I finally make it back to the couch and turn my movie back on. I get settled in all comfy and start enjoying the movie. Then the weird noises start. Let's remember I'm already on edge. Well, a couple of times I thought I heard a door open, like one of the inside doors, maybe to Mike's office, and I figure it's just Sean getting home from Scouts. Except I didn't hear his car pull up or the outer door open. And each time I get up to check-- no one is there. So I tell myself it's just the cats pawing at the door to the downstairs because they don't like being shut down there at night.
Then I hear a scratching at the back door. And I figure it's just our outside cat, wanting to come in. So I try to ignore it. Then it becomes a frantic, scratching, loud noise. So I get off the couch and walk to the back door. The kitchen is pretty dark, only the light over the stove is on and it's dark outside. It sounds like the stupid cat got itself stuck between the screen and the door. So I open the door. (You were all screaming at your screens, yelling, "DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!" weren't you?)
Well, I did. I looked down at the animal at my feet and, in the time it took me to realize that it was not my black and white cat, it took my measure and darted between my legs, racing through the kitchen.
Me: Shhh. It's okay little guy (little guy? This thing was bigger than my biggest cat and he's huge.) I'm not going to hurt you, okay? Let's just figure out how we can get you back inside.
So I run to the phone.
Me: Where are you?
Sean: On the gravel, almost home. Why?
Me: There's a raccoon in the house!
Him: Shit! Okay. I'm almost there. Stay away from it, those things are vicious.
Me: I've got it trapped in the hallway.
So he hangs up. I go into the kitchen to look for some food and grab a piece of cheese. (Don't even ask why that was what I grabbed) And I take the cheese to the raccoon and kind of wave it in front of him. Then I tear it into pieces and make a trail from where he is around the corner and to Mike's office, thinking if I get him that far I can open the door and shoo him out. Then I climb up on Mike's desk to wait. No movement from the raccoon.
Sean comes busting through the door and says,
Sean: Where is it?
Me: around the corner on top of the door frame.
Sean: Do you know how it got in?
Me: Um. Well, yeah. It knocked and I let it in.
Sean: *giving me his patented "you're the stupidest person on the face of the planet look"* You let it in?
Me: Um. Yeah. I thought it was the cat.
Sean: It doesn't look anything like the cat.
Me: It was dark!
So he starts to walk around the corner.
Sean: Holy hell, what happened to your cheese? It's all over the place!
Me: I was trying to lure the raccoon.
Sean: With cheese?
Me: It's in the rodent family, right?
*again with the look*
Sean: Get in the kitchen.
He opens both doors to Mike's office. And gets a broom from my pantry. I hop the baby gate into the kitchen.
Me: What are you going to do?
Sean: I'm going to knock it off the door frame and chase it outside.
Me: You can't knock it down! It'll get hurt.
Sean: No it won't. They're like cats, it'll land on it's feet.
And then he yells, "HUZZAH!" And he knocks down the raccoon, chases it through Mike's office with the broom, hitting it in the butt, and onto the steps, where he does some crazy victory dance.
Me: Well, I don't think we have to worry about him coming back. He's probably telling all his buddies not to go to the big house. That crazy lady tried to feed him cheese.
Sean: No. Now it's going to be like a right of passage for all the teenage raccoons. Dare you to go up to the house and scratch at the door! And then they'll run away.
Me: F*ck. I'll constantly be opening the door and nothing will be there.
The movie? Oh yeah. I finished it the next day. And while this happening was hilarious, the raccoon party on my deck the next night was not. They dug through all of my pots and threw dirt everywhere. Thankfully, I'm such a procrastinator that I hadn't even planted anything yet. (Go me!) They also managed to knock over a garbage can and get the garbage everywhere. So I had to go get a tough one, with a strong lid and bungee cords to hold it down. And I'll fix their "pot" parties. I've got a topsy turvy planter. Take that, raccoons!
Moral of the story? That's not always opportunity knocking on your door. Sometimes it's local wildlife.