Mr. Zoom and I witnessed something very surreal this past Saturday night. We were on the couch watching t.v. I was taking up my regular 85% of the couch lounging space by lying down - which forces Mr. Zoom to sit up at the end. I usually drive the remote until I've become frustrated with the Tivo and my inability to distinguish actual show from commercials. Which leads to a lot of forward, backward, forward, cuss cuss cuss, backward - and then me tossing the remote at Mr. Zoom with a "you do it, it hates me."
Now, we've known we have a family of Raccoons that visits our home at night. They scared the crap out of me one night by walking through our courtyard about midnight. They were so loud that I woke up thinking there was a person or two in our courtyard - for nefarious reasons. I got up, peeked outside and was shocked to see two large raccoons, with a smaller baby traveling behind them as they ran up over the fence. They had been taking turns in our fish pond, apparently. So far none of the fish have been eaten, but we have to count them every morning to be sure.
So back to me hogging the couch. Mr. Zoom and I suddenly hear a lot of commotion in the back yard. Our sliding glass doors were open, and the screens were closed. The noises were definitely animal. They were sorta growly, sorta chattery. Hard to describe. It made the back of my neck wriggly with hairs standing on end. We paused the t.v. and looked at each other. Our couch is situated so that our backs are to the yard/screens/sliders.
Mr. Zoom turned slowly around and whispered "HONEY, IT'S THE RACCOONS!" I raised myself and could barely see a little racoon with his paws up on our screen, looking in the house like he was a shopper at the mall. When we Zooms got up to move, we were positive the raccoons would bolt. But they didn't. Instead, Mom and Dad raccoon spent the time running at each other full speed, and tumbling in a ball of fur together until they came to a rest at the other side of the yard. The baby continued to peer inside the house. He even started to pull on the screen as if he was going to pull it down. Mom and Dad were HUGE. I mean HUGE. I don't know about you guys, but I used to think raccoons were maybe as large as a cat. Let's just say, these guys could eat all the cats in our neighborhood - and give any of the dogs a good run for their kibble.
Me, being a total sucker for anything animal and furry kept saying "AWWW HONEY LOOK! AREN'T THEY CUTE! HE'S HUNGRY!" Mr. Zoom very gingerly went to the screen and shut both of the sliding glass doors. And locked them. If we had a hockey stick in the house, I know he would have fetched that first. He wisely said "I don't want them trying to get into the house. They will get into the house. Look at the size of them. They could get through the screen in no time."
We both grabbed our cameras and tried to take pictures. None of mine came out because of the glass on the sliding doors. Mr. Zoom got a picture of some glowing eyes, and one of a fuzzy tail, and that was about it. The entire time we watched them, they romped in our back yard and continued to pull on the screen doors. They rolled in the grass, stretched out, got up and continued to charge each other. They talked to each other. They kindof reminded me of miniature bears.
It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen play out in my back yard.
"That's it" said Mr. Zoom. "They are far too comfortable around us. I'm off to Ace tomorrow to buy some synthetic coyote urine." Listen folks. This is only our second year of owning this house. What kind of animal wiz am I going to be looking for this time NEXT year at the hardware store? And why does everyone I ask about this product act like it's common knowledge? Again with the living under a rock for me.
Turns out that coyote wee wee freaks them out and they avoid such areas completely. Natural predator and such and such. Which, great - they don't get hurt, nothing gets poisoned, everyone is happy. But I was still a little sad.
I really didn't want to coyote wee wee the yard, but I knew it was for the best. The raccoons aren't going to benefit from my making them comfortable around humans, and I'm not going to benefit from them eating one of our fish at some point. And they are destructive. They eat everything, and tear up everything looking for things to eat.
We still have the Shmoo visit us from time to time, and we still have our fish. Apparently their pee isn't good for deterring much wildlife.