Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Racoon Disaster

Baby raccoon

The strangest thing happened to me yesterday morning. I heard this strange noise like a bird arguing with itself, and it sounded like it was coming from right outside the wall. I went outside to look, and found a baby raccoon hanging by it's hind leg from a space between two boards on the second floor of my house.

It looked like the baby raccoon had been trying to climb straight down the wall! I have no idea what really happened, but it was very comedic and deeply pathetic at the same time. The whole of the little guy's weight was being borne by his right ankle. There was nowhere for him to hold on to anything, so he just held his front paws out in the air in front of him. I got the feeling he had been there for quite a while because he looked exhausted.

I quickly got the ladder and a hoe and tried to free him. I found that if I pushed apart the boards that held his paw, he just sank deeper into the vee shape they created. The baby raccoon at this point is screaming bloody murder, and the ladder is kind of rickety and everything is situated in such way that I have lean way over to reach the little monster.

I ran and got a extension pole for a paint roller and tried again, this time prying the boards apart wih a hoe and pushing up under the baby raccoon with the extension pole. The baby raccoon is doing his best impression of Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" at this point, and I am swearing under my breath and it all seems hopeless until finally he falls to the ground with a resounding thud at the base of the ladder. He is breathing but not really moving. I get off the ladder and put the tools away and go and talk to him for a little while. Eventually he hobbles over to the shed where I keep my garbage can and climbs under the door. he was dragging his right rear paw behind him sole up, like it was broken. (But I don't really know, maybe it was just numb from the ordeal.)

I didn't know what to do, so I brought him some dry cat food and some wet cat food and just left him alone. I checked on him periodically, and he just glared at me from the corner of the shed. He did still have an appetite though, which I took as a good sign. He ate all of the food I gave him right away. I fed him again later, and he ate that too.

And now I don't know what to do. I can't call the Humane Society because they will just put him down, and I can't keep him. I hate those impossible situations that spring up out of nowhere and disrupt all of the other impossible situations I am already knee deep in.

With a little luck he will feeling well enough to find his way home tonight. I'll check on him in the morning.

Baby raccoon

UPDATE: The baby raccoon has left, the shed was empty this morning. I hope he finds his mom!

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At Sat Jun 23, 06:50:00 AM, Anonymous Dan said...

I'd just keep feeding him myself.

of course that means you will never be able to move incase the next person decides he want's a Davey Crocket hat.

At Sat Jun 23, 07:16:00 AM, Blogger Jess Wundrun said...

I think I've read some Stephen King novels that begin this way...........

At Sat Jun 23, 08:29:00 AM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

I would have kept him and trained him in the arts of crotch attack.

At Sat Jun 23, 09:21:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Woo hoo, this is the kind of good news that MSNBC, NBC, CBS, BBC, and ABC never report on. I"m sending over a crew from FOX to get an interview with you so you just stay put and wait for them to arrive.

At Sat Jun 23, 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Omnipotent Poobah said...

A racoon entered our house via the dog door once. We woke up to find it hiding under the end table next to the bed.

Mrs. Poobah found it quite the bracing wakeup call.

At Sat Jun 23, 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

We had a paperboy when I was a kid, and he had a pet racoon that used to sit on his bike when he was delivering papers. It was completely domesticated.

I'm not saying your results will be the same, but... maybe a little interspecies solidarity, Dr. Z. Imagine if he was a simian child.



At Sat Jun 23, 11:00:00 AM, Blogger Sleestak said...

Wounded raccoon missing? Looks like something picked off some weaker prey.

At Sat Jun 23, 05:53:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Dan: Ack! I am glad that he decided to find his way home, I would hate to think of him as a coonskin cap! He was a little guy, so any cap made from him would have only been big enough for a pinhead anyway. Maybe Bill O'Reilly?

Jess Wundrun: When I was up on the ladder, I felt like I was in a Stephen King novel! That little monster could spew some hateful rhetoric, I tell you!

Angry Ballerina: Hmm, yes. That is an interesting choice of vocation you would have chosen for the baby raccoon.

Dr. Monkerstein: LOL! That's right! Nobody ever reports the good news that has happened under the present administration. This is yet another example of the many good things that we can say happened under GW's watch!

Omnipotent Poobah: ACK! That does sound bracing. He just invited himself in, eh? Party crasher!

Tengrain: That's a good story! The raccoon would ride on the bike?!?! In California I actually had a possum that would come in and eat cat food and then leave. I was even able to pet him. I have some pictures, I will post them if I can find them.

Sleestak: You have a evil one track mind, Sleestak. I like that in a reptilian insect!

At Sun Jun 24, 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

even if it is simian, you have a good heart. we feed half a dozen raccoons cat food, dog food and any extra food we are going to throw out every night. keeps them off our highway of death. one was someone's pet once and they let it go in the woods behind our home. he is the only one who doesn't run away when we come out of the house. the rest scamper like mad which is good. we also feed opposums too. they are so ugly they are cute. you can't leave the door open though because those raccoons will invite themselves in!

At Sun Jun 24, 11:18:00 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Ohhh! How nice of you! Your kindness was much appreciated I'm sure!!!

Are those actual pictures of the little guy?

At Mon Jun 25, 03:54:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Liberality: My ex-girlfriend used to feed a feral cat colony back in California, and then would trap them to get neutered and put them back in the colony. This is more humane than just putting them down, which is what the Humane Society does. (And I can understand why they have do this, there are just not a enough people to take care of all of those cats.)

She had a system worked out for feeding them. If you just put out a big bowl of food, the little cats get squished out, so she would put out individual bowls for each cat. If 10 cats came for dinner, she would put out 11 bowls. She would always put out one extra bowl, then the little cats would always have a bowl to eat from if the big cats pushed them aside.

It was really funny watching all of the cats line up for dinner. They all had their own little personalities and quirks.

I also have a story about a possum, which I think that I will post thanks to your enthusiasm on the subject! Thanks for your great comment!

Becca: No, those raccoons were found on the internet. My digital camera went south a while back. Thank you for your kind words!

At Mon Jun 25, 02:57:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

we try mighty hard to have a animal free kill zone by our home. no animals allowed to die (or left rotting on the roadway) by our house. we are not always successful but we try.

At Tue Jun 26, 12:24:00 AM, Blogger Karla said...

I think that generally if the creature still has an appetite, it's likely to survive (assuming nothing picks it off while it's recovering). Especially a raccoon. They love that catfood.

One of my cousins used to have a pet raccoon, but I think this was probably before I was born. Eventually he had to imitate those old Disney movies and take it out to the woods because it was into too much trouble at home.

At Tue Jun 26, 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Liberality: A very commendable policy. If only more of the two legged creature cared about the four legged creatures, this would be a better planet.

Karla This is what I think happened. Your cousin had a pet racoon, and his parents complained that it was too much trouble. Your cousin then brought the raccoon to your parent's house, and they raised it. You are really a raccoon!


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