Jungle Journal

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 (in reference to a photo album at MySpace).

I had started a same named section on the old Vanity Page, but shortly after, CitySlide slid into oblivion (at least as a free service). What prompted it was the abundance of wildlife we had in our yard at the time. This was before the cats showed up, btw. It was also before the woods & meadow behind us had been completely bulldozed & built on.

We had rabbits, ‘possums, raccoons & skunks out there every night. Once there was a grey wolf. Birds flocked to the yard every day. Some still do, even with the outside cats, but the grass is no longer black with grackles.

We started getting old bread, cutting it & throwing it out for the birds & the night critters ate it too. We would get pies & cakes from the assistance ministry stores (free – donated by area grocery stores at sell by date & given away by the ministry shops) & if something was too much for us, the backyard beasties would eat those too. One of the funniest sights was two skunks on opposite sides of a no-sugar-added cherry pie (very sour), each with crust in its mouth, hissing & growling at each other. We were thankful that they didn’t let loose. Who knew skunks like cherry pie?

Pretty soon, the various critters came to expect these offerings. ‘Possums  would claw at the back door & when we would go to the window there, they would back up & look at us as if to say “Where’s our dinner?”  Raccoons would come up the front walk & stare at us through the living room window. I was fully expecting one of them to come up to the door & ring the bell. None ever did, but I wouldn’t have been surprised.

After the wildlife lost the rest of their habitat behind us & then the cats started showing up & living in the backyard, the population went down. We still have the occassional ‘possum show up (including one which ripped the dryer vent cover out of the wall to get in the garage), but that’s been pretty much it. Until last week.

I happened to look out the dining room window & there was a juvenile raccoon sitting on the ledge, eating the cat food. It’s thin & mostly grey, so I assume it’s not quite an adult. After it was through eating, it tried to open the window. I came toward the window & it jumped down. I opened the window to chase it off & it just sat there staring at me, with very sad eyes. So, I got some blueberry bread, threw it to him (her?), it grabbed the bread & took off. Good.

The next day, I was sweeping the garage & I suddenly saw a raccoon face peeking around the corner at me. I chased it & it ran in the bushes. To discourage its return, I took the cat food in (we have house cats, garage cats & backyard cats – anyone want some?). Thinking I had scared it for good, I went in.

A few hours later, I was going into the kitchen to check on dinner & there’s Rocky again, trying to pull itself up onto the window sill. Those are the initial pictures in the Jungle Journal album.

That’s Prima Donna on the dining table, wondering what the HECK is that outside? Stupid caption, but it’s the first thing I thought of, since both their tails are ringed.

Rocky showed up again this afternoon, walked right into the garage with no sign of fear. I’m half worried about rabies, although it hasn’t gone after anyone. I’m thinking more it was someone’s pet. Whichever, we can’t afford Raccoon Chow along with all the cat food, so something has to be done. Don’t know what yet.

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About pegsiskatzencats

Middle aged cat lady, flaming liberal, gardener extrordinaire, I live for the Cubs, & HATE hot weather. Chicagoland native, I WILL RETURN!
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