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Story ID:8192
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Gilboa New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

Due to my wife having a devastating stroke more than a year ago, and myself losing the use of my legs and being confined to a wheel chair, I have no time to spare anymore and as a result, have done no writing. Consequently, it has been a very long time since I have posted anything on Ourecho. In this particular case, Sandi from Florida, frequent commenter on Ourecho posts, urged me to post the photo's with explanation on Ourecho, suggesting many readers have had problems of their own with the little bandits. Yes, they all wear masks.

As some of you know, my wife and I are animal lovers and have taken in a large number of feral cats. Our home is in the wilderness in the Catskill Mountains. It is a raised ranch type house with an upstairs deck where we feed the outdoor cats. We have sliding glass doors which go out to the deck from the dining room. Twice a day I wheel up to the sliding door in my wheel chair with a tray containing several bowls and a pie pan filled with canned cat food. I place the food outside the door for the cats. There is also a large bowl with dry cat food. I also have a large stainless steel container with fresh clean water for them.

About two hours after I place the food outside for the cats, I open the door and using my cane, slide the dishes to the threshold where I can reach them. I collect them and take them to the kitchen sink. If there is any food left over, I scrape it all in to one bowl and put it on the floor for the cats inside the house to eat. I then wash all the empty containers for the next feeding.

A few weeks ago I discovered the cats standing back and watching a large coon devouring their food.
I opened the door and yelled and swung my cane at the creature to chase him or her away. The coon ran away at first. Later another one of similar size began coming. Both of them only ran a few feet. Then they turned around and looked at me. I yelled some more and slapped the floor of the deck with my cane. The raccoons left the scene. I got the impression they were more afraid of the cane smacking the deck floor than they were of me.

A few evenings ago, I ran off two adult coons from the deck where they were dining on cat food. When I went to gather the dishes for washing they were all completely empty. I looked up and saw three little coons peeking at me from behind the bar-b-q grill. They were sitting on the hand rail of the deck. I yelled and smacked the deck floor with my cane. Unlike the adult coons, these little fellows just clung to each other and cried and whimpered. They never tried to get away. I grabbed a camera and took some pictures. Then collected the empty dishes and washed them. Much later when I was ready to go to bed, having heard noises on the deck, I turned on the light and sure enough, those three little coons were still there, playing on the deck. Judging from sounds I heard, I believe it was nearly 4:00 A.M. Before they left the deck.

Racoons on the deck looking for the cat food is an annual problem we have to cope with and we are used to it. This is the first time in my recollection that the babies have been on the deck. In the photos the third one is hiding behind the grill and cannot be seen. You will have to look very carefully in the first two photos to see them.

I recall an esteemed writer on Ourecho who lives on a mountain ranch in Montana posting a true story about raccoons entering her house through a pet door and wreaking great havoc in her kitchen and pantry. I trust that I will not suffer a similar problem as I don't have a pet door and unless they can pick the locks, they are unlikely to get in the house. See BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Kathe Campbell, Ourecho story ID#3172 for a story you will find more entertaining than mine.

Please visit my web site at www.fredsstoryroom.com