Sunday, April 24, 2011

Raccoons In My Basement!!!

Ben Franklin once said that a stitch in time saves nine--but what if you can't afford a needle and thread until nine (minimum) stitches are needed!?!

I'm well aware that the ceiling has fallen to the floor--piece-by-piece--on my enclosed front porch.  I'm further aware that I could really use a new door to said porch, as the bottom of the one there now has curled up like bacon in a hot skillet, leaving plenty of room for critters to enter.

Furthermore, I'm aware that the demise of the ceiling has left a place where critters can have easy access to my attic as well.

I know that the hole is big enough for a bird to get into, as it not only got in there but, also, made its way under the gap between the door and the floor going into my living room.  I had at least one bird as a regular guest--discovered the first time when I was sitting here in my home office and caught a glimpse of it flying around in my kitchen.

Since then, I've seen it flying around my living room on at least two other occasions--and saw how it got in and out through the gap under the inside door after getting in the hole at the bottom of my outside door.

Frequently, I hear critters running around the various ducts and inside my walls.

To top that all off, there's evidence that more than one raccoon likes to explore my basement and move things around a bit.

It just so happens that my water softener is in my basement, so the salt man goes in there monthly to maintain it.

Now, my basement door has no holes in it, and it has never been left even the least bit ajar without somebody being there, so this isn't where the raccoons gain access.

From the sounds I hear, I suspect that they get in through the hole that had once been covered by the ceiling of my enclosed front porch, make their way into the attic (climbing up there), and work their way through the walls and ducts to reach the basement.  To get out, they just do everything in reverse.

Anyway, it's not going to be much longer before my goddaughter and her crew will be making some overdue repairs, and all my little wild things will be staying outside where they belong!

Anyway, I had been hearing these strange sounds in my walls and ducts for ages before the salt man arrived one morning and couldn't get the door to open for him.  Thinking that it was stuck, he gave it a push and heard things falling inside of the basement.

When he got in there, he saw several boxes lying in a heap on the floor.

The entire basement looked as if a tornado had gone through it.

The salt man said that he saw a pawprint that looked as if it belonged to a raccoon.

Things had been moved about so much that he had to blaze a trail to the water softener.

Recently, I was lying in bed watching TV when I began to hear bumping sounds coming from the basement.  It was actually a combination of bumping and grinding sounds like furniture both being moved and knocked over.

This went on and on and on, and I could just imagine what kind of a mess those blasted raccoons were leaving in their wake!!!

I finally drifted off to sleep and woke up a few hours later.

When I talked to my mom, she asked me if the thunderstorm had kept me awake, and I asked her what thunderstorm she was talking about.  I said that, if there had been a thunderstorm, I must have slept right through it, and she told me that she didn't see how, as it seemed to be right over my place judging from where she saw the lightning, and that it was plenty loud where she was a hundred or so feet away.

I told her that I must have been in a very deep stage of sleep at the time that it went through.

All at once, I realized that I must have been in such a deep sleep that the thunder hadn't awakened me completely but that it had entered my dreams.

In other words, when I thought that I was awake and listening to the raccoons in my basement, I was actually sound asleep.  They were part of a dream, and the thunderstorm was providing the sound effects of things being moved around and falling here and there!