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Romeo Raccoon Must DIE!!!!!

Today I am finding someone with a shotgun. That shouldn't be too hard here. Today we're going coon hunting. My dog---by the way, the son of hunt champions who once upon a time was hunt trained (albeit for geese, not coons)---is in.

I'm heading to the military surplus store for cammo and ammo and anything I need to succeed, because after last night...Romeo Raccoon Must Die!

In case you missed our raccoon history:

Part 1---Rocky Raccoon Horror Picture Show
Part 2---Over the Hedge- A Declaration of War

Set: Our house, 11 p.m. or so, most of the house is dark, shut down for the night. Jon and I are working at the computers in the office. Kids are upstairs sleeping. Dog is lying asleep on the rug beside my desk chair.

Enter: Two cats, meowily complaining.

Julie: Hey did you feed the cats their dinner?

Jon: Not yet. It's on the list.

Cats escalate, jumping onto desk and swatting at typing fingers. Dog gets agitated, starts rustling about.

Julie: Okay I think the time is now.

Dog suddenly flies---all 110 lbs of him---into the air, accompanied by the cats. All are making tremendous noise, all have their fur standing on end.


Jon: QUIET! Everyone QUIET!

The animals, still mid-air are making cartoon running motions with their paws, when they gain ground they shoot out of the office to the kitchen and through it to the utility room.


We don't even ask a question anymore. All ills are blamed on the raccoon. A tree falls? Must be Romeo's fault. Dog barks? Romeo's fault.

The dog is making his growly-barky bark a la, "I will eat you for dinner, spit you out and eat you again for breakfast you ring tailed rodent!"

This means it is not a hypothetical raccoon but that, in fact, our perimeter has been breached.

Julie: You locked the cat door, right?


Julie: You realize what this means.

Jon: The raccoon got in, but it's quieting down so clearly he values his hide and got right back out again.

Julie: Probably. For now.

We brace for the fall out. Sure enough, one second later Persistence is at the top of the stairs pant sobbing in panic.

Persistence: Doggie BAWK! Wake-a me UP! Scared-a me!

(I liken this to when the phone rings in the middle of the night and gives me a heart attack and adrenaline rush that takes an hour to calm down.)

In some order that I no longer recall we settle Patience, do a house check, lock the cat door and all go to bed. Persistence, after some exhausting negotiation, has assumed the guest couch sleeping position in our room.

Beyond tired, our eyelids droop and we pass out...

Only to awaken a half an hour later to deranged dog madly barking frenetically as he races down the stairs.

Julie: Please tell me you locked the cat door.

Jon: I did! he must just be trying to get in again. Maybe he's starving after all the rain.

Julie: That's unlikely. He's emptied our trash out twice every week the last month. Oh yeah and lots of critters have drowned or surfaced creating a rampant food supply.

(This is my theory of the plethora of diverse wildlife that has visited our yard. Either that or they have been looking for an ark. Haven't we all down here lately.)

Jon: Let's just go to sleep.


(Yeah right)

Off and on every half hour to hour the same scene is re-enacted. At 3:30 a.m. Jon shuts our bedroom door. At 4:00 a.m. the dog---having witnessed my door breaking down scene of last week---is hurtling his entire body as hard as he can at our door to Get Out Now!

Persistence is panicked crying, there is cat cacophony outside the door, Jon and I are discussing what to do in this matter like completely rational people with no sleep who are under attack by a raccoon all night (aka yelling, disorganized, slightly panicked).

Jon flings open the door...

and this is where it gets really interesting...

I'm right behind him...

and staring at us, practically eyeball level...


His fur is puffed, his eyes narrowed, and he is clinging on top of the stair railing for dear life, literally.

He stares at us. Our appearance is the final insult in his battle with our pets to gain control of our home for his own personal use. So, with one paw, he reaches out and swipes at my husband while hissing and lunging in all directions at once.



Jon slams door.

Jon: Holy shit.

Julie: Holy shit.

Persistence: 'Oly thit. What HAPPENED?

Jon: Oh my God, there's a raccoon UPSTAIRS outside our bedroom door!

Julie: Oh my God for real. I thought this was some sleep-deprived hallucination. I hoped it was anyway.

Jon: I have to be at a construction site to oversee building a school in three hours. There cannot be a raccoon outside this door.



Julie: Where's the phone...I need to phone. We need experts. This raccoon must die.

Jon: I'm not calling for help. I can deal with this myself.

Jon exits stage left, to his closet. I grab the phone and begin frantically calling agency after agency who all dumbly say, "Umm whaaaa? A raccoon? That's like...not our problem." I---recent near-jail experience fresh in mind---refrain from telling the police all the interesting ways they can go...errr...perform unnatural sex acts and...ummm...a few suggestions of location for aforementioned unnatural sex acts.

Just as I give up, Jon re-enters. He is wearing multiple layers of clothing, cleats, and carrying two laundry baskets and a broom.

He stands at the door and salutes me with the broom. He only lacks his hard-hat, as it is downstairs, and his work boots (also downstairs; read---inaccessible due to perimeter invasion by raccoon) to complete the picture of construction worker gone crazy.

Jon begins to open the door, apparently unaware the dog has taken this brief time to formulate his own attack plan. The dog rushes the door, barking. The raccoon lunges, hissing.

Jon: Can SOMEONE hold this dog back?!?

Julie: Yes SOMEONE can!

I grab the dog's collar, and attempt to out-strength him. With two hands and all my might, I try to keep him back from the door. He is so far past verbal commands it is not even funny.

Jon begins to open the door, and the dog drags me to the doorway. I use my knee to push his bum sideways while pulling as forcefully as I can to get him back. I accidentally step on his foot.

