I knew I had a raccoon control problem, but it wasn’t until I actually witnessed my cat versus the raccoon that I finally decided to do something about it.
My house has felt pretty empty since my husband passed away three years ago. My children all live out of state with their families, and although they all visit at least once a year, I miss them terribly. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those old fogies that sits around in her house all day, dusting a dustless house and watching reruns of “Matlock” and “Murder, She Wrote”. I’m on a bowling team, I volunteer at an elementary school teaching children how to read, I swim laps every day, and I run the neighborhood watch program. As busy as I am, there are times when the house seems pretty empty. So, I have become somewhat of a cliché, the old woman with a house full of cats. Okay, it’s only two cats, but, still.
My cats are both indoor and outdoor cats. I let them spend a few hours outside each day and then call them in at night. Their food bowls are outside on my back deck, and I enjoy watching them play and hunt and climb. A few weeks ago, I started noticing that their food bowls got empty faster than normal. Instead of refilling their food dishes once every couple of days, I was replenishing their food supply twice a day. At first, I thought we had feral cats in the neighborhood that were taking advantage of free food. Then, I realized I had a raccoon control problem.
Raccoons carry all kinds of diseases that can infect my cats, so I was really worried. Then, one day, in broad daylight, I saw a raccoon on my deck, about three feet from one of my cats and her food dish. I was sure it was a rabid raccoon, and called a raccoon control service immediately. But, after watching it interact with my cat, I realized it probably wasn’t rabid, it was just hungry.
My cat would jab and bat its head anytime the raccoon got near its food dish, but the raccoon just dodged the blows and scooped up tiny handfuls. It would then retreat back down a couple of steps, eat the cat food, and go back for more, dodging even more cat jabs. If it was rabid, it would have attacked my cat, but instead it avoided the swipes my cat took at its head and helped itself to the cat food. No wonder I was buying more cat food than normal these days. I was feeding at least one raccoon in addition to my two pets, and there were probably more raccoons that came under cover of darkness.
So, when the man arrived from the raccoon control company, I told him what was going on and let him trap the raccoon. He even set out a couple of other traps, in case there were more in the area. While I was fairly certain my cats weren’t going to get rabies, I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get roundworm or any of the other nasty diseases raccoons carry. Now, I could go off to bowling practice reassured that my cats would be much safer now that I’d handled the raccoon control problem.