Monday, January 5, 2009

Raccoon's Demise

Those of you who have lived in Oklahoma all of your lives will probably understand this post. Those of you who live in rural Oklahoma will not be surprised by this. I have lived in rural Oklahoma all of my life. Right now we live in a small rural town of about 3000 population. We even live out in the country of this town to make it even more rural. So perhaps you can imagine the setting of this story.
When we first got married nearly 34 years ago, we lived in an even smaller town of about 300.  We lived out in the country of this town.  So think very, very rural.  We have always had cats.  We had indoor cats that were able to come and go outside but mostly lived in the house.  We kept their shots up so they wouldn't get rabies.  For eight years they continued to live inside our home.  
When our first child was born, we decided that the cats should not live in the house anymore.  We had three at the time, two girls and one tom.  It was hard seeing them outside wanting to come in but we thought it best.  And if you live in the country you realize there are plenty of dogs and cats who do not live in houses.  We have kept many stray cats through the years.  We provide food and water and a sheltered house for them to live in but this is outside.
Now back to the present situation.  About three or four years ago, we were coming home from church on a Wednesday night.  We were walking towards our front door when we heard the faintest mew coming from across the road.  It was a tiny baby kitten.  I picked her up and brought her in the house and that is where she has lived ever since.  She never goes outside.  She is our indoor kitty.  But I have five cats that do live outside.  Two older females, one stray tom that we took in as a starving kitten, and two six month old kittens that are brother and sister.  
Now if you live in a rural area and have cat food outside, you are going to attract skunks, opossums, and raccoons.  Last year a mama raccoon started coming late at night to finish off the cat's food.  I allowed her to eat because I felt sorry for her because she was obviously nursing her many young.  Later, we started getting visits from her and her six young ones.  They came every night for the past year.  We even saw the dad visiting too.  So at times there were eight raccoons on our back porch.  
Now cats tolerate wild animals because they don't know any better than to run from them.  So the outdoors cats would stay on the porch or in their heated igloo house.  This worked out fine.  We got to watch a few raccoons and it was enjoyable.
Now living in rural Oklahoma you would understand that there are very many hunters and trappers.  All my brothers and my dad hunted, fished, and trapped.  One of my brothers still traps beavers, raccoons, and muskrats for the furs.  
My brother wanted to trap the coons in a live trap but I never did have him do it.  I guess I should have. 
For the past few weeks, we have only been having visits from one raccoon.  The one in the picture above.  Our baby girl kitty who is about six months old always stayed in the igloo which is on the porch next to the sliding glass doors of our dining room.  One night we were sitting in the dining room watching the raccoon eat the cat food.  The raccoon went into the igloo and I knocked on the glass door to get its attention and keep it from bothering my kitty.  The raccoon came out of the igloo and left.  Then a few nights later about 3 in the morning my son heard a fight going on.  He ran to put a stop to it and saw the raccoon wrestling with my girl kitty.  He got the baseball bat and the raccoon ran away.  The kitty was quite shaken up and we still haven't determined her injuries.  I can't find any blood signs, but she is certainly sore and afraid.  We have brought her into the house and will take her to the vet today.
This is the part about the raccoon's demise.  I understand that the photo of the dead raccoon is disturbing.  But once again, if you live in rural Oklahoma, you could possibly understand.  Something had to be done.  We set the food bowl in the yard with a metal bowl on top of it to make noise when the raccoon visited the next night.  My husband waited until he showed up and shot him in the head with a .22 rifle.  It was a clean shot.  It was sad but it had to happen.  


ashpags said...

Aw, poor kitty! I don't feel very sorry for the raccoon...they are nothing but troublemakers in our part of TX, getting into the trash and scattering it all over the driveway, which just attracts more critters. Luckily we don't have bears (that's the first thing I think of after many summers in bear country, haha) or it could be dangerous, not just a nuisance. I hope you don't have any more problems with them! said...

If he was attacking your pets, that's a totally justified reaction.

Egghead said...

I would have done the same thing. We have racoons constantly pestering the hens. In fact they can be quite in growling and such. It is kind of scary when it is dark and I walk down to the chicken coop and hear a mean growling. I don't like the little stinkers.

Karmyn R said...

It is not just Oklahoma - but we get raccoon problems here too. Once seriously injured our cat once. It was horrible. The neighbor had to shoot them all the time. Those coons get very aggressive!

Junebug said...

Yes, the baby coons would fight with each other when eating and it was kindof cute but they are a mean and aggressive wild animal really. They can also carry rabies and not have it. Scary.

Pamela said...

I've seen the neighborhood sniff noses with one of the "outdoor cats" that live on the next street.
For some reason I don't see them come into my yard.

I DID see an opossum one morning - and I was freaked out.

WT said...

That's life (and death). My problems are with foxes, speaking of which, I haven't' seen one of my cats for over 2 weeks now.

I live outside of a town that has a population of 165.

Kila said...

See, it's who you're connected to that matters. The kitty had better connections ;)

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's life! Sometimes these things are necessary :o)

A Spot of T said...

We don't get racoons here but we have fox around that cause neighbours with small animals quite a bit of heartache. We have to do what we have to do to protect our animals.

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