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Raccoons, 'Possums And My Cat Spike!

Aug 17, 2007
Raccoons have no manners! They're slobs and the one staring at me didn't seem to really care about the niceties of eating. Bits of dry cat food were soaking up water from where it had been sloshed out of the water bowl. The bag of food I'd laid on a table was now torn open and about 10 pounds of cat chow was strewn across the floor.

This particular raccoon had come in through the pet door into the garage and was happily eating leftovers from my cat Spike's dinner bowl. He obviously had no fear of me, because he kept eating as I walked over to the work bench. Even though he appeared to half tamed, I was trying to keep a little distance between me and the raccoon.

Spike has a bed in the garage, in the house and on the deck. Whenever and wherever the mood strikes him to take a nap, he's not very far from a comfortable pillow. He has become adjusted to seeing raccoons and possums enter his garage at all hours of the night. Tonight he was sleeping on the bed that used to be my work bench before he took it over. He was now peering over the side of the cardboard box that was his bed, at the raccoon that was making a mess of his eating area.

I heard a noise from the outside of the door as another animal entered the garage through the pet door. This time it was a possum! This fella seemed to know his way around for he immediately walked over to the food bowl and began staring at the raccoon. Each kept their eyes on each other, ignoring Spike and me.

The raccoon won the staring contest for the possum casually backed up and hid under a table at the corner of the garage. There he remained until I left the garage. Spike got tired of the show and went outside through his cat door.

The real name of this critter is opossum. But down here in the south we just call it a 'possum. They are really, really fond of cat food, but will eat almost anything; rodents, insects, frogs, road kill, grains and fruits. 'Possums are rather lazy, so if there is available food in a garbage can or cat food in a garage they will find it.

While their appetites knows no bounds, they are cowards and will rarely attack any animal bigger than them or any animal that might fight back, including cats. Oddly enough Spike seems to get along with both the varmints who have invaded our garage.

We live in the city, but fairly close to wooded areas that are homes to a variety of animals including, 'possums, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Our city's growth is slowly taking over the wild animal's habitat, making the aroma of a trash can irresistible to critters who want a free lunch. As a result, raccoons and 'possums have no great fear of man! Don't leave a food source available to any of these varmints because they will find it sooner or later. If they can't find food in your back yard, they will just move on.

I may have to try trapping the animal, but that didn't work out very well last year. I used a gage-like trap that is supposed to close the entry way into the cage when the animal tries to eat the canned cat food in the back of the cage. It's very humane. Of the five raccoons we had last year, none were caught. I did catch Spike twice. I've never accused him of being smart!

If you have a 'possum get into your house, the best thing to do is to put a can of cat food just outside the door and let the animal go to the food. Then slam the door shut! They may scare you by hissing and snarling, but that's just their defensive mechanism. It's sort of scary when they bare their fifty teeth, but more than likely if you back away, they'll never hurt you. One good thing about confrontations with a 'possum is that they hardly ever get rabies.

I really hope they'll leave soon. Spike and I would like to get our garage back.
About the Author
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:
http://www.redfishbob.com
http://www.bluemarlinbob.com
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