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My Cats Late Night Visitors

My cat Spike is very laid back. He's a lover, not a fighter, so it was with surprise that one morning as I was feeding him his daily ration of cat food, I saw two scratches on his nose. He ate the food like he was famished, instead of taking a few bites then going somewhere to think the situation over. Normally he would then come back to his bowl and begin to eat again. At the time I didn't know there were raccoons eating his food at night. Spike sleeps in the garage.

He has a cat door to the outside, so he comes and goes as he pleases. Only on the coldest winter nights does he sleep in the house, preferring the solitude of his own kingdom where there is always silence after dark. His quiet time was shattered one night a couple of hours after dinner. I heard a noise in the garage that sounded like something falling from a shelf.

I opened the door to the garage and saw a large raccoon scurrying from the cat's bowl to the opening in the pet door. He scooted through the door to the outside, then turned around and stuck his head back through the door, staring at me as if I should be sorry for interrupting his dinner. The next day surveying the damage to my exterior door, where the raccoon had scratched and torn at the pet door to get inside the garage, I did some studying about the subject of raccoon removal. I found out that they are nocturnal animals, sleeping all day and feeding and roaming at night.

I also learned that there are ways to remove raccoons without shooting them. They are as follows: Remove their food supply! This sounded like such a good idea that I tried it. I brought the cat's dish into the house.

That didn't deter the raccoon in the least. He couldn't see the food, so he chewed the lid off the five gallon containers that held the cat food, scattering it all over the garage. This dampened my spirits somewhat, but I was determined to drive him from our house forever! Play the radio loudly in the areas the raccoon has invaded! They will think someone is talking and stay away! I tuned the radio in the garage to a station that played rap music all night, and then turned up the volume. I figured if that didn't do the trick nothing would. It didn't work! Somehow he climbed up a bookshelf onto the top of a refrigerator where I had stored the cat food. He pushed it off onto the floor, dry cat food bouncing on the concrete floor like raindrops on a roof.

Trap the animals. I called the city animal control people and they brought me a trap. This was a big cage that would catch the raccoon without hurting it.

The theory is that the raccoons would enter the trap, stepping on the trip mechanism as they ate the bait, (cat food), thus tripping the trap door. The raccoons would be caught, the city would then remove the animal to a safe place, miles away from my house and all would be peaceful again. Wrong! The only thing I caught was my cat Spike! Twice! I learned that those traps do work, but raccoons are very intelligent. You have to put concrete blocks or some kind of barrier around the sides of the trap, keeping them from sticking their paws into the cage; grabbing the food without springing the trap. Raccoons have paws with fingers that enable them to grasp food and stuff it into their mouths.

By this time I realized I had a family of raccoons. By now I had seen five; two adults and three young ones. The young ones let me take their pictures while munching on Spike's cat food. I reward them for allowing me a photo shoot. The older ones wait patiently outside the door until I finish shooting. They'll finish up the food when I go back into the house.

Spike the cat is sprawled in an old chair, yawning at the raccoons. Now the young ones try to get into the house every time the door is opened at night. I've ordered a sure-fire raccoon repellant that I know will work. It's coyote urine. Sprinkled around the area the raccoons frequent, it will scare them away.

They're afraid of coyotes because they're one of the natural predators of raccoons. If this doesn't work, I'll order wolf urine.

Bob Alexander is the author and sole owner of this article. He is greatly experienced in the art of southern barbequing and leisure activity, including Raccoon survival. Learn to enjoy yourself with more of Bob's ideas. Visit: http://www.bluefishbob.com Visit: http://www.homeandgardenbob.com



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