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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lace curtain, sardines, raccoons, and chickens--Wednesday

Chapter Six

Defying the rules

Defying all rules of essay writing, I will now start at the wrong end of the above list.

Chickens live in the house now

On several of the prepper/survivalist sites, some of the bloggers say that when TSHTF that people will rampage and take what we have so they can eat. Well, I became indignant, saying my hens could live inside before anyone would just walk up and take them from ME. So, it appears they now live inside. For the third night in a row, I have loaded them up in the hamster cage and hauled them up the step, and into the house.

Frightened hens

As dusk approaches the usually head to the pen. Not so tonight. They were just hanging out around the back door. I took food to their pen and trilled "Dee-lye-lah," their food signal that usually has them trampling me to run right in front of me, under my feet, in the way! Not so tonight. They went halfway to the pen and headed back to the back door.

Not hungry for cucumbers

These hens will squabble over a cucumber, usually. Not tonight. Even though I was willing to feed them by the door for a change, they just walked around, looking into the closing darkness. They remember the danger in the night when Chessie was savagely murdered in front of them.

Wagon ride

I had pulled the little red wagon with their hamster cage to the pen, hoping they would eventually come get the food. I even sat on the bench close to their pen. No, they want to stay near the back door.

Raccoon food

As I went into the house, I told the hens, "Okay, let a raccoon eat you. Go to your pen." Then, after ten minutes, I felt guilty as I remembered the raccoon was walking around when it was much lighter.

Disappearing hens

They were nowhere in sight when I went down the steps and headed around the house, calling them, hoping they were in the pen. I searched and called, Dee-lye-laaaahhh." over and over.

I could not figure out how one raccoon had spirited away three hens who would probably squawk in fear.

Asleep?

Right next to the steps to the porch they have just demolished the bed where bulbs should be waiting for spring. It is just bare, dark, rich earth. All three hens were sitting in the dirt, settling in for the night. Since they have never had a roost, they don't head for a high spot to retire.

Gotcha

I swooped down and scooped up two hens who were not happy, flapping wings and scratching me. Finally, they acted resigned and became very silent as we approached the pen where the wagon and hamster cage waited. I dumped them in very unceremoniously, slapped the lid shut, and headed back around the house to the other side yard. The back door is really a side door, so that's where we headed. Fancy met us as we came to the corner. As I reached down for her, she neatly side-stepped me and jumped over the tongue of the wagon. She was on the opposite side as I. Very quickly she jumped up on the hamster cage, looking at her sisters.

When I picked her up and dumped her in the cage, all three of them lay down while I drove them to the side door. They lay down as I took them in the house and covered them. The only sound is the snoring of one hen. SAFE. TONIGHT.

Wednesday morning

Going back to 8 AM--Last night (Tuesday night), I had closed my bedroom door and locked the bathroom door that is between my bedroom and the den. As I unlocked the bedroom door and stepped into the den this morning, chaos greeted me. A large portion of the ceiling was down, and all the nasty insulation and rat droppings from the last 60 years was all over the room, especially under the large hole. The raccoon had tried to climb back up and the wall is filthy and scratched.

Garden rake

I still had the garden rake from Tuesday, my only defense, and carried it all over the house this morning, fearful of a raccoon attack. He might just try to go through me to safety. Since the half-dozen squirrels that have made it down the chimney or in beside and ac window unit have made flying leaps for windows and mirrors, smashing into both in an unsuccessful bid for freedom, opening the house for easy egress was the first order of business.  The back door was wide open, so was the window near it, and I removed the window screen. It took forever to open the kitchen window, but a little lithium spray has solved that problem! I took everything off the window sill and removed the lace curtain I made 20 years ago. Yes, I carried the garden rake with me, even into the bathroom.

Animal Control & EXBF

The Animal Control Officer and a policeman responded immediately. They brought a stick with a noose. EXBF was expecting me to call at 8 A.M. and let him know how the night went and if I needed him. He drove 70 miles to help me. They arrived withing ten minutes of each other.

Stirring

I kept poking around the kitchen before they came. You must understand that stuff is stacked in there so that I feared we would never find him. I had to remove items from several rooms inundated with rain from a leaky roof. No, I am not hoarding. Yes, friends have seen it and know what is going on. However, things do get lost! But, I found the raccoon from his faint stirrings as I made a clatter. He was clinging to a chair leg in the most inaccessible corner of the kitchen. 

Sweet Baby

Ha! I had this precious-appearing animal snarl at me like a devil after mewing the sweetest cry. After about 30 minutes of trying to get the noose around his neck and talking over the fact they only had a snake grabber and the larger grabber had disappeared, I suggest my grabber. I just begged them to use their taser on the sweet baby. They said it was against the law. EXBF retrieved my grabber from the trunk and in two minutes, the little monster was caught.

Damage

There was nastiness all over the house, especially the den, and more especially around my chair. Two tables had been cleared of paper I was sorting. Thankfully, I closed my laptop before I went to bed. My tombstone for Halloween has long gashes--character, I call the gashes. A heavy, clean, folded bedspread, fresh from the clotheline has evidence he was climbing on it. This calls for a rewash. I have vacuumed but I still do not have furniture moved and all the paper up from the floor that he strew in his frantic attempt to get back up to the ceiling. It's just disgusting and probably unhealthy.

Failed repair

EXbf and I tried to repair the damage before trying to clean since the nastiness around the hole would just continue to come down. Then, we just taped a garbage bag over the hole. We argued the whole time.

Sardines, yum, yum

I went out tonight to get sardines to refresh the trap bait which was already sardines and tuna. No, these sardines smell too good to waste on a raccoon. So, the raccoon got one bite and all the oil. The sardines tasted as good as they smelled.

Lace curtain

About twenty years ago, I made a lace curtain for the kitchen window. I wanted to see out and have light. Since I took down the tension rod and the curtain today, I washed it and the backdoor curtain. Do you know how factory lace is made? It looks like yard goods, very wide and solid, rows upon rows of lace all ready to be cut apart. Since I bought this by the pound, the curtain may have cost me 15 cents. By using a piece of lace from another piece and making a fake miter at the corners, I managed to make a lace curtain with the scallop on both sides and the bottom.

Washing a lace ribbon curtain

No, that is not how it started. But, when it came from the wash, it was just pieces of lace attached to a header! Now, I have no kitchen curtain.

My favorite kind of raccoon

Real RaccoonTail Hat

Bummer

As Dobie Gillis said, "Bummer." That has been my day. Now, I have to go to bed, unsure that the Mama raccoon will not come down this hole tonight. I am sure she will just rip my hens apart. I would carry them into the bedroom, but one of the hens snores!

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Has anyone had such a horrific home invasion by raccoons?

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