Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where The Wild Things Are

My humans were talking the other day about how the neighborhood has changed. Mom mourned the loss of the local livestock and what she called “the blight of stacked housing developments.” (Frankly, I don’t know why she objects to stacked housing – our five-tier stacked kitty tree is excellent!) She said that once a drive to the store meant “passing farmers on tractors and fields of contented cows.” (I wonder: are cows always contented, or is that simply a human myth?) Anyway, to hear her tell it, the drive these days is more likely to involve construction signs and backed-up traffic.

But perhaps she mourned too soon. For in fact, the truth is out there—outside our back door. The area is not fully urbanized yet!

You know of Little Buddy, and his frequent visits to our home, in part to play, in part to consume the morsels and tidbits that our dutiful humans put outside for him. It appears we now have a Big Buddy, too.

It all started last night. I was napping in the kitty hammock; Win was curled up near Mom on the sofa. The television was on. (She’s watching another bloomin’ British mystery series? Good grief!) Suddenly, we heard a loud “thump” outside the house. Mom looked outside the downstairs drapes but saw nothing. Then, murmuring that the sound seemed to have come from somewhere above, she went upstairs and looked out on the deck.

“Hey,” Mom said, when she came back downstairs, “it’s a raccoon, boys. Come look!”

We hurried to the curtains and slowly, clumsily making his way down the post of the deck was a large quadrapedal creature—grey and black—with black-tipped ears and a dashing facial feature covering his eyes. Said feature was not unlike my own, though he lacked the full facial coverage—eyes and snoot—that makes my breed so extraordinarily handsome.

Win and I did a little window pawing, and the creature responded by doing a bit of seeming-friendly window action of his own. Mom hurried for a camera and snapped one shot, but she says it’s hardly worth my including it here, as it wasn’t “flash” (whatever that means) and “it’s pretty blurry.”

Franklin, Winston, and their new friend

The point is, though, that with the raucous crows in the alders, with squirrels that taunt us from the hemlocks, and now with Big Buddy, we’re closer to where the wild things are than we had ever thought!

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At January 17, 2010 at 6:42 AM , Blogger K said...

Franklin, if your mom likes to garden, you'll need to remind her to wear gloves. Raccoons have adapted very well to the urban/suburban environment. Kitty food is a favorite, and it's very, very difficult to keep the kitty food away from the raccoons (poor Little Buddy's food is being raided!). However, remind your mom to wear gloves when gardening because of risks of raccoon roundworm. Tell mom that Little Buddy may need to have his food left out during the day and taken up at night.

At January 17, 2010 at 7:03 AM , Blogger Linda said...

Was the thump Big Buddy dropping from a tree onto the deck? I love the controlled excitement you can see in the Boyz- curious but ready to leap away in a second if they need to!

At January 18, 2010 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Gaile Gray said...

Franklin relayed his alarm about the garden gloves. He hates me to wear them because they feel unpleasant when I have them on when I pet his sleek fur. But for the sake of health, he has agreed to the new plan.

He also just ducked under the drapes to look out the window, and noted that Little Buddy's bowl looks "messy." He joins me on my lap to write, "Could Big Buddy think he will derive nutrition from this thing called 'Tupperware?'"

I don't think I'm going to tackle that one tonight. ;)

At January 18, 2010 at 9:04 PM , Blogger Gaile Gray said...

Yes, it was. Well, a tree or our roof -- I'm not sure which. I can say that the little beastie is heavy! We all jumped when we heard the thumpg, not least of all Franklin, despite him being rather sounding sleeping at the time.

When I got to the upstairs sliding glass doors, Big Buddy was sauntering along the deck railing. I turned on the light and he didn't seem too phased by it. Looked over his/her shoulder, blinked, and continued along the railing to the post, where he descended to ground level. (Franklin's description was pretty accurate -- Big Buddy is no wizard at descents. :) )

At February 4, 2010 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous Galdor The Foul said...

Hello Gaile :) Glad to see you and the kittens are doing well; although I'd watch for those raccoons, nasty little blighters when they get annoyed! :P

At February 4, 2010 at 11:49 PM , Blogger Gaile Gray said...

I must say, he did look like he would brook no interference, it's true. He sported a sort of insolent expression, as if to say "Yes, here I am at your backdoor, and what are you going to do about it, eh?"

I have not seen Big Buddy since the night of his visit, but I suspect he's been outside a few times, judging from the kits' racing to the door, their periscope necks and radar ears working in double time.

At June 10, 2010 at 3:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non-capricious mischief
A tribe of Raccoons reverse- engineered the supposedly fool-proof one-way cat door I had installed in the backyard door. The door swung out and only allowed the cats in if they were wearing their magnetic collar.

To defeat the magnetic "lock," the 'coons teamed up, with one of the adults grabbing the door outward with their claws and allowing one of the children to enter. The kids would push the door out, allowing the next varmint access.

Mischief was anything but capricious, I'm afraid: I ended up barricading the door with a steel bar at night (or if I was coming home after dark). Lost a couple of cat dishes, some toys, and (of course) a whole bag of food.

Belatedly, Tennessee Ernie Ford


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