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A Tale Of 4 Racoons

November 11, 2007

This story begins about 4 weeks ago at my Grandmas. As most Saturdays go for me, I was there spending much needed quality time with my Grandma. As I was sitting on the floor in the living room watching on of the many HGTV shows we watch together… I hear the weirdest sound I have ever heard coming from inside the wall by the faux fireplace. The sound was like a gurgling, whinny meow of sorts. I thought this was really odd since I have been in the house every week since I was born and never heard anything like it.

Knowing that my Grandma’s house is a small zoo, she has a cat (formally abused – bastards – so extremely siddish) that lives in the crawl spaces of the raised foundation. His name is Ming. After about 2 hours of hearing the noise, conversing with my Grandma what the noise is, I come to found out that my Aunt (who is living there part time now) came face to face with one of the biggest raccoons she as ever seen – she is a former zoo keeper.

First thing that comes to my mind is that the behemoth raccoon and Ming are fighting and Ming is loosing horribly. Protective as she can be is her state, my Grandma tells me not to go out there are start anything because the raccoon almost charged my Aunt last night. Seriously, like that would stop me from saving Ming.

So, I arm myself with a broom and set out for one of many entry ways into the underbelly of the house. I get as far as the back porch. To my astonishment, I see Ming, sleeping peacefully in one of the many patio chairs. Becoming more and more confused (slowly fearing what might actually be in the wall now), I call my Aunt to get her opinion. All she kept saying is that the “thing” was gigantic. In her words “like a small bear”. Realizing that my broom would probably not suffice as a weapon, I decide to sit in the faux fireplace and try to figure out is going on.

Boy, I wish I was wrong. Turns out the “small bear” was a very (did I mention very) pregnant raccoon. Oh yeah. Way pregnant. Like 4 babies pregnant. The noise I was hearing: the raccoon giving birth… yum.

Flash forward (and fill in the blanks) to today. I had spent Saturday with my Grandma and ended up leaving my car there last night. For the past 4 weeks, my Aunt has been going absolutely crazy with the, now 4, raccoons running marathons in the ceiling. She can’t sleep and, well, sleep deprived people do stupid things. My Aunt had been saying that she didn’t want to get one of the humane trap things because when they cart them away, the raccoons (and babies) would be euthanized. So, she just wants them to move on. Riiight. Why would a family move from such cozy digs? Really? Anyway.

Last night must have been the straw that broke the camels back. So, Pete and I went to go pick up my car. To my dismay (and constant source of laughing) I hear my Dad and my Aunt yelling profanities from the back yard – followed by the rancid cloud of ammonia. Oh yeah. Ammonia. Apparently, my Aunt had done some googling over the last couple of days on how to “encourage raccoons to move on” and decided that smoking them out with ammonia was the best bet. Oy. I guess she didn’t realize the stench that ammonia gives off, so she very irritated that she had to go through with this idea (and frankly, if she didn’t, my Dad would razz her from now until forever).

After soaking several rags in the ammonia, the directions say to get into where ever the little critters nest is or where they play and put an ammonia soaked rag there. This seems logical. I mean, I would move if someone kept throwing ammonia soaked towels into my apartment.

It is when you are in a 2 foot attic… shimming across the 100 year old rafters (praying you don’t slip and fall through the ceiling)… being suffocated my ammonia that you realize that this is a very bad idea. Very bad. Very bad idea.

Being the smallest, I get voted to follow my aunt into the attic to give her more light support. LAME… As I watch my Aunt scream and cuss her way around the attic… I try to avoid looking anywhere for fear that a rabid raccoon will come launching at my face or maul my Aunt in cold blood. As I slowly being to get dizzy from all the fumes building up in the small space… I strongly – there was cussing involved – encouraged my Aunt to evacuate. Down the ladder, out the front door, onto the grass… we are sprawled on the lawn gasping for clean air.

My Aunt rolls over to me and says only this:

“This was a bonding experience – lets never do this again.”


Note to self – gain all the wait back so I won’t be voted “smallest, so you have to go” ever again.

Not really though… it was quite an experience. 

Will update tomorrow with a report if raccoon family decided to move out or if we will be trying another eviction method next weekend.

Back to making bags for the shop.

Check it out, the holidays are coming up people. Pledge to buy handmade!


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