Saturday, September 29, 2007

as if I wasn't losing enough sleep already

Headed outside for nightly rounds with the flashlight earlier this week, just because I like to check up on everyone before I go to bed. You know. Make sure no horses are cast against their corral panels, make sure no cats are in a stand-off with a coyote, make sure no chickens have already lost said stand-off.

Anyway, I heard a thump coming from the pump house. Instead of running inside and strongly suggesting to my husband that he investigate the source of the sound as I'd done the night before, I decided to cowgirl up and do it myself. I made some noise as I approached the door, and a fat ol' raccoon promptly scurried down from the window of the pump house, which we keep half-open so the cats can come and go as they please. Relieved that it was only a raccoon, I opened the door and shined the light in, just to make sure the cats were okay.

If I'd been thinking clearly I would've run inside for the camera so I could have gotten a picture of the TEN little beady eyes staring back at me like, "Lady, we're trying to eat here. Would ya mind turning off the flashlight?" Yup, that's right. Five raccoons were hunkered over the cat food, fattening themselves up for fall inside our pump house.

photo via

Unfortunately, though, my brain was otherwise occupied with setting up the baby monitor near the chicken coop so I could hear the raccoon family when they moved the party over to the coop for a nice dessert of Silkie Hen Tartar. Yes, you heard me correctly. I use a baby monitor for night-time chicken surveillance.

Because I have become that person - only with poultry instead of felines.


  1. I knew those baby monitors would eventually find some useful thing to be doing. I hope you don't mind if I file this little morsel under strange human behavior.

    Perhaps you could entice them back with some more cat food, and then, camera in hand, maybe you could civilize them. There is a better word than civilize that I heard on the Discovery Channel having to do with gorillas but I forgot it.

    Cultivating eccentricity at an early age should be encouraged.

  2. Better cute little raccoons - we had a family of smelly skunks at our doorstep one night, eating a bad of dog food that had been left out. So, have they tried chicken for dessert, yet? Hope not!

  3. Ken, the baby monitors have definitely found an alternative use. I wonder if I should contact Fisher Price to give them some marketing tips...

    Maiden, we haven't had skunks here for a while. Hopefully, the new ban on feeding cats at night will keep most critters at bay. Then again, it does leave only one other meal option for them. I've heard that raccoons and skunks can wreak some serious havoc on a flock, too. Ugh, one more think to think about in the middle of the night.

  4. My dad found out a few winters ago that Spooky the barn cat didn't get fed if he wasn't around at feeding time...because the darn raccoons would sneak in and get it! Dad has a real love hate for coons. He admires their intelligence and ingenuity...but they are such little thieves! I wish they weren't so darn cute because they sure are a pain in the butt!