Speaking of raccoons, allow me to regale you with tales of urban nature this Labor Day weekend:

Tale #1

It was about 9:00 on Friday night when we were sitting in the media room. I was messing around in Little Big Planet while Abe was doing… whatever he does. We heard a noise, but didn’t think much of it, as we live in a house where noises are practically de rigeur. Honestly, I’m not even sure I heard the noise at all. I don’t really pay attention well.

So ten or fifteen minutes later, we go to the basement bedroom to find that the screen in the window has been pushed outward, leaving a much-larger-than-cat-sized opening and reducing the number of active cats in the household by one. From what we can deduce, Marshie (shown in anger mode), saw something (most likely a cat) outside that caused him to lunge at the screen. Imagine the surprise of both parties when the screen gave way and Marshie was suddenly outdoors.

By the time we got out there, he was frantic and desperate to return to the safety of the house, but so confused and upset that he ran past us several times. He finally showed up at the back door, where we were able to let him back in. He was still pretty upset, but a few minutes and some Party Mix brought back the Marshie we know and love.

Tale #2

We were driving and saw a raccoon. That was pretty neat.

Tale #3

So, it’s now 4:00 on Sunday morning. Sleep is happening, because that’s what I like to do at that time of the day, when I awake to banging on the same basement window as before. Inspection reveals two subjects: Subject A is a white cat sitting on the ledge of the window well (at ground level) – it’s the neighbors’ cat, and very likely the one that riled up Marshie the other night. Subject B is a rabbit that the cat has chased into the window well, and is now trying to escape.

This particular window well was added to the house when the previous owner started to finish off the basement. The window is probably 4′ x 3′ or so, and this well is sized to accommodate a human who would be climbing out of that window in the event of an emergency, so it’s of similar dimensions. That would be why the rabbit is having so much trouble. They are pretty impressive jumpers, but aren’t exactly practiced in the vertical leap; he’s manages to get about six inches from the edge, but then falls back down.

Let’s finish this story. I grabbed a towel and a pair of gloves and went outside. I managed not to step on the rabbit when I jumped down into the window well, and that’s pretty good considering I was only half awake. It was when he continued to run in circles that I realized getting the towel on him might be more challenging than I had originally thought, but he finally paused for a second so I went for it. Unlike birds, mammals just freak out more when you cover them with stuff, but fortunately he just kind of bumped into the window and stopped long enough for me to pick him up.

I set him down next to the ledge and uncovered him, and I think he was dazed for a minute because he just stared at me. Then he hissed (I swear!). Then, finally, he ran away, where he was probably eaten by that cat. I went back to bed.

How was your weekend?