RIP Ricky Raccoon

So, I come home from work yesterday to find a strong and foul odor filling my house.  It is so bad, that I just KNOW that a cat has died in the attic or something (our house is on a solid foundation).  So I resign myself to the grim job of dealing with this issue, and contact the landlord:  my mom.  I figure that between her and I, we know someone that can help out (I am not “crawling in the attic” material).

Lucky for me, she was headed to my house to drop off my son.  Even luckier, a neighbor of mine that she knows was outside when she drove by.  Even luckier:  he was in need of $50.  That was about the point that my luck ran out.

I had the guy crawl around the attic, and he kept yelling down, “You know, you just can’t smell it over here.  Not like you can back in your laundry room”.  Great.  My laundry room is at the back of the house, and has the sheet rock a mere 6″ away from the roof.  This means we had to go on a fishing expedition to figure out what sheetrock had to be removed to gain access.

I will spare you all the gory, maggot filled details…but we found it was not a cat.  It was a raccoon.  I live kind of on the edge of some wilderness area (I see foxes, deer, coyotes, and possums over my back fence fairly regularly), so having a raccoon up there would make sense, in a strange sort of way.  Turns out, he has been residing there for quite some time, in a 6’X10′ piece of my ceiling.  The smell of death in my laundry room is gone this morning (I left the back door open all night to let it air out).  But the smell of raccoon musk punches you in the nose when you go in there.

I took out two pieces of ceiling, quickly finding the raccoon after we took out the first (he was just a foot away from where we cut, on the other side of the rafter).  So this morning I will either be doing some sheetrock work on my ceiling, or having someone else who is desperate for $100 to put it up and patch the hole that the raccoon got through under the eave.

You forget, living in the desert, that there is still ample wildlife.  I got a smelly and grim reminder from my now deceased (and unknown) tenant.


2 Responses to “RIP Ricky Raccoon”

  1. When I got back to the house last night, I could not go to sleep. I worried that the noise we had to make kept my daughter in law from resting before she had to go to work. Then ANY pain my children feel, no matter how “grown up” they are, hurts my heart. I just felt bad that my son and his family were having to deal with this horror. I felt bad for the young man that helped with the removal and last of all I felt sad that the Raccoon had met with such an undignified lonely demise. I say last of all, but really the last of all was just feeling bad for myself, like I could have done something to prevent this because we all know I am “Super Mom”.
    This is of course, irrational on my part and I DO realize that, but my mind whirled with all of the thoughts of what happened and how we were going to fix it. Finally I said a prayer and took a Xanax. I slept very well, but had dreams about it. Thankfully it is repaired now and hopefully he did not have any brothers up there with him!

    • You know, i have thought an awful lot about how he died. It DOES seem lonely, and unnecessary. Of course, animals won’t cry out for help because fear runs most of their actions. But how happy I would have been to help him get free…if only he knew.

      Then seeing all that he left behind….makes me wonder if he wasn’t actually living up there for the past several months. There was a TON of cracked acorns, likely gathered through a small hole that his hand could fit through, where the acorns collect in the corner of the roof. The really, really hot summer endured…surely he wasn’t there during a West Texas summer. No way. He had to have had a way out.

      But there were so many broken acorn shells up there.

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