About midnight, Baxter leapt up from my bedroom floor and raced downstairsbarking and baying. Kiyu waited a beat but figured this was an emergency so she followed, making her Beagles to the Rescue noises in full throat.
Since they never bark at night, I rolled out of bed and stumbled downstairs, figuring something was on the back patio. The beagles were already outside since we had the back door propped open so Kiyu could get outoutside and got the little rake that we use to clean up dog poop, reached around the back door and smacked down the hinged trash can lid with the rake, thereby capturing the varmint.
Gathering my nerve, I moved the can slightly but the critter was hissing. I put two metal stove burners on top of the can to add weight. Luckily they didn’t fall off and break my toes. I started to move the can but the hissing was scary so I went upstairs to get my son out of bed.
“Kise, wake up! There’s a raccoon in the trash can and he’s hissing at me.”
Kise got up, came into the kitchen and took the trash can outdoors. He took the lid off, saw the raccoon and immediately sought the safety of the house.
We knew the raccoon could get out of the can with no trouble. Everybody then went back to bed; we humans secure in the knowledge that our two beagles would let us know if anything was amiss.
The next day I found a bag of birdseed spilled behind the trash can and evidence that the raccoon had been on the kitchen counters, but hadn’t really done damage. We figured he couldn’t have had much time in the house because we have alert hunting dogs that can smell anything.
Kise and I laughed because weeks before I had noted that leaving the back door open could invite raccoons. However, had I not propped the door open with a bag of gourmet birdseed, the whole event might have been avoided. My bad.
That night, when Kise found poop on his bedroom window sill, I blamed it on the dogs. I even showed him how the poop might have gotten up on the sill. (It was a stretch but not impossible.) I didn’t mention that there was dirt and what appeared to be tiny paw prints on the edge of the bath tub. To me that seemed to indicate that the raccoon had been upstairs and that the dogs had probably chased him from the upstairs to the kitchen trash can. I didn’t give much thought to how he had walked up the stairs with dogs dozing a few feet away.
Shortly after I went to my bedroom for the night, Kise said he heard that trilling noise raccoons make and thought it was coming from under his bed. We decided that wasn’t possible with beagles in the house so we said good night. But a few minutes later Kise called out that he was sure the noise was in his room. I stumbled out of bed and called the dogs to accompany me. The beagles stood in Kise’s doorway a moment then yawned and went back to bed.
The noise had to be coming from outside the house.
Back to bed, again. I fell asleep quickly and so did the beagles. I guess Kise slept too.
At two a.m., Kise got up and proclaimed that for sure the noise was in his room and it was definitely a raccoon. We got a flashlight to search under the bed and in the top of the closet.
“Maybe we can open the window and he’ll leave. Let’s close off all hiding places. Shut all the dresser drawers tight so if we scare him, he won’t jump into a drawer.”
As Kise reached for a partially open drawer, he saw the confused eyes of a small raccoon. Quickly he shut the drawer. We had trapped the beast.
So what now?
At two in the morning, it takes a while to formulate a plan to deal with wild animals. We finally got a piece of cardboard and as Kise slowly pulled the drawer out, I slid the cardboard over the top of it.
Kise’s bedroom windows are just above the kitchen roof so Kise shoved the drawer out the window and the young raccoon scurried across the roof, none the worse for wear.
At this point, Baxter walked up to the chest of drawers, half-heartedly smelled, shrugged and wandered back to bed. Kiyu, whom we have always considered an amazing scent dog, wasn’t even interested enough to get up.
Everybody back to bed. For perhaps another five minutes.
Kise yelled, “There is another one in here somewhere!”
While I watched, Kise went back to check the rest of the dresser drawers. Kise looked in one drawer, pushed it closed, and magically, the drawer re-opened. I nearly jumped out of my skin and ran out of the room.
After a moment to emotionally regroup, I went back in and we established there was a medium size raccoon behind the drawer and we really didn’t know what to do to get him out.
By this time it is three o’clock in the morning and we are all really tired. Well, the people are tired. The beagles are resting comfortably.
Kise gingerly removed some of the other dresser drawers so the little guy could escape. He made sure the window and screen were both open, took his pillow, firmly shut his bedroom door and went off to sleep in the living room. I went back to my bed, secure in the knowledge that my dogs would protect me.
Did the raccoon leave yet? Who knows? The people are afraid to find out and the dogs don’t give a damn.