I’m going to lead off this week’s blog post with the best news ever — the raccoon is out of the house! Ross the Raccoon was first mentioned in the Week 25 update, and while Ross turned out to be a Rachel, I am very happy to say that she was apprehended and is no longer in our house. Huzzah! No longer will I fear wandering through the house and having to recreate this scene:
So let me tell you the full story of Rachel the Raccoon. It is light on photos, because I didn’t figure you wanted to see any pictures of raccoon poop. But then again, I don’t know your life. ANYWAY…a few weeks ago, we noticed a turd. Animal poop. In our house. And Tom said “that looks like raccoon poop.” We laughed and proceeded to ask our subcontractors to not bring their dogs to the job site. Because we are smart. Well. Joke’s on us, because a few days later, more excrement is discovered in the garage and upstairs, along with little raccoon paw prints. How do I know they were raccoon paw prints? Because I obviously googled it on my phone and held the screen up next to the grubby little paw prints on the side of my white cabinets. Yes, yes I did. So we managed to rustle up a couple live traps from kind neighbors (Gerald & Sue, I’ll get you your traps back asap!) and set one in the garage and one in the attic. Then the little booger went radio silent for like 5 days. No sign of her. No evidence. No paw prints. Nothing. In the meantime, we had identified where we thought maaaaaaybe she had gotten into the house – a spot up on the roof where flashing wasn’t put up yet. So we ask the siding people if they can go ahead and fix that. And then proceed to breathe a little easier. Jim, the hardwood floor guy, continues his work upstairs of sanding and buffing the floors to prepare them for stain. And then one day…I get a phone call. “You’re not going to believe it,” Jim says. “It’s back.” He got to the house that day to continue his work and found more raccoon presents, ifyouknowwhatimean, and footprints. *cue the anxiety*
By this point, it’s been well over a week since we first knew we had a raccoon issue. The next step was to call Anything Wild, an animal control-type business. Jared (Jerod? I’m not sure how he spells his name) came out that very day and walked the perimeter looking for where the little critter could get in and set some traps of his own. At some point in here, Aaron and his buddy Mike had crawled up in the attic and all around looking for further evidence. They found lots of moved insulation and places where she was hanging out, but no actual raccoon sighting. So we feel really awesome that we have a professional on the job. And then………..nothing. A couple days go by with no sign of her, so we decide to risk it and board up the doorway to the attic so that way Jim can safely work on the floors with no little raccoon running through it. We were nervous to do this, because we didn’t want it flipping out in the attic and start tearing through some stuff. But, we proceeded with boarding up the door (thanks, Dad & Tony). And then proceed to realize that the raccoon HAD been up there because some things were knocked over and moved around….yet there was still no raccoon in the trap. So Jerod came back out to reset the traps and we are convinced we’re dealing with the world’s smartest raccoon.
A few more days go by with no activity. We cannot figure out what the HECK is going on. The siders have covered up that one open spot, so we are nearly certain the raccoon can’t get out of the house. Yet there has been no sign of it. Mind you, with all the work happening on the hardwood floors, we haven’t actually been able to get back up into the attic to check on things, but neither Aaron nor I are particularly confident that we have a caught raccoon up there. So this brings us to Wednesday, April 6. Aaron gets to the house and notices that the batts of insulation that were up in the garage ceiling access panels were on the floor. They hadn’t been the day before. So Aaron called Jerod back and we made plans to meet out at the house at 6am on Thursday. You guys, Rachel the Raccoon is insane. We walk into the garage that morning and she has clearly JUMPED from the attic and hit one of the garage ceiling lights, knocking it down and breaking the bulbs in it. There is insulation from the attic all over the floor and on top of the cabinets. There is raccoon pee on the floor and little footprints all over the place all throughout the house. We proceed to hunt through the entire house, top to bottom, looking for her. Jerod ends the search down in the basement, and she was in the last room he checked in. Word on the street is that she didn’t put up much of a fight to get into the cage. She was probably hungry! So thus ended our ~3 week raccoon saga. She was caught. There was no sign of a second (or third) raccoon. No sign of raccoon pups. Just little old Rachel, having a grand old time in the farmhouse. What a relief to get her the heck out of there! Such a little jerk. She caused us sleepless nights, much anxiety about what mischief she could be getting up to and how much more she was going to delay progress…. So. All’s well that ends well.
Okay, now that I just wrote 900 words about a raccoon, let me tell you what else has been going on this week. The short version is not much. Jim has been working on the floor. Aaron and I got the feet for our clawfoot tub spray painted. End of list. But hey – I’ll take it. The hardwood floor refinishing is a huge job and we knew it was going to take some time. By the way, the stain color is Minwax Cherry and Jim puts 4 coats of poly on it.