Raccoons: Drunk and Disorderly

I’ve got a little grotto on my patio–a small Kwan Yin statue, a bunch of potted plants and a pool. The pool is actually more like a nut dish with water in it, but it looks nice.

Every night a family of raccoons comes to have they way with it. If there’s any cat food left out, they eat that first. Then the like to mess around in the water. It’s always muddy when I get up in the morning, and sometimes I hear them bumping around in the night.

If you see them in the daytime they shrink away from you, most often ducking down a storm sewer. From what I hear, there’s colonies of them down there. Like misers ready for the apocalypse. But at night, they’re bold as anything. I think only half of Mike’s torn-up fur comes from other cats; the rest is from taking a stand against the raccoons.

This morning around dawn, when I went to clean out the Kwan Yin reverential pond/peanut dish, it looked like it was full of bones. It was too dark to see what they were, so I poured out the water, and it was feathers. Obviously, somebody had a nice bird to eat, and they’d washed off the inedible bits in my mini-pond.

I didn’t know raccoons killed stuff. Must have been a chick. And what kind of bird was it, that it was out in the middle of the night? Mike would kill a bird in a minute, but he wouldn’t likely wash the thing. It had to have been the raccoons.

Here’s the weirdest part:

English: Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica),...

English: Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica), mating, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the covered stairway to the house right by my Kwan Yin grotto I keep rubbing alcohol in an old salsa container, to use for killing Japanese beetles. (Nasty little bugs–there are a ton of them, and their favorite food is flowers, though they can take out leaves pretty dang fast too.) When I went to bed, it was about a quarter of the way full of alcohol and must have had at least 20 dead bugs in it. The raccoon had nosed around it before, but hadn’t opened it. I didn’t worry about it, because I figured one sniff and he’d decided he wasn’t interested.

But this time he came back and opened it, and when I found it in the morning there was no alcohol left and no bugs! The liquid alcohol could have evaporated, of course, but what about those alcohol-soaked Japanese beetles?

So now I keep my kill jar in the house. Don’t want the raccoon getting bad habits.

 

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