LD versus the attic raccoon, continued
A few weeks back, rather than try and assemble a coherent column lede, I wrote about my unexpected battle against a raccoon that somehow found its way into our attic. Unlike anything I’ve written over the years, this truly resonated with readers - I got somewhere in the neighborhood of six emails about it, some of which offered home remedies (“buy a dog, shithead”) but all of which asked to know the conclusion of this epic struggle between man and beast. To that end, here’s an email sent to family on Monday afternoon, a few minutes after we thought we’d rid ourselves for good of Pokey the Raccoon.
Note the use of “thought” in that last sentence - that night, another creature made its presence known. Since the attic is still sealed, it’s possible that this critter will meet the same fate as Pokey. Thus in the name of getting a half-decent night’s sleep, I appear to be committing accidental raccoon genocide.
More updates will be issued as events warrant.
I write with news that our raccoon saga has come to a close.
Two weeks ago, after several quiet nights (read: no audible raccoon tap-dancing or shrieking), I spent a good ten minutes shining a flashlight all around our attic. I checked every corner and under the tufts of insulation that had served as Pokey’s daybed. He wasn’t there. Duly empowered, I called up a roofing guy that the exterminator recommended, who came over and sealed the places where Pokey could have been making his entrance and exit.
It was quiet for the next few nights. And then, last Sunday at 1 a.m., it was decidedly not quiet. [My wife] and I heard a furious thumping, as if some ungodly daemon was trying with every fiber of strength in its being to either get in or get out. Last Monday night, it was even worse. Wily homeowner that I am, I turned on the attic light, thinking that it would do… something.
And it did! We heard nothing the following night, nor any night thereafter. Today, Joe the Exterminator finally called back (he had dropped his phone in water - I’ve been there, man - and only yesterday got it replaced). I told him what had transpired and, with some pride, about my psychological warfare via attic mood lighting. He said he’d come by with his catching pole.
We head up into the attic and shine the flashlight hither and yonder. Joe says, “I think he’s gone. He must have been trying to claw his way back in.” Just as we’re about to head down the ladder, I catch the glimpse of some fur and say, “Uhh…”
Pokey’s lifeless corpus - it took but a few pokes with the catching pole to confirm that he was not having a particularly lively afternoon - was right by the opening that we had closed. Indeed, he appears to have spent his final animated moments trying to fight his way out of the attic. Our mission thus became one of retrieval and disposal.
Pokey was fucking HUGE. Seriously, as long as [my son] is tall, and much beefier in the trunk.
In conclusion, morally if not legally, I am responsible for Pokey’s death. I do not feel good about this. I hope this is cosmically/karmically balanced by my many acts of goodness, like frequent purchases of ice cream for people I love.
It has been a long week. It is currently Monday at 3:22 p.m.
overheard at breakfast table that may have been my own
parent: “What’s the difference between Abby and Zoe?”
other parent: “Abby’s a princess and Zoe is orange.”