At there was a crashing noise from the dining area, closely followed by a second rattling crash.
To paraphrase The Night Before Christmas – “there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.”
The screen had been knocked out of the dining rooms’ window frame and a knick-knack was lying on the floor.
As I reached the window a small masked face was staring at me. A young raccoon was clinging to the window sill, intent on getting in.
I yelled at the little home invader and closed the window. We have had trouble with this one before, knocking down and breaking feeders and trying to get into the garbage can that holds the seeds and peanuts. It got to the point that we now keep the metal cans in the house, which probably displeased our night time visitor and caused the attempted break in.
I returned to bed only to hear a new assault.
He was clawing at the patio screen door. I turned on the outside light, opened the door and yelled at him. This was as effective as trying to herd cats. If you like frustrations try it some time.
I have a pellet pistol for situations like this. I retrieved the pistol, opened the door and fired in the general direction of the raccoon hoping to scare it into leaving. See comment about herding cats.
As I was cocking the pistol to try again, Sam, our black cat, made a break for it and was out the door in a heartbeat.
Now Sam likes to get out and go to the nearest sand/dirt patch and roll around. This time she made a bee line for the sand dunes and didn’t slow down.
Sam is allowed out on a leash and when she escapes, she seems to think she is still on the leash. The way to capture her is to walk along with her, talking softly, and when she stops to roll, you just pick her up. The important thing is you must do this immediately or she realizes that she is loose and not on the leash.
There I was in the middle of a cloudy night, chasing a black cat through the sand dunes. Sam continued to move further into the sand dune and I stumbled along behind her, not being able to see her as she kept to the shadows, stepping on all sorts of uncomfortable sharp, picky things. Among other things, we have prickly pear cactus in the dunes.
Finally she stopped and I picked her up and headed back. I still couldn’t see where I was going as I was being blinded by the outside light I had turned on earlier. About this time I recalled a comment my sister had made about how much poison ivy we have along the path through the dunes.
I looked towards the house to see how far I was from the cottage and realized the door wasn’t fully closed.
At that point I had a vision of the raccoon beating me to the door, latching it, and eating peanuts while I stood outside.
Then I realized it was close to 4 in the morning and I standing in the beach dunes, probably in a patch of poison ivy. In one hand I have a black cat, in the other a gun and I’m naked as a jaybird.
Not a pretty picture.