A midnight masked bandit in Barker!

     By the time I adopted my brown tiger cat, she had spent a couple of years on the mean streets before being rescued by Sav-A-Pet. At her foster home she was an indoor cat, but when you have 14 roommates and food and shelter, you just go with the flow, I guess. I had every intention of keeping her indoors, but once Sneakie Pie gained enough confidence to sprint for the great outdoors, it was all over. With the help of a swinging kitty door, she could enjoy being queen of the manor but prowl the grass when she got the urge.

            My niece has a young cat and lives close enough that Smokey hangs out here a lot, but our cats refuse to be friends. They still make throaty noises and hisses, but that’s it. At some point some time ago, I realized that my cat’s wet and dry food bowls were licked clean and I began to suspect that Smokey found her way through the door when I was away. I was right. It only happens occasionally, so I ignore it. At least I did.

            Coming home wet and tired at 12:30 a.m. Sunday from the Relay, I just undressed and went to bed. In the morning, I noticed the cat food had been inhaled again but wait, why are there cans on the floor next to my food shelf? And why, pray tell, is there a bag of cake mix with a hole torn out of the middle??? Hmmmmmm.

            On Monday I mentioned the episode to Smokey’s mom and she said “Are you sure it’s not the raccoon?”

“Um…what raccoon?”

“Every night when I’m sitting on the porch, this raccoon comes up on the porch real friendly like, wanting me to pet him.”

“Gulp.”

            Now, this kitty door is not on ground level. My cat has to climb atop a stand on the enclosed porch to the waist high door that leads to another stand in the living room. Surely a raccoon could not figure out the route. Could it?

            This morning’s foray into the kitchen yielded a bread bag now emptied of the last three slices of bread, a gnawed pack of ice cream cone cups and licked-clean cat food dishes. Huh?!?!?  A gift basket of Tim Horton’s coffee packs, boxes of tea and a can of cappuccino was upended, but apparently the critter is staying off caffeine. It did, however, get a box of ant traps off the bottom shelf, opened the box and pulled out the traps and left them for better pickings. No cat is guilty of this midnight marauding, that’s for sure! It must be the little masked bandit who visits across the way. For now, the window is shut on the kitty door, barring access (with great disapproval from the resident feline). Now if I find any more nighttime noshing going on, it must mean my Sneakie Pie is losing her grip in her old age or (horrors) the little masked bandit is now trapped IN here! But what to do?

            Yes, I know I can get a humane trap. Yes, I know they can carry rabies, etc. My friends at the coffee counter today assured me that the raccoons don’t “hang out” when summer is here; they just forage and take it back to their nest, or den, or wherever. Were they just trying to reassure me?  I don’t feel reassured! I’m perfectly okay with letting it be in the outdoors (I’ve already expressed my anti-kill or hurt phobias in an earlier blog) but this house has only room for one four-legged forager and that’s my teenage cat. Let’s hope the busy bandit isn’t out in the backland telling his buddies about the neat new all-night diner he found! I have a feeling that there are some sleepless nights ahead for me!

            Anybody in blog land have experience with indoor-dining critters? Want to adopt one if I can catch it??/ J

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