Around 11 pm last night The General baited the trap with a reheated bratwurst, certain that would entice and therefore trap the rodent. He set the trap in the backyard near the porch, and we went back inside to wait. About an hour later we both heard a loud clap, and The General raised his arms in victory certain that he had caught his prey. Unfortunately, the sound we heard was only the midnight rumblings of our wanted house guest. Last week I put up some left over landscaping cement borders along the edge of the porch where the raccoon enters and exits his little den in a vain attempt to keep him locked out. It didn't work, and Big Boy was obviously a little clumsy last night - perhaps drunk on the smell of a decadent dinner waiting for him - and the sound we heard was him knocking over three of the blocks. The General rushed out to the porch to investigate, shining his flashlight on the trap and down toward the patio pavers when we were suddenly startled by a low growling from a trapped Earl(ene).
Pay no attention to the poor condition of our porch - I'm fully aware that it needs repainted, but I'm not about to willingly stand in front of a rabid raccoon's lair leaving my ankles totally exposed to a potential attack. I'll leave that to The General during his summer vacation.
To say we both startled would be a bit of an understatement. I ran back into the house from my spot hovering in the door frame, and The General jumped back and made his way into the house right after me. Earl(ene) was definitely on the defensive, and when I mentioned how scary that encounter was The General's reply was, "Yeah, I almost peed my pants a little". Of course this didn't stop him from continued tormenting from another vantage point, this one from the back door of our attached garage. Continued snarls and growls were directed his way, so The General soon left the raccoon alone and came back inside to wait for the Big Moment.
I finally went to bed in the early morning hours, and as I was trying to fall asleep I thought I heard unusual noises coming from the backyard. I wondered if maybe The General had succeeded in his task, and subsequently wondered what in the world I was going to do if I walked into the kitchen in the morning to find a trapped raccoon in my backyard. I also fretted about the actual disposal of the animal, rewinding in my head The General's use of words like "maul" when asked what he was going to do with it once it was caught and silently panicked about the fate of this poor animal.
But alas, my worries went unfounded for instead of finding a caged animal I woke up to this:
Trap over turned rendering the trigger useless, brat gone, no raccoon. And to add insult to injury he left a calling card to let us know that we are dealing with one bad ass raccoon who means business.
Two giant raccoon droppings right where the girls play, steps away from where he lives and close to where the trap had been waiting for him.
That little bastard.
Now it's war. I'm not sure if The General saw the aftermath of his first attempt at animal control before he went to bed last night, but something tells me he won't be impressed. Or maybe he will - you know, sort of like a feeling of mutual respect among competitors - given this raccoon's obvious genius. For me, I'm now living in fear for we're probably now dealing with a rodent with a vendetta. I'm afraid to let the girls play on their swing set positioned near the back porch for fear that the raccoon will pose a sniper attack on one of them. Maybe we're not dealing with a raccoon working with a full deck, you know? Maybe he'll make a statement by making an innocent victim out of one of our daughters.
All I know is that I'm no longer concerned about methods of termination once this thing is caught. Pooping in my yard is taking things too far. Bring it on, homeboy.
Bring. It. On.
This Just In: The General reports that we're dealing with a possible mutiny. What we believed to be one raccoon is actually at least four (4) raccoons. When asked if they were babies The General stated that they definitely aren't babies, but are smaller than the adult raccoon. He has an action plan already in place for tonight, and his words to me were, "The good news is that we get to use the small trap, too". God help us all.