Back in 2001, I was living in this run down motel – you can see the door to my room under the carport. It wasn’t the best place to live but was better than the basement of a so called buddy who turned out to be a drug dealer.
Directly behind this motel you can see a tree line over a small creek inhabited by numerous relatives such as possums, snakes, spiders, voles and best of all raccoons. At night, I could hear them prowling around under the carport so I started leaving little bits of food out for them. At first only one or two would come by but word spread and soon enough I have nine every evening. My favorite was Karate Koon.
Meet Karate Koon. Not sure whether he was trying to high-five me or give me a good chop but he was upset. He settled down and I put out a bowl of dog food for him. Also had to put out a bowl of water because raccoons like to moisten their food before eating it. Some say they’re washing it and that could be true also but since no one has gotten a direct answer from a raccoon when asking this question, we’ll go with – who knows why they do it?
One night, as I was watching some of the raccoons feed I noticed one staying up along the hedgerow seemingly afraid to come eat. I watched her for a while then realized both he front arms were broken. She couldn’t pick up food to eat.
I called a friend of mine who is an expert on raccoons who brought me a live trap cage and told me how to trap my injured friend. The first night I put it out all the other raccoons avoided it except for Miss Star (yep, I named her) who went directly into the cage as though she knew I was trying to help.
I brought Miss Star into my room, fed her and made sure she had fresh water for the night. In the morning my friend came by to pick her up and take her to the veterinarian who confirmed my suspicions about her arms being fractured. The veterinarian surgically repaired Miss Star’s arms and my friend paid for any extra expenses and kept her until her wounds healed.
When Miss Star was returned to me, she was feisty but actually appeared grateful. The minute I opened the cage she was gone into the woods. I didn’t see her again for quite a while then one evening just as the sun was setting and the other raccoons were feeding, I noticed movement in the bushes across from my door.
Miss Star gradually appeared from under the bushes and look me squarely in the eye and if to say, “I’m back old man.” As she headed for the feeding and water bowls I had set out she was following by five very cautious little ones. Miss Star had babies!!!!!
There were no words to exchange between us but I know what she was thinking.
“Old man, thank you. I want my babies to meet you and know they are safe here.”
We are truly all related.
Don’t turn you back on animals. Look at them, listen to them, learn from them but most of all love them.