First, there was the tale (tail?) of the chipmunk phobia. (For a quick recap, I was bit by one as a young child. Two weeks of daily shots of rabies vaccine straight into the abdomen will make a person steer clear of these seemingly innocent rodents.) Then, there was the squirrel who wouldn't let me out of the studio one evening. For the record, I was alone. Every time I tried to make a break for the exit, it darted in front of me and ran back and forth like a deranged animal gone mad. Seriously.
Imagine my delight in hearing about the latest visitor to the studio. No one was more thrilled than me to hear that a mama raccoon and her offspring had decided to take up residence in the ceiling above the studio.
It all began with a Sunday evening phone call from my mom. It seemed as though a baby raccoon had fallen through a ceiling tile in a room that is currently being used for storage.
Enter Bob. Bob is a man who "removes nusiance wildlife" for a living. Since our first meeting, we have since realized that Bob IS nusiance wildlife. But, I digress.
Bob came swooping in, grabbed up that baby raccoon by the scruff of its neck and headed out to his truck. And who do you think was there to greet Bob?
Mama raccoon. Mama promptly bit Bob in the leg, which sent the baby flying out of his hands. Mama scooped up her pup (are baby raccoons pups?) and ran off with the baby. Straight underneath the deck of the studio.
Current score is: Bob 0
My parents: 0
Days later, I got a phone call on my cell phone. The connection wasn't good, but I could make out my mom's voice. In between points of static, I heard the words " . . . raccoon . . . garbage can . . . trapped . . . hurry."
Because I love the possibility of meeting with small animals face to face, I hurried to the studio-right after I did my grocery shopping for a month, fixed a turkey for dinner, got the car washed and vacuumed, sat in a mile-long line at Starbuck's for a glass of water and made my New Year's resolutions for 2010. I couldn't wait to get to the studio.
Eventually, I arrived and cautiously opened the door.
"Mom?" I called out.
"In here!" she yelled back. As I wandered into the office that we share, I saw debris all over the desk. My desk. Just off to the side was my mom. Victorious and elated. She had one foot firmly planted alongside a garbage can on its side, open end up against the wall. She pumped her fist victoriously in the air.
"I got him!!!!" she chortled. Apparently, a baby raccoon had fallen through the ceiling tile and my mom was having none of it. Somehow, she got him trapped inside the garbage can. She stood next to that can until Bob arrived to deposit the raccoon into a cage waiting outside.
Her next catch was a few days later. This time, another baby had fallen through a bathroom ceiling tile. Thankfully, the door to the bathroom had been closed when the fall occurred. Imagine her surprise when she'd opened the door to discover the little guy. Or girl. Another call to Bob was made. He arrived to grab the hissing, growling raccoon by the nape of its neck and stuff it in a cage . . . all while it made a nasty mess through the cage all the way out the door. Thing 2 was there for this capture and I wish I'd had a photo of her face. Her eyes were wide with amazement and as soon as the raccoon was out of the building, she started giggling.
"Mommy," she laughed, "it went potty all over the floor!"
One week ago, Nanna and Papa Dean were in the middle of teaching a ballroom class when all of a sudden, two babies came tumbling out of the studio ceiling. Thanks to some quick moving folks, they helped to get the babies cornered and ultimately trapped. After moving them out to the deck, mama raccoon showed up to attempt a rescue. Greed eventually got the best of her and she ended up in a trap that Papa Dean had set for her. Ah, sweet victory!
Mom, Dad and Ballroom Class: 3
It seemed as though one baby raccoon remained. It also seemed that Papa Dean got him trapped yesterday. Yay!!!! Upon hearing the news, I knew I had to get a photo. This was blogworthy stuff. (Are you even still reading this?) As my big brave strong father reached for the trap (which was set up in the ceiling where it's dark and scary), I could hear growling and major displeasure coming from the animal from above. Nothing good could come of this and I imagined the potential conversation with my mom-should her sweet husband get bit or eaten alive by this wild savage beast-all in the name of helping me get my photo. I hoped she would forgive me if it came to that.
So . . . at long last, I share a photo of the face that only a mother could love.
Mind you, not MY mother! His mother. (Or her mother).
So, here the baby waits outside on the deck for Bob.
Final score: Bob: 0
Mom and Dad: 6