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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

‘Coon Capers

Our home is a zoo in more ways than one.  Rocky the Raccoon is back, and like the Biblical story (not that it had anything to do with raccoons), he brought with him several friends, each more evil than the next.  Peeling back the soffit with his grimy, super-strong claws, he comes and goes at will from the Hotel Bartologimignano.

After hearing him for several days plodding, stomping, and scrambling across our attic, and sounding for all the world as though he is scratching his way through every ceiling vent and light fixture, I’ve had enough.  On Saturday, it’s about 6:00 a.m., and Benedetto is heading out with the boys, leaving me, the girls, and the dogs to deal with Rocky.

It’s then that I realize, in the quiet morning solitude, that Rocky is not alone.  There’s one entire chorus line of Rockettes in our attic, kicking and carousing like nobody’s business.

“Call a professional,” I urge Benedetto later in the day when they return.

“No way, we’ve done that before,” he shakes his head.  “It’s five days and $500 for what I can do in five minutes.”

Never let it be said that he underestimates his abilities.  The sun is setting and he goes to the garage, ladder and raccoon cage in hand.  I hear the ‘coons waking up after their long and leisurely, day-long snooze.

Petya takes the message out to his father, “The ‘coons are restless.”

My husband receives the message and responds, “The eagle flies tonight.”

This is what I have to live with.  The two of them get the peanut butter, greatly agitating the Scottish terriers Misha and Grisha, who see their only source of after-dinner treats going out the door.  Not to mention when they hear the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies overhead and take off barking over the ruckus overhead, as well as the clattering ladder outside.

“Misha!  Grisha!  NO!  Do I have to put you into your crates?”

They hand their heads in shame… right before the barking begins to bubble up again.

The guys have now lashed the trap to the roof, and baited it with peanut butter.  They come rushing inside, breathless, five minutes later.

“We caught him!” they shout, further exciting the dogs and myself, for that matter.

The guys fall silent.

“What?” I ask.  “What is it?”

“There’s another one,” Benedetto announces.  “One is in the cage, and one is outside the cage, trying to eat the peanut butter….”

“Great,” I murmur.

So Petya beats the gutter with a broomhandle, further inciting the dogs, while the other kids are in bed, trying to sleep.  The guys nab the cage, and Rocky Raccoon #1, loading them into the SUV, liberally doused with anti-flea spray.

“Alright, we’re relocating Prisoner #1,” my husband says.  “We’ll be back in 20 minutes.”

For some reason, horrible images flash through my mind, as I “see” my husband’s face clawed and bleeding.  I begin to pray, knowing that the animal could be rabid, and may turn on them when they go to set it free in the woods.  My prayer is that they are kept safe from all harm.

Not ten minutes later, they’re back.

“Is everything okay?” I ask, due to the strange looks on their faces.

“Well, we were driving down the highway, headed for the woods, when all of a sudden, you know how Grisha likes to sit on the console inbetween us in the front seat?”

“Yessss,” I say, unsure where this was headed.

“Well, the dog is there, and I wonder how Grisha got into the car, then he jumps on my lap and scampers over my left shoulder.  About then, all of this happening in a matter of seconds, I realize:  THE RACCOON IS LOOSE IN THE CAR!  THIS IS NOT THE DOG, IT’S ROCKY!  I screamed, pulled the car over, and told Petya to get out.  While I’m fighting with my seatbelt, Petya jumps out, opens the back door, and Rocky runs out!” he reports.

“He was on your lap-?!” I gasp.

“He had pried open the cage and was running around the car-!” the guys laughed, increduously.

No wonder I had felt impressed to pray.

They set up the trap for #2, caught him in no time, lashed the cage door shut and resettled him without incident.

“You’ve heard of the movie, ‘Snakes on the Plane’?  We could film one called, ‘Coons in the Car,’” he remarked to me later.

That night, Rocky #3 took the cage and threw it a good distance in anger, grabbing the peanut butter and evading capture.

For now.



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10 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Winnie says:

    That is just TOOO funny. Best giggle I’ve had in a while. I can just see your husband riding down the street with a coon in his lap and then the ensuing chaos!

  2. Reminds me of the time my father had a Maine Coon Cat (maybe its the coon thing) that got out of the carrier on the way home from the vet. And then crawled onto him and dug in with her claws all the way home. Punky hated the car.

  3. avatar Kathleen says:

    I really needed to laugh tonight. Thanks.

  4. avatar Phyllis says:

    When I started reading I thought, “Oh no. Didn’t they have this problem before?” Yep. But how hilarious! Good thing you prayed for them!! : )

    • avatar admin says:

      History has a way of repeating itself when we don’t take steps to stop it…. The “hole” has been sealed in the soffit–from the inside! We’ll see how long it takes them to discover that and try, try, again. I heard something BIG up there after the last raccoon, but before the repairs. All I can imagine is maybe another oppossum just checking in for a minute-!

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