I think I qualify as an animal lover. I like cats, dogs, even lots of rodents. But raccoons? Raccoons are my enemy. They may look cute, but they are pure evil.
My first encounter with our neighborhood raccoons happened a couple of years ago. When we bought this house, the back yard was landscaped pretty intricately, including lots of small trees, bushes and flowers. It looked nice, but it was a pain to maintain, and we wanted a small patch of lawn. So we dug up about half of the landscaped area, removed the plants and laid sod. It was a humble plot of grass, but it was ours and we were proud of it.
A couple of nights later, we were in bed and we heard a strange sound in the back yard. We turned on the lights, looked out back, and saw a family of raccoons destroying our sod. They ripped it all off the ground, tore the pieces apart and left us with a muddy mess. Apparently they like to look under sod for grubs to eat. We pieced it back together as well as we could, but it didn’t look the same. They came back again, we tried various things to stop them, but in the end, they won. The lawn was destroyed and instead of a nice landscaped area, we had a patch of mud.
Fast forward to last week. We were sitting in the living room watching TV, and we heard a loud noise in the back. We looked outside, and saw a fat raccoon in the planter on top of the fence around our deck. We had a solar-powered lantern hanging from a hook in one of the corners of the deck, and most of it was gone. Our best guess was that the raccoon had tried to steal it or use it to climb down, the shade fell off, and he bolted. It’s not completely destroyed, but the raccoon left his mark.
Unfortunately, it turns out the lantern wasn’t the only thing he broke. In retrospect, that’s probably not even what we heard crashing to the ground. Yesterday, I was looking out back again and I noticed that our nice terra cotta thermometer was on the deck, broken into dozens of pieces. There’s no amount of glue, hot or otherwise, that can make it the same. So into the garbage it went. I hope the raccoons are satisfied.