Debora Dale Alt logo
where fear and passion collide
Debora Dale Alt logo
where fear and passion collide

It’s been four years since we first heard eerie scratching and crunching above our heads at dusk and dawn only to learn a family of raccoons had taken up residence in our attic crawlspace.  Since that time, we and the raccoons have taken turns sealing and ripping up the grated vents which allowed the raccoons entry in the first place.

I’ll let you guess who did the sealing and who did the ripping up.

Here’s my first take on the experience – Shhh-What’s that noise?

Many of us in our little row of attached homes have bolted the grates in place in such a way that the raccoons no longer fight to get in. Others have been less fortunate. Take this poor guy at the end of the row near the rail tracks…

How about a closer look…

Cute. Kinda. As long as it’s in ‘someone else’s’ attic.

Yeah. There they are. Two here in the photo and one already on the ground after having slid, headfirst, down the drain pipe. They’re not the most graceful creatures, you know. The chubby one who landed first, landed with a thud after he let go of the drain pipe about two yards above the ground. Not sure what possessed him to do that.

One thing is for certain about these guys – they’re resilient. They come back year after year. Every late winter/early spring, the mamas are looking for a place to den. They fooled us a few years ago when we thought we’d outsmarted them. Here are my two updates on the subject –Update 1 and Update 2.

But the raccoons weren’t outsmarted. Certainly not by us mere humans. They just didn’t need the safety of our attics anymore that year.

So, last evening, I sat on my porch for about twenty minutes watching these guys scratch and stretch and chatter on about… I don’t know… maybe how to get down from the awning without leaving lumps on their noggins.

They’re really cute from afar. But they’re wild animals and that means we all have to remain diligent with our kids and our pets. I know first hand how vicious these raccoons can be since they attacked a stray kitten in my yard this time last year. I don’t want to call in professionals who will be forced to destroy these guys. They’re only doing what they’re supposed to do – sleeping during the day and foraging for food at night.

Yes, they’re a nuisance. Yes, they’re scary. And yes – the worst – they could be sick and most certainly have fleas.

Call me a bleeding heart. I just can’t see putting down animals simply because they disrupt our quiet summer nights by strolling through our yards in search of food. I do think the owners of the house where the raccoons are squatting should seal up the vents in a more raccoon-proof manner but the rest, I think, should be up to Mother Nature.

What say you? How would you handle a family of raccoons in your neck of the woods… or in your cement block of city, as the case may be…