Brian Harvey Column Aug. 09, 2009

SLICE(R) OF LIFE It’s sure noisy in the world of raccoons

By BRIAN HARVEY
The Daily Sentinel

A couple of raccoons decided our garage was more suited to be their bedroom the other night. And by night, I mean 2 a.m., the heart of my prime-time sleeping hours.

Now, I’m no expert on noises animals make when they’re in the throes of passion, but believe you-me these two coons put up a racket no human could sleep through.

Once jolted from my comfy slumber, I tripped to the garage and flipped the light switch.

After explaining to the wife in one word that the coons were not fighting, I grabbed an old 60-degree wedge most amateur golfers have no business owning. It was strictly a just-in-case defensive move: Just in case one, or worst-case scenario, both, of the critters decided fighting should be their new top priority and I should be their opponent.

But, it didn’t come to that. In fact, the big fur balls seemed intent on finishing what they’d begun. Only after considerable yelling on my part did the coons cease their amorous activity.

You might be wondering exactly what words I chose for such an occasion. Bear in mind it was 2 a.m., so sharp-witted barbs didn’t pop right out. Instead of, “Hey you two, get a den,” I hollered something like “Hey. Scat. Get out of here.”

One apparently understood enough human and went scurrying up and out an open window. I don’t know if it was Mr. or Mrs. Raccoon, but the abandoned one did its best cover-up by hiding behind some garage stuff. I say did its best because these were full-grown, USDA prime raccoons.

After putting the 60-degree wedge back in its proper resting place, I turned off the lights and hoped the remaining coon would take its leave out the open door sometime before dawn.

This isn’t our first encounter with raccoons. Several years ago, one dropped by the same garage to sample cat food put out for the “outside” feline. Problems began when the propped-open window slammed shut because of the raccoon’s considerable girth.

That coon spent the remainder of the night trying to leave the garage. The mayhem that ensued left the contents of the garage looking like it had weathered no less that a Class 4 hurricane.

The only thing that deterred that coon was a plugged-in extension cord. Since it was sticking out the window, the coon must have reasoned that it had something to do with why the window was now closed. So the raccoon went about gnawing on the cord.

Thankfully, the results were not fatal, but the pile of coon you-know-what was shockingly large when the poor animal made contact with 110 volts of electricity.

So after raccoon encounter No. 2, I called the fine folks at the DOW. They had no suggestions as to remedies to guard against repeat coon peep shows.

They also didn’t see much humor in my response to their non-response, which was as follows: “I guess next time I’ll grab the camera and film the scene. That way I can make a ton of money on the Animal Internet with my video, ‘Coons Gone Wild.’ ”


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