June 1, 2018


Big guy caught the eye
 of the police man driving by!
Mr. Poe-Lease Man suggested I get a live trap from the PD.  (It was tough to concentrate on what he was saying while trying to decipher what PD stood for, but I managed.  I can't guarantee that I didn't have a dumb expression on my face, but PD was a tough one.  I figured out that this was the abbreviation for police department.  I must have looked like a seasoned speeding ticket holder for him to assume that I knew fancy police lingo.)  ‘You don’t want that raccoon climbing that tree and getting on your roof.  They can do lots of damage.’  We chatted a bit longer and then he left.  

Ten minutes later he rang my doorbell.  He had a trap with him.  ‘The community service officer hadn’t left yet, so I grabbed this trap for you.  Meet me on your deck and I will help you set it up.  Bring bread and peanut butter.’  Must've been a slow night for crime in our town.  I guess most of the town was busy at the high school graduation.  

Mr. Poe-Lease Man figured we would catch the coon in minutes.  We kept the shades pulled down over the sliding doors that look out at the deck.  When we checked on the trap less than an hour later, the bread was gone and the trap was empty.  I repeated the process.  Coach came out to assist me.  He could NOT grasp the ‘live trap’ concept.  'This trap will not harm the animal and it will NOT hurt me.'  My explanation didn't help.

Coach assumed that one of us would lose a limb if we messed with the trap too much.  He refused to let me reach my hand in too far to arrange the bread where I wanted it.  I resorted to tossing it to the back of the trap.  

This time we happened to be peeking around the shades when the raccoon was still feasting on the peanut butter bread.  Damn it.  'I have children to feed, quite eating my flipping bread!'  Raccoon was able to reach thru the sides of the cage from the rear this time because that was where the bread landed.  Hey, but I still have all 10 fingers, so that is a relief.  The masked bandit pulled the soft bread thru the slats and enjoyed a tasty snack while still enjoying his freedom.  

Tunnel of love. 
It was dark out, but this is what
 the trap looked like once we
 added some wood to the sides.
This time I googled the best way to lure a coon in a trap.  Coach and I moved the loose pieces of wood around the deck (the deck that STILL hasn’t been built by the miserable kitchen crew that refuses to finish the work - update on that nightmare later) in order to construct a cave around the trap.  Now we figured the fur ball wouldn’t be able to eat our food AND avoid capture.

The next morning the restless beast was locked up good.  Really, I didn't feel good about it.  He was NOT happy.  The officer had suggested that I catch it and take it to a forest preserve to release it.  I called the Little Red School House, which is a forest preserve nature center less than 10 miles from our house.  I wanted to ask if someone there would assist me in opening the cage once I got out there.  I was afraid it would be a struggle.  Of course the 3 tots and the baby I sit for would be in tow.  I was gearing up for quite the field trip.

You might need to look away here -
this was making me crazy. 
His poor little arms.
The person at the nature center informed me that it was illegal to release an animal more than a football field away from where they were caught.  What?!  Mr. Poe-Lease didn't know about this law.  This raccoon would be back under my deck in minutes if I dropped him off that close to home.  Now what?  The woman told me that an animal proven to be a nuisance could be brought to a vet to be put down.  Of course a vet would not offer this service for free.  

I called the nearest vet.  They suggested that I call a conservation place.  I called that place and left a message.  

Meanwhile the caught coon was trying desperately to claw his way out of the cage.  The fur had been rubbed off of his forearms as he repeatedly reached his arms thru the cage.  My stomach did a flip every time I saw the raw arms.  I yelled out the deck door, ‘Just settle down!  I am trying to get you out of there!’

I thought I had this part of the adventure all figured out.  Not so much.  Between phone calls to nature places and scolding my captive to calm the Hell down, I was feeding the tots breakfast and the baby a bottle, etc.

Oh, there's more.  Sorry, it is just a really long story!


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Well, at least he wasn't rabid! I wonder if you had just left him alone if he would have found a bread and peanut butterless house to call home?

Ernie said...

Maybe but I was worried it would be in my attic. They can do some serious damage.