Operation Raccoon Rescue

Hon, remember how I found two orphaned raccoon kits the other day? Well, guess what? I found two more! (see Coon Mama Jama Take 2)

Later that same night, I went outside and heard squeaks. I followed the noise and discovered two more baby raccoons hiding behind a trash can. I picked one up without much fuss and deposited it in the bathroom with the first two.

When I tried to retrieve the smallest, it was clinging to the bottom of the trash can. Poor thing! I pried it off, holding it at arms length since it was snapping and shrieking an ear-splitting shriek!

I rushed the screaming, writhing, biting kit to the bathroom. It was disturbing the peace.  When I tried placing it next to a sibling, it was rejected. Awww. 

The runt of the litter.

You won’t believe what happened next.

I swaddled the terrified kit, talked quietly and sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Sound crazy?  Maybe, but the kit calmed down, actually falling asleep in my hands! Whew. (Deja vu to triplet babies and calming down our smallest.)

Two of the four babies were comfortable (or tired) enough to fall asleep, breathing heavily. The third, who’d been trembling, looked at me as if to say, “I guess this giant isn’t going to hurt me.” I transferred the fourth, still swaddled in a towel, into a cat carrier and shut the lights. You know what? They slept the whole night. Not a peep!

The next morning, four kits were cuddling. No one complained when I told them it was just me. One night inside, and their wet fur had dried and turned fluffy again.

I spoke with our town’s Animal Control guy who assured me that he works with the Animal Clinic of Morris Plains. “I got into this business because I like animals,” said Joe. When he came by to pick them up, I handed him each kit saying, “I’m in the wrong line of work.”

His response? “I don’t know what you do, but you are!”

Midnight the Barn Cat Needs a New Name

Midnight the Barn Cat is the newest addition to our household. As a young kitten, he’d shown up at a friend’s house in February. She not only fed him and created a winter shelter, she’d gotten him neutered and vaccinated. This summer, she searched for a new home for the approximately 8-month old kitten. She was moving  out of state and he wasn’t going with her.

Since I live in an historic Victorian farmhouse, circa 1882, I have a barn–albeit a small barn–that once housed a horse stall and still has a hayloft. It would be the perfect shelter for a partially socialized, soon-to-be-homeless kitten. Midnight the Barn Cat moved in.

So did raccoons! Every night, the raccoons had what I called “a party in the barn,” also known as a poop-fest! Yuck!

It’s not like I dislike raccoons; in fact, years ago when the triplets were babies, I bonded with a mommy raccoon who also had triplets. I’d wake up at the crack of dawn to feed my three infants at the same time a mommy raccoon was about to go to bed for the day. The raccoons’ tree stood near the window to my babies’ room and their “door” was wide open. The kits whined for one last drink, one last snack, and one last story. The mommy raccoon exhaustively begged her rambunctious babies to go the !*@#*! to bed.

And did you see my post, Coon Mama Jama, about trying to save a week-old, eyes-not-open-yet kit? But, I digress.

The raccoons in the barn ate Midnight the Barn Cat’s food, tramped their muddy feet over stored furniture and, worst of all, left their “evidence.” So, I cleaned up the mess and closed up the barn.

This is why Midnight the Barn Cat needs a new name!