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The night of the intruder
francis bond
Francis Bond

Regardless of all the monotonous and  uneventful chores around home that have to be done, there can be excitement and suspense.
One black cat, with a white tip on his tail, from a litter of about five or six, born under our tool house, remained. While we were away,  all his kin were either picked up by the Animal Humane Society or disappeared by some other means.
Having sympathy for all animals, we decided to feed the cat. We bought wet and dry cat food and fed him every morning and evening, as if he were a normal house cat.  The cat refuses to change; it is still wild.  We named him The Wild One, because he runs for cover and returns to eat only after we leave the scene.
We had a problem; who would feed Wild One while we were away? We decided to open a window in the tool house and provide a hole just large enough for Wild One to get  in to feed. During the summer months and cold, winter, our plan worked very well, but the plan didn’t last.  After a few days, I examined the hole in the window and found it covered with black hair.
Last week returning from out of town, we opened the tool house door and found what looked like the destructive work of an angry, vicious intruder. All the shelves had been emptied onto the floor, and all the floor items were in disarray. What had done this? Was it a lynx or an ocelot? Or what . . . ?  A ground hog had been seen several times in the back yard. It was certainly not the wild cat we were feeding, or probably not even the ground hog, since it is not their nature to do such destructive damage. It had to be some hostile animal,  because the door remained locked. The alarming thought was that we had to deal with something large, and probably dangerous, some unimaginable intruder. So we set a trap.
Suddenly, while brushing my teeth about eleven o’clock that night, I heard the snapping sound of the trap indicating that something had been trapped, thinking maybe it was the ground hog. Regardless, it was an exciting and suspenseful sound, catching the intruder that has been raiding our tool house. My wife worried that we had trapped Wild One.
Going out to the tool house, especially at night, was certainly not a good idea. The decision was to investigate the matter the following morning. It could be dangerous, even in daylight.  I could hardly wait til morning.
At sunrise, swinging open the tool house door, there, peering at me through the heavy wire cage was none other than an angry, full grown, healthy looking raccoon. At that emotional moment, my thoughts ran wild. I moved my hand close to the cage, he growled and snarled; I quickly withdrew my hand.  I felt like that raccoon was calling me every name in the book for trapping him.  He was so desperate to get out that he had moved the cage across the floor, bumping and shaking it all through the night.  The most amazing thing, however, was that he had pulled a two-foot square heavy piece of carpet into the cage through a one inch square opening in the heavy gauge wire. He apparently gave up getting another piece of carpet into the cage, because it was lodged halfway in and halfway out of the cage.                                         
I was horrified of being attacked, had I taken the raccoon out into the country and removed it from the trap, as planed.  So, I called the County Animal Protection Department and an officer arrived. The racoon was snarling, kicking, pawing, and growling, as the officer  removed him from the trap and put him into another cage.
The officer assured me that the raccoon would not be killed, instead, taken to a new home.   Thus . . . ending the  excitement and suspense of another night in my life!
Bond lives in Richmond Hill, where he occasionally writes columns about things that interest him.

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