Santa Claws

It was right around Christmas time that we had a raccoon in our chimney, the reason I remember is because I was making a Christmas dinner for my in-laws who were coming to town the next day. I started the turkey that night before so the house had started to smell like Thanksgiving all over again, there is no better smell than turkey in the oven, and the raccoon must have agreed. I had been hearing a few strange sounds in the chimney here and there for a few days before the incident, but I was so stressed with the company that was coming that I just ignored it!
As I was getting ready for bed, I heard a metal creaking from the living room so I went to check it out, but there was nothing there so I shrugged it off and went to sleep. Later that night I woke up and heard movement and rustling downstairs, but I attributed it to the dog (that was lying next to the bed) and again went back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I couldn’t believe what I came downstairs to find. The raccoon in the chimney had opened the damper and went full Terminator on the house! The couches were shredded and torn, there was pee in more than one spot on the carpet, and the turkey had been taken out of the oven and picked clean! I wanted to cry but instead I got to work.
It was the first time that I had my in-laws at my house for any sort of dinner, so you can see why I was so stressed out. My brain was stuck on the tangent that if my house and food weren’t perfect that they would shame our marriage (don’t we all think that way?) so I called my best friend up and put her, her husband, and my husband to work in the fastest Extreme Home Makeover ever. We replaced the torn up furniture with new couches, shampooed the pee stained carpets, closed the damper and blocked the chimney, cleaned the house top to bottom getting rid of all the evidence of a raccoon, and bought steaks for dinner all before the in-laws arrived. After they had left, we got to dealing with the raccoon in the chimney.

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