Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Raccoons on the Roof and Things that go Bump in the Night

Okay. I determined early on to make my site a place for news, reviews, and professional writer type stuff. Then, I needed to vent.

I often joke about living "off the paved road" and being "queen of the trailer park," however it is no joke. I live exactly twenty-three miles to the nearest Walmart (might as well be one hundred, in my book). When you live that far away, you have a tendency to clock distances, to remind yourself how far you are from civilization, or rather, Walmart, a major outpost.

"Country" doesn't even begin to describe where I live. Like the settlers of old, I've discovered a very important fact about the little niche of wilderness I've carved out for myself -- I am not alone  My new home is somebody else's old home. And that somebody, or rather those somebodies, don't intend to give up without a fight.

Now the deer and her annual fawns are lovely and harmless, and think anything I try to plant is a gift. They check my flowerbeds often for new offerings.

Then there's "the thing that lived under the house." I was sitting in my living room at eleven PM, reading, the first time it "came home," by getting in God knows where and jumping on the ductwork to settle in. At first I made it a deal, "You stay on your side of the floor, and I'll stay on mine." When months progressed and, like clockwork, clang went the vents every night at eleven, I considered charging it rent. Coworkers often asked about my roommate. It turns out to have been a feral tom cat, later trapped and taken to the Humane Society by a neighbor. Oh, yeah. Here "neighbors" live about a half mile away, or the non-furry ones, anyway.

Ever get woken from a sound sleep by a bobcat's argument with an owl? The indigenous wildlife is quite wild, yipping, yowling, howling, scurrying, traipsing, barking... you name it, it's what kept you up last night.

Now even if they are a bit annoying, most of my fur-neighbors have a little respect for me. When I open the door, they skedaddle. Except for one. I slammed and locked the back door, heading to my car by the weak glow of the porch light, nothing on my mind but getting to work on time. SOMETHING rustled the leaves nearby. (Oh, did I mention the fur neighbors 'rustled' too?) This one didn't run when I approached. In fact, he stood his ground with a vengeance. I hopped in the car and locked the door - just in the nick of time. It took a week for the skunk spray to clear out of the car and house, but at least it wasn't a direct hit on me.

And who knew that two raccoons fighting on the roof of your house made such a gawdawful racket! Doesn't anything around here but me sleep through the night?

Well, I thought I'd come to a delicate truce with the locals until...."the thing that lives in the walls" moved in. Nothing will have you sleeping with the light on quite like scritch, scritch, scritch (yeah, they scritch, too!) inside your walls at night. Oh wait! Is it in the heating duct? Will it get in?

If this wasn't a pet-free place I swear I'd have a dozen cats. (Is it too late to get the feral back? I mean, I really didn't mind him waking me up every night. Much.) And a Rottweiler. With no other recourse, I've resorted to technology. I've bought some of those electronic thingys that are supposed to drive out pests. Tune in next time to either a post that says, "I won!" or instructions on where to forward my mail.


  1. Ack! It could be so many different things in the walls - squirrels, mice, bats... O.o

  2. The electronic gizmo should get them (I hope!). It's not bats; I know what they sound like and they wouldn't be in there at 9 at night. I worry about possums. They're mean.

  3. Sorry, hon. This is where you need a were-wolf friend to hunt the damned thing. (Um, plot bunny?)

  4. Snerk. I already have a plot bunny pic to work on from Eyre's site. It's just begging for a story. However, Noah and Jeremy are hounding me, too.

  5. Should I tell you about this book, then? Wolves in the Walls...seems fitting...

    Not that I hope you have wolves in your walls.

  6. No, I definitely don't want wolves in my walls! But you're right; that is very fitting.