It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon and my darling husband was in his hometown helping with a pest issue at the rental house he maintains. I had heard they had previously caught a raccoon in a live trap and released it far, far away from the rental house. I had also heard that they later realized this raccoon was actually a momma raccoon and her two babies were left in the garage.
My husband being the rugged outdoors type and good landlord he is, was going to retrieve the baby raccoons and release them somewhere far away from the rental house. I had hoped the babies would one day reunite with their momma in the wild, but I grew up watching Disney movies and perhaps this wasn't a realistic expectation.
I would like to take a moment to explain to you, faithful reader, that I have an irrational fear of raccoons. It all started from a camping incident the summer after I graduated from high school. I have been terrified since. And no, I don't want to talk about it. And yes, I realize its irrational.
So you can imagine my surprise when I receive a phone call at work from my rugged, outdoorsy, landlord husband.
Me: Did you catch the baby raccoons?
Matt: I caught one, the other one got away.
Me: Well, one is better than none. Where did you release it at? (I start picturing the Disney-esque mother and baby reunion in the woods.)
Husband: I didn't release it yet.
Husband: Here's the thing. Its pretty tiny, smaller than I thought it was and if I release it right now, it will just die and I can't do that. So I am going to keep it in the garage and let it get bigger and then release it.
Me: What? (The Disney movie that's playing in my head comes to a screeching halt and the raccoon incident flashbacks begin.)
And that's how my irrational fear became a reality. In my garage. In a recycling bin with an exercise trampoline on top. Yes, that was its cage.
That evening was spent Googling "what to feed a baby raccoon" and calling the local Petsmart to see if they have baby raccoon food. We found out that the baby raccoon, which was later named Rocky, loves kitten milk replacement. Or he hadn't eaten in the few days since his mother was captured. It was probably a combination of both because he sucked it down.
I had always known that Matt is a self-proclaimed country boy. But I am a city girl and we live in a suburb and not the country. This kind of thing doesn't happen in the suburbs, until now.