Masked Invader

Last week – on the coldest night of the year – I stood at the back door to let in my wife as she made her way from our detached garage with Christmas packages in hand.

A few hours later the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow – a rarity in Houston – would give the luster of midday to objects below. However, at that moment, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature raccoon headed right for my dear.

I banged on the glass and he scurried away, let in my betrothed and saved the day. Then suddenly the varmint turned with a jerk, and looking straight at me went right to work. He wiggled his nose and scurried inside, clawed to the attic and there he did hide.

It’s a little chilling to know a wild animal claimed our home as his own, so I called a couple of ‘critter-ridder’ places right away to ask what to do. They suggested we wait and see if perhaps he was just seeking shelter from the temperature and might depart the next morning. Sure enough three days passed and there were no signs of him.

Then as we ate our dinner, out near the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the blinds and hoped this would pass.

His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples how taunting! His cheeks puffed up as he returned to his haunting. That rascal raccoon chewed through a vent, intending to stay and never pay rent.

I immediately called and scheduled a removal service for the next morning. When the young man arrived and saw the damage, his said: “Wow! That’s one mean raccoon.”

We’ve lived in our home 19 years next week, yet he pointed out five access points that needed repair to prevent another intrusion. Plus, you can’t remove a raccoon and not treat and disinfect… or others will consider it an invitation to take up residence.

Thus, Kathy and my Christmas present to each other is a $1,500 pet raccoon we hope to never see again.


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