Rabies is a Really Crappy Christmas Gift

Last night I got home around 11pm from a large grocery shopping expedition with a friend. I put the grocery bags on the kitchen floor, opened up the sliding glass door (because my place was stuffy), and went into the hall to hang up my jacket.

When I rounded the corner from the hall into the kitchen it took my brain a few seconds to process what I was seeing unfold in my kitchen.

There, methodically removing my groceries from the bags, were three raccoons. I guess they were on the patio when I opened the door and followed me inside, in stealth mode.

I spent the next 20 minutes in a ridiculous stand-off with the three kitchen invaders. They were absolutely fearless. My neighbours must have thought I’d seriously lost my mind last night, from the amount of weird noises and yelling that emanated from my place. “DON’T YOU DARE EAT THAT!” “NO!” “GET OUT OF HERE!” And so on.

I flicked the lights on and off, I made hissing noises, I banged cupboards, I yelled (as mentioned above), and I waved my arms. I’d take a step towards them in the hope they’d back away and the three bullies would take a step towards me. They obviously knew who was really in charge in this situation.

My heart was pounding. They didn’t seem vicious—they weren’t hissing or snarling—but I know better than to corner a raccoon and I wasn’t willing to chance a bite or a scratch. Rabies is a really shitty Christmas gift.

At a loss about what to do next, I glanced over at the counter and grabbed my harmonica. I huffed and I puffed and what came out sounded like an angry, screeching owl.

It worked. The horrible sounds had them on the move towards the door, when the big boss did a haughty about-face and started waving his little alien paws at me like a boxer. I backed away, and he snatched a bag of trail mix and dashed out the door.

I slammed the door behind them and watched as the three of them held a mini-conference over the unopened bag of trail mix. One by one, they all washed their paws in a puddle in my yard (because apparently interacting with humans is filthy work) and then the big boss grabbed the bag of trail mix and the three of them were off into the laurel hedge.

This morning there were raccoon prints all over my sliding glass door. I guess the three jerks came back in the middle of the night. “HEY LADY!” [scratch scratch scratch] “THAT TRAIL MIX WAS DELICIOUS!”

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