This post has nothing, or next to nothing to do with chicken. It does have to do with crossing the road and marginally with religion. Be forewarned.
For the last month or so we have been infested by a gaze of raccoons. Yes, a “gaze” is the proper name for a collection of the beasts. While we are exploring definitions, the gaze is responsible for many types of vocalization, including purrs, whimpers, snarls, growls, hisses, screams, and whinnies.
For those who have never lived within earshot of raccoons, the internet has hundreds of audiovisual aids that provide images and sounds of raccoons doing just about everything they are capable of. One glaring omission is the sound of metal trash can lids being hurled to the ground as the invaders search human discards for edible items.The particular gaze that has laid claim to our home is composed of a sow and three kits. They regularly lay waste to the platform bird feeder and have learned to drain hummingbird feeders. They’ve also figured out how to drop the suet bird blocks Gloria feeds to songbirds. They are messy, increasingly adapted to living off humans, and potentially dangerous to Loki and to us. These animals harbor rabies. A single bite could be lethal to a dog or to a human. Even if the bite victim is not infected with rabies, their scavenger feeding habits assure nasty wounds with instant bacterial infection and potentially other viral diseases. They can remove a human’s digits and can kill a dog. So it should be obvious why their increasing familiarity with our back yard and deck requires action.
Gloria, while not a PETA fanatic, is extremely fond of animals of all sorts. Her opinion is that they should not be harmed. My opinion is that I’m tired of the expense and encroachment. Further more, digging a hole large enough for safe disposal and deep enough to discourage neighborhood free-roaming dogs, and feral cats and dogs, would be back-breaking labor in this creek bed we inhabit.
The first option, therefore, is a live trap followed by deportation.
We borrowed a live trap from our friend, Park, and followed in the tradition of Boone, Crockett, Smith Jackson & Sublette, and Bridger. In a short while one of the kits had blundered into the trap and disposal time was nigh. We loaded the trap into the Pathfinder. The small little animal exploded into snarls and attempted bites as I picked up the trap. We drove down valley a mile and pulled into the Cassi Church parking lot.
Another round of snarls and snapping ensued as we shook the kit out of the trap, In seconds it was gone. Whether or not it appreciates the 2nd chance being handed to it in a teavangelical parking lot I can not say. One down and three to go.