Those Guys Again

All is not sweetness and light around the Backyard Bowl.

We put the food out for the cats, and we don’t particularly begrudge the occasional possum who drops by. They’re generally polite and usually only take a couple of mouthfulls of krunchiez.

Then there are the trash pandas.

They are not polite. They track mud in the water bowl. They empty the bowls and then shove them around looking for more food. And they’re arrogant. The stroll around and give us dirty looks as though they’re the property owners and we’re a bunch of ragged squatters. And the language they use! Well!

So it’s a great day when we catch them off guard and force them to tree themselves.

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There was much rejoicing that day.

14 thoughts on “Those Guys Again

  1. Those guys! We have a bunch of those hoodlums in our world, too. They steal the bird seed and the bird feeders. We kept trying crazier ways of attaching the suet feeders to the trees and they out-smarted us every time. The current suet feeder is attached with chains and an intricate series of hooks and clasps. So far, so good. But, it now takes us 10 minutes to undo the puzzle in order to do a 10-second refill. Somewhere in a Virginia field is a pile of about 20 suet feeders. If you see them, they are mine. Please let me know.

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    • I’ll keep an eye out for your feeders. (Lest anyone point out that California is a fair distance away from Virginia, I should note that our gang seems to pass the food bowls from paw to paw. We frequently find them stashed in concealed spots. We think the trash pandas are forming a cult, hoping that the presence of a bowl will result in it magically becoming full of food. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if such talismans got passed across the country, one raccoon at a time.

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  2. Raccoons? Unless you were accompanied by a brace of slavering hounds and carrying a long gun, I don’t think you “forced” them to do anything. I suspect they just climbed up there for a better view of the local ape’s antics. Arrogant doesn’t begin to describe them, and (despite decades of Disney), I don’t find them cute, at all. Nasty little bastards, to be sure.

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    • We’ve been spraying them in the face with soapy water (or, in extreme cases, watery soap) to chase them away from the food bowls–hooray for Super Soakers–for years. Yelling at the top of our lungs, too. As a result, our gang has learned a modicum of caution. They tend to prefer flight to fight, and in this case, they were definitely caught by surprise.

      But yes, we’re careful about keeping our distance. You left “unpredictable” and “treacherous” off your list of descriptives.

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      • yeah, I’m given to understand that if they feel cornered they can be nasty customers, what with the teeth and all. Otherwise, unless we work at it (as you have), we scarcely rate as a minor annoyance.
        One evening earlier this year, coming home after dark, I encountered a fairly big, adult racoon in the back yard. I stopped, expecting him to slink away, Instead, he sat up and regarded me, without alarm. I drew myself up to my full height, and said, “I am Man, the Destroyer. Fear me!”
        The racoon considered that for a moment, then- I swear- shrugged, and strolled away. I’ve never quite recovered from the experience. “Apex Predator”, indeed.

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      • Apex predator’s dinner, more like.

        I suspect the raccoons hold late night seminars on acting blase.

        I’ll admit to having had “Where the Red Fern Grows” flashbacks when taking that picture.

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  3. I live in a raccoon intensive hood between two suburban cricks. One evening one of my beloved neighbordykes (a couple I miss, who had to move away when their landlord around the corner turned out to be in foreclosure) knocked on my door kind of late. I was surprised because while we regularly waved hi, chatted, and looked out for each other (their car had a permanent spot off the main road in front of my house, and they would sometimes clean snow off my walk or take in my bins), we didn’t really visit. “Can I come in for a few minutes?” she asked. “I can’t get around the corner, there’s a raccoon.” More explicitly, she had parked her car in its usual spot, rounded the corner and come face to face with a large, almost albino raccoon STANDING UPRIGHT in the middle of the sidewalk and eerily illuminated by the LED streetlamps. He just stood there and did not budge. “It’s not Darin’s raccoon either,” she said, referring to her eccentric an nocturnal landlord.

    “Darin’s?” I asked.

    “Yeah,” she sad, “he has a raccoon that sleeps in the carport roof during the day and when he goes away Kay and I have to feed it Alpo.”

    Eventually we went and looked and the Pale Masked Terror had wandered off. I swear they probably have a civic league and elections.

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    • Certainly nothing to be ashamed of. A full grown bull racoon, upright, with the right lighting can trigger an old, atavistic part of our brain, taking us back to a time when we were the prey, and critters with teeth like that had us for breakfast whenever they could. They remember too, of course, which is why we don’t worry them very much.

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      • If this is what happens when I take a couple of days off from watching the blog, I should take more vacations.

        More seriously (slightly), we have someone who’ll take care of the cats if something happens to us. Now I wonder if we need to arrange for someone to take care of the cats if *they* happen to us!

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