This is the conclusive follow-up to a story written in May, 2010, entitled “A Raccoon In the Attic” by A. K. Buckroth – me!
To refresh your memories, a soft spot in the ceiling of my husband’s wood shop had given way. Black mold due to extended and ignored moisture caused part of the ceiling to cave in. The resultant hole in the ceiling became a hole in the roof that granted easy access for any type of rascal to gain comfortable entry. Our particular rascal happened to be a raccoon.
As the story went, a trap was set: a specific type of metal ‘racoon trap’ with dog food and peanut butter in it because that is what his brother told him to use, and then he ingeniously rigged the trap to the roof of the building using yellow nylon rope. This rope was purposely wrapped inside the door of the trap and then each end of it extended ten feet in both directions – from the north side of the wood shop to the south. Can you see it? Visualize it?
Day-after-day I was directed and reminded to “watch the rope. If it becomes taut, that means we got ‘im.” Or “her,” whichever the case may be; I suspected the raccoon to be a nesting female.
Thinking for sure that a loud crash, bang, boom would awaken us after we settled in for a night, meaning that the raccoon was caught, that did not happen. Instead, six days later, during a bright Saturday’s mid-morning rope check, the rope was indeed taut. “Hon,” I yelled and scurried through the back door. “The rope is taut. Come see.”
Hearing this news, such excitement in this particular grown man was comparable to a child on Christmas morning! Quickly donning his dirt/work boots, gloves, flashlight and safety glasses, once again he climbed the carefully positioned ladder. Sure enough, the raccoon was in the cage. Having not only eaten the dog food and peanut butter, but the plastic cup that held it was gnawed apart and eaten as well. Poor thing was mighty hungry.
Untying the rope ends, hubby lifted the caged animal through the roof hole. Delicately climbing down the awaiting ladder with it in one hand, the raccoon seemed to playfully paw at my husband. Rather docile, I got the immediate impression that it was used to humans. No, we had no intentions of playing back!
Gently placing its caged self in the back of the pick-’em-up truck, we purposely drove it to the nearby river for release. Once there, the raccoon had to be coaxed to leave the cage. Strange. After a few long seconds, my husband tilted the cage forward and tapped it with a stick. I ran twenty feet in the opposite direction, of course, chicken that I am. The raccoon darted out of there in such a quick blur of motion with air, it could not be seen. Straight through the trees, over the rocks and boulders, down hill to the river, we know it will be fine.
Glad that we were responsible for its proper entrapment and release, work on the roof and the ceiling is under way. The comfortable nest area made from the existing fiberglass insulation will be replaced along with dry-wall, plywood and shingles. Such is life in our rustic suburbia. Ahh, it is good.
A. K. Buckroth