Saturday, May 24, 2008

They Only Come Out At Night...Wrong!
This post started out with a different name and completely different subject matter. I was going to talk about something I was knitting on, but then there was a really shocking event and that threw my whole weekend out of whack.

I have four very noisy dogs and bark for no reason at all. The wind shifts, they bark. A blade of grass moves, they bark. Saturday after listening to endless minutes of barking, I finally got up and looked out the window in the living room. I thought I was seeing things when I saw this...

I went outside and nearly had a heart attack when I realized that the little fuzzy thing on the roof was a baby raccoon. Last year we knew a mother raccoon had nested in the attic in the house next door. The owner of the house bought the place in 1999 and has never lived in the house. We are perplexed as to why this man bought a house he has no intentions of living in. Better yet, he doesn't seem interested in taking care of the house. Hence the two holes on opposite sides of the house up under the eves. Momma had a litter last year and sadly one of my dogs got a baby who was a little too curious about the world outside the nest.

I knew that something was wrong when I saw a baby raccoon at 4:30 in the afternoon. We watched the baby for 2 hours while discussing the whereabouts of the mother. Something was really wrong, but we didn't know just how wrong until we went next door to tell the neighbors that there was a baby raccoon on the roof . The person who is currently a renter could care less about animals period. So it wasn't much of a surprise that he resisted calling someone to get the baby off the roof. So being the animal lover that I am, a two story ladder was thrown up against the house and two neighbors (not the bonehead who lives in the house) rescued two baby raccoons. As soon as the two squiggly babies were put in a cage, two more heads popped out. It was getting dark so we gave up. While talking to yet another neighbor, we discovered that he had captured the mother and she was handed over to Animal Control. Animal Control put her down for fear that she was a carrier of rabies. The neighbor didn't know that would happen to her. He was under he impression that she would be turned loose someplace in the woods. He also didn't know she has a nest with four babies. So he was a determined as we were to get those babies to a safe place. I placed a call to a Wildlife Rescue group and a vet tech agreed to take all four providing we could get the remaining babies. Two very skinny babies were handed off to a loving volunteer. The babies mother has been dead for over a week so the baby's have had no food or water for that time.

We tried for three nights to get the other two babies but were not successful. Last night we banged on the side of the house, brought food and water to the hole on the second story. No luck. We were all afraid time had run out for the last two. We talked the renter into letting us go into his attic and see what happened to the other two babies. Two very brave guys climbed up a ladder inside a closet with flashlights to check out the attic. No babies. The nest was empty. We have no idea what happened to the babies or where they went. Where ever they are, we hoping that if someone finds them they will call a Wildlife Rescue group and let them take care of the babies. I am keeping positive thoughts about what happened to them.5/28/08
Sadly there is an update to this story that I hadn't wanted. Yesterday morning the renter next door came over to my house at 7:30 in the morning to tell me there was very wet and cold baby at his door and to come get it. I threw on some clothes and dashed out in the pouring rain to scoop up a near dead baby. I tried to dry it off and give it comfort but sadly it was too weak to fight off the rain and the cold and died. There is another baby out in someones yard but we haven't heard anything about it and I have to assume that baby number four will not have a long life since it was malnourished and is just too young to survive outside the nest on it's own. I wasn't going to post such sad news but it really is all about the circle of life and how we have forced Mother Nature's creatures to try and adapt to living in our subdivisions that were built in their neighborhood. The renter got up on the ladder yesterday to try and start patching the hole on one side of the roof. I am hoping we don't have to go through this next year. It was fun watching the babies but the sad ending only drives home the point to me that we are all guests on this earth and it is our responsibility to make sure that we are good stewards.

Since everyone I have heard from is amazed about how the babies got to where they were, let me add some more shots that I took while we were trying to figure out how to get them down from the eve over the roof.

Here is a shot from the ground of two of the babies thinking about how to escape. This is a two story house and the one outside the house is sitting on a corner piece of siding that is about the thickness of a nickel. One piece was missing and he is digging his little nails into the wood trying to stay up there. No, one one fell because after deciding there were only two places to go, the one hanging by his toenail got talked into coming back in by the other sibling. So what you are looking at here is the sibling number one looking down at us and sibling number two changing his mind (you are looking as his rear end tyring to climb back in). It was a comedy act provided by mother nature! How could someone not want to help these guys??


Wool Winder said...

Hopefully the hole is patched and this won't happen next year.

jane knitter said...

This just proves you are the warm and loving person with a ginormous heart that I thought you were. You make my heart warm. I, too, am sorry for the outcome but happy the first 2 found a good steward. Romelda

vlb5757 said...

WW-If he doesn't patch those holes, we are going to do it ourselves. Yes, we could get into trouble but I would rather not see babies die because someone didn't take care of their property. I don't think that my heart can take another weekend like we just had.

Jane Knitter-I hardly know what to say. You know I am not ever at a lose for words...I hope that we find the other baby, but I am not so hopeful as I was the other day. I try to do the right things but don't always succeed.

Tina T-P said...

So good of you to intervene and save those little guys - so sad about the other two, but you did what you could. Good for you! T.

zigeunerin said...

I'm glad you could save two of them, the poor things! It's good you were there. You are so right - it does make you think about what we have done to the habitat of these little guys.