Saturday, 17 September 2011

Surprise Guests

We had unannounced (and uninvited) guests in our home the other day.

Around 4pm, my husband was watching tv when we heard a snuffling and scratching at the open window behind him.  Lo and behold, there was a raccoon perched on the window ledge trying to come in the window!  He started calling for Older Daughter and I to come and take a look before it could leave.  But as I approached the family room via the kitchen, I noticed there was another furry visitor IN THE KITCHEN! As Husband scrambled to get older daughter out of the bathroom and down the hall to see this, and I scrambled for the camera, I saw the tip of another furry tail around the corner of the island.  Yes, folks, this made raccoon number THREE.

At this point, Husband shooed them out of the kitchen back through the (torn open) sliding screen door. And they did need shooing.  We had not exactly been quiet or calm so far in this little adventure and 10-month-old Younger Daughter, who is terrified of cats, clearly felt that raccoons belong to the same category of scary creatures and had been screaming herself horse.  (Since they were slightly larger than she is and have teeth and claws, I can't say that I blame her.)  Once out of the house and on the back deck the raccoons didn't seem in any hurry to depart.  Eventually Husband shooed them again quite loudly, and they moseyed on over to the neighbours yards, checking out other backdoors and compost bins in the hope of finding something to eat.

But it didn't stop there.  No sirree.  About 8pm that night when Older Daughter was already in bed asleep they made a return.  I guess we were naive, but we had re-opened the sliding screen door to get some fresh evening air in the house, having no expectation that they might return.  Younger Daughter, enjoying a snack of cheerios in her high chair, sounded the alarm by crying at the top of her lungs.  I admit I wasn't too speedy to respond, figuring she was just telling me she was done her snack and wanted out, but as her vocalizations reached panic levels I turned to the kitchen in time to see the third bandit raccoon scramble through the broken screen.  Two of them were snuffling around as though tracking down the food my children had let fall from the table and the third was headed in the direction of the garbage can under the sink. 

Once again they were shooed outside, but this time with the glass door shut, they continued to sit outside the door and paw at it, trying to get back in again.  They weren't bothered at all by us banging on the glass or gesturing for them to go away, so Husband eventually threw open the door and emerged roaring and gesticulating at them in such a way that the lights of several neighbours flicked on, to see what was happening in the yard.  He got the water hose ready to give them a good blast, but this time they had wandered off into the dark.

We haven't seen them back in the few days since then, but apparently our experience wasn't uncommon.  Our next door neighbour has since told us that the day before they had pushed open their sliding door and made a meal fo the cat food.  Needless to say, we're now keeping the door shut!


  1. OMG! I thought we had trouble with racoons because they get into our garbage overnight -- I can't believe they come into the kitchen!!! Just read this out loud to Beloved -- we'll be sure to keep the screen tightly closed!

  2. Oh my goodness! They are bold little critters aren't they? Yikes!