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My Cat Spike And New Raccoons!

Sep 4, 2007
No one has ever accused my cat Spike of being smart. It's not that he's excessively stupid, it's just that he has a one track mind and if he decides he wants something, it's full speed ahead for him. Forget about the consequences!

Last year during the great raccoon raids, he was dumb enough to be caught three times in the animal trap provided by the city. These are the kind of traps that do not hurt the prey, but lures them inside a cage with a tidbit of food. Then, when the varmint steps on the trigger near the bait, a trap door slams shuts and the animal is caught. They're then carted off to a better and safer environment away from humans. Pets that are captured are released to their owners. They're stuck with us!

A few nights ago just after dark, I baited a new trap with a can of cat food and explained to Spike that this trap was just like the ones I used last year and for him to stay away. Turning his back on the trap and the cat food, he calmly strolled to his bed in the garage. I took his silence to mean that he understood and agreed.

A little later in the evening I heard a pitiful yowling from outside the garage door. I knew immediately that I had not caught a raccoon. It was Spike again! As I approached the cage, I heard a rustling in the neighbor's yard and looked up to see two young raccoons sitting together and looking at the scene before them. They were no more than 75 feet from me and I would have sworn they were laughing at both Spike and me.

For the last two years I have had raccoon problems that have almost driven me nuts! Last year a family of raccoons decided that Spike's cat food that I kept in my garage was much tastier than anything they could find in the wild.

Even though I kept the exterior door of the garage closed and locked each night, they seemed to find the pet door I'd installed for my cat a great source of amusement. I watched from my hiding spot one night when all five of last year's litter crawled into the garage one at a time, then turned around and went back outside. After all were back outside, they turned around again and came through the little door again. It doesn't take much to entertain raccoons.

Raccoons are cute; I'll give them that. Regrettably, they're also slobs! There's nothing they won't eat, including my waders that I once used for fishing! They learned to crawl up shelves that held tools to get to cat food I had stored in 5 gallon cans. There were lids on the cans but they figured out how to chew them off. Often they wouldn't be content to just eat the food but would push items off the refrigerator, chew upholstery off a chair I had in the garage and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

Last year I tried trapping them to no avail. I even ordered some coyote urine over the internet that was guaranteed to keep raccoons away. This method of eradication is based on the premise that coyotes are natural predators of raccoons. When he gets a sniff of the coyote urine, he becomes so terrified that he runs for safer territory leaving my house and Spike's food alone. I sprinkled some around the perimeter of my house and hoped for the best.

It didn't work! Actually nothing drove the raccoons away until they latter part of autumn when the nights started getting cold. By Christmas all the cute little critters were gone to warmer climes.

Now, faced with two new masked terrors that have already begun tearing up my garage, I know that probably the only thing I would catch if I kept setting the trap would be my stupid cat. I'll keep trying to keep a raccoon free house, but there's no doubt I'll have to wait for winter.
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.homeandgardenbob.com
http://www.bluemarlinbob.com
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