We have a cat flap, so we’re used to coming down in the morning to find cats that aren’t ours have stayed the night in our house. In fact, it’s how our most recent cat wormed his way into our household we made a conscious decision to adopt our latest cat.
Raccoons are a first though.
My dad found him one morning, IN OUR HOUSE, eating cat food straight from the dish. He had apparently been driven to desperation after we hid the bag of cat food in the garage out of reach.
In addition to stealing cat food, our furry friend had opened the pantry and dug out all our chip bags. Crumbs and cellophane, everywhere. We were also missing hamburger buns. We found them later—in the basement.
In light of this incident, we decided it might be best to start locking the cat door at night.
A couple evenings ago, I was up late. I heard something come through the cat flap and start munching on cat food. I knew both our cats were inside. I waited, and when all was silent I went into the laundry room.
It was as good a time as any to lock the door for the night.
I went back to my book. Fifteen minutes later, there was a panicked, frantic, scratching sound. Our cat Snowman sat at the entrance to the laundry room looking alarmed. I ran over, peered inside, and looking back at me, trapped inside the house, was a raccoon.
Of course I did the rational thing. I grabbed Snowman and sprinted through the house screaming RACCOON IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!
I woke up my dad and told him to get it. Of course, in my haste to save the cat—and my exposed toes—from rabies, I had forgotten to shut the laundry room door. So by the time my dad made it downstairs, the raccoon had vanished.
My mom and I bravely checked under all the beds upstairs while my dad prowled around the rest of the house with a broom. When we had cleared the upstairs, my mom and I waited cowering on the stairs for news. It was a highly stressful half hour.
We never found the raccoon. That night, we slept with all the bedroom doors shut, cat door unlocked in the hopes he would sneak out before we woke up. We assume he is gone now, but for all we know he’s down in the dark, shadowy recesses of the crawlspace, waiting.