and generally bumble around like windup toys. They’re almost as cute as kittens. Almost.

6 thoughts on “Meet the Neighbors 04

  1. Personally, I do not find racoons “cute”. They are beloved of cartoonists, because they can so easily be anthropomorphized, but since the the first time I came into contact with a real one (a group of them, actually), I’ve realized that they are actually unpleasant thugs- pests, at best, and actually dangerous if approached uncautiously. They’re very successful foragers, as you are demonstrating, but, cute? Nope. Not at all.


    • No argument from me about raccoons being thugs. That doesn’t prevent them from looking cute or behaving in a cute manner. How often do we hear about the “charming sociopath” (or at least “He was such a quiet person. I can’t believe he could have done something like this.”)?


  2. I was surprised to read that you have possums in California. My husband (who is a Veep at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, so he’s supposed to know about these sorts of things) says that possums (or more properly “virginia possums” which is what their proper name is … Go Virginia!) were brought to California in the early 20th century — especially during the Depression by the “Okies”. This means that some people thought they were good traveling companions. I had a possum play dead in our basement once … it was just flat-out strange (although quite a good performance).. I, too, prefer them to raccoons. I occasionally will leave out some food for wandering hungry cats … and the raccoons take, not only the food, but the dishes, too. That’s just rude!


    • Most rude, indeed. We haven’t had any dishes stolen, but we’ve had them flipped over and rolled down the hill enough times that we’ve started using tent pegs to hold them down.

      The question is whether they were thought to be “good traveling companions” or “good traveling meals”.


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