One morning last year, I got up before dawn to move my truck so I wouldn’t get a street cleaning ticket. I swung the door open and gasped. There he was, my neighbor’s raccoon. She had told me recently that there was a family of them living under her house. He was sitting on my stair landing on his hind legs, hugging a small bag of cat food, feeding from it like a human would eat popcorn at the movies. We locked eyes, his tiny hand that held the kibble was frozen in mid air, inches from his mouth. I slammed the door, adrenaline sweat washing over me. City raccoons are no joke, they will cut you over a bag of snacks, I know this.
I cracked the door and saw him loping down the stairs, into the darkness. The truth is he was cute, eating food like a person. I felt badly for interrupting his breakfast. He’s just trying to survive in the big city, I told myself. I opened the door fully and tiptoed out. Taking the now, most likely rabid cat food bag by its corner between two fingers, I tossed it onto the darkened driveway below. It slid a few feet and came to a stop under my husband’s truck. I looked over the railing and saw the raccoon’s shadowy figure hustle after it. I left him to it and went out the back door to move my truck.
An hour later, when Britt backed his truck out of the driveway to go to work the bag of cat food was gone and there was not one piece left behind. He sure cleaned up after himself. Little did I know that this would be the first of many experiences I had with this possibly OCD, tidy raccoon.
To be continued…