Monday, April 12, 2010

The unwitting innkeeper.

Last week I heard a critter in my walls, which sounded like an elephant, which friends convinced me was probably a squirrel, which I just found out is actually a raccoon. A kid in a red truck came by to show me cell phone photos of a monster critter squeezing though a vent in my attic. The kid had been walking by the house with his friends at about three in the afternoon when they came upon the perpetrator. (Nice of him to come back and tell me!)

People who know me know I have a hard time throwing steamers into a pot of boiling water. I’ve rescued my share of injured birds, and have learned to peacefully co-exist with spiders. Hell, I even feel a pang of guilt as I spray Round-up on driveway weeds. I fully admit I take this stuff to extreme levels of weirdness. As a result, hiring some critter control guy who’s going to whack the raccoon is clearly not an option. So I called a local vet for suggestions. She said to call Wild Care, which is a wildlife rehab at the Eastham rotary. The woman there gave me some info and suggested I call the Cape Wildlife Center, where I ended up speaking to a raccoon expert who said this is probably a female raccoon with a nest of babies, and that the “kindest” thing I can do is to let them live there till they’re old enough to move on.

“And how long might that take?” I asked. Two, maybe three weeks.

The not-so-kind option would be to shine bright lights in the attic, toss up some ammonia soaked rags and crank rap music all night long. Hypothetically, doing this would make the environment uncomfortable enough that the mother would pack up her brood and go. However, given that my bedroom is just below the attic vent, and that I’m not a big fan of rap music, I’m not sure who would be going first.

So, for now, I’ve got myself some roommates. Stay tuned…

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