Back before we got Wisp her heated shelter, we whipped up a quick one out of a plastic box with some towels in it (actually TYG whipped it up, I just applauded). We never removed it from under the stairs, and as you can see, it has another guest. We saw it Sunday, though it might have been using the box before that.
Yes, it’s a raccoon. A honking big one — when it finally came out, it was a bulky, heaving sucker, almost waddling as it moved. It might have rabies. It might have distemper (I’m not the only one who saw this photo and thought it looked ill). It might be fine, as raccoons apparently do waddle when they walk.
However with two dogs, and Wisp, we didn’t want to take chances. We called the sheriff’s department to try and catch it, but it hid under the shed in our back yard. Monday I called a trapper; the sheriff’s department can’t legally trap the creature and neither can we. It has to be a licensed trapper, which probably explains why they can charge several hundred dollars. However TYG thinks it’s worth it (I’m hoping she’s right) so we went ahead.
As of today, he’s yet to be caught. Perhaps he’s gone. Perhaps he’ll be back (the trap stays out for 10 days).
Minor inconveniences were that we have to be more careful about feeding Wisp so the raccoon doesn’t get her leftovers. And I’m not feeding the birds because they spit out seeds, and we don’t want the raccoon distracted from the bait in the trap by competing food sources.
#SFWApro. Image is mine, all rights remain with current holder.