The dog leaps back, trampling my right foot. I yelp and hop, with this tiny bit of slack he lunges again for the door, Jon jumps back, trampling my left foot with twice the force of the dog and cleats.

I scream.

Persistence screams.

Patience yells from behind her closed door across the house.

The dog freezes and Jon slams the door shut.

Jon: OH MY GOD, I'm sorry was that your foot!?!

Julie: AH! AH! AH! AH!

Jon: Was it, was it your foot?

Julie: Yes, past-tense appropriate after being crushed by a ton of cleat force!

The dog resumes his attempts to Get Romeo through the door.

Jon, cautiously this time, opens the door.

The raccoon is still at the top of the stairs, on the railing.

Jon leaps like a long jumper out the door, which he slams behind him. As it closes, I see the raccoon lunge. I hear a yell, then a curt command to Patience to keep her door closed and stay in her room, then hear Jon slam the rest of the upstairs doors closed.

Trapped in the room, I can only hear the growling, hissing, spitting, banging, yelling, thudding, and slamming. The rustle and thud of the broom on the stair side wall combined with the thumps of Jon hopping, accompanied by a swell of cat hissing and raccoon hiss-growling goes on and on for about twenty minutes.

I clutch Persistence. Persistence clutches me. Every other second she asks: What happened? Where's Dad? What happened?

Every other second I say: I don't know, shhhhhh.

I worry about Patience and struggle to hear something from her side through the din of the raccoon battle.

Suddenly, with one final bang of the front door, all goes silent.

Five minutes later, Jon returns to the room. Six eyes stare at him impatiently. He drops the two laundry baskets and broom.

Jon: It's done.

Julie: He's gone?!?

Jon: Yes, finally, out the front door.

Julie: Oh I thought you were going to say dead. I thought by gone you meant gone gone.

Jon: You wish!

Julie: Actually? Yes, I do.

Jon: Well it wasn't easy just to get him plain gone. Stupid thing fought like a gladiator. Can't he tell we're mightier?

Julie: He can't even tell we're rightier.

Jon (ignoring wit): I had the front door wide open and what does that obnoxious rodent do? Run out? No! He stays on the stairs and fights!

Julie: So how'd you get him out?

Jon: With the broom. My foot. And the laundry baskets.

Julie: (trying not to mentally picture this)

Jon: Then I finally get it downstairs and does he take the golden chance of escaping through the door? NO! He climbs the gate into the dining room, so then I had to fight him out of there.

Julie: That's it. He wants the house. Period. He's not ever going to give up. He must die.

Jon: Well, we won. He's out. Everything is locked up

Julie: For now! You know he'll be back. He just keeps getting more aggressive. Romeo must die!

Jon: How's your foot?

Julie: I'm not sure, it's swelling and bruising but not broken I think.

Jon: Did you put anything on it?

Julie: Like what? How? I'm trapped in here with an hysterical toddler and a deranged lab while World War Three: Man v Beast is going on on the stairs!

Jon: Oh, well he's gone. I can get some arnica and ice if you want.

Julie: Yeah, thanks.

So, at 5 a.m. my husband got ready and left for work, the kids snuggled in my bed to watch BooBah (WTF? Did kids' TV producers have some LSD trip?) and I tried really hard not to think of the day ahead with no sleep...

My energy sustaining tool is not coffee. It's revenge.

Romeo Raccoon must DIE!

copyright 2007 Julie Pippert


Kyla said…
OMG! What a night! I know these stories are hellish to live through, but the retelling is priceless! :) Hilarious!
That is, by far, one of the funniest, most entertaining posts ever!!

Have you ever read blogger Real Live Preacher's raccoon stories? In the end, despite recommendations involving fox urine (?!), he blasted a mama raccoon out of the chimney by playing Rush Limbaugh in the fireplace.
Snoskred said…
Can ya'all have a nanna nap this afternoon? ;)

Adding this to my funnies posts for the weekly wrap up. ;)

Julie Pippert said…
Cathy ACK ACK ACK ARGH!!! The CHIMNEY. Holy crap, off to make sure the chimney is hooded...

Oh yeah and some time? When I finished detoxing and degermifying and Cloroxing and cleaning my house? To the point I am no longer skeeving and gagging?

I will check out that story.

But I will also say blasting Rush Limbaugh might have the side-effect of rocketing ME out of the house LOL.


Kyla and Chani, yes, it's funny...sort maybe in a month.

The truth is? if I write it and infuse it with humor? It can pretty quickly turn into hilarious even in my head LOL
S said…

I am dying. Laughing. Weeping.

This line:

He can't even tell we're rightier.

After all the funny, it just did me in.


I'm sorry. Really. (Still laughing.)

This post is pure genius.
Unknown said…
OMG that is the most suspenseful and hysterical story ever! I was so worried Jon was going to get bit.
Anonymous said…
How can an animal that is actually cute be such a pain?!?

teeth whitener
Anonymous said…
Oh, I so needed to laugh today. Thank you.
Anonymous said…
I'm with Persistence: 'Oly thit!

My neighbor is skilled with a shotgun. I'll send him over ASAP.
Aliki2006 said…
Oh no!!!!

Poor all of remember, though, that we must live in harmony with nature, right?? (I'm teasing, of course.)
Liv said…
OMG. Critters in the house ain't no good at'all. Sheesh. That gave me the chills.
Christine said…
ok, i know that this wasn't funny at the time bu tit was freakin' HILARIOUS as a story!!!!

Romeo. must. die.

and i'm an animal over!
Christine said…
just had a chance to go back and read your hump day hmmm. i left a comment there for you.
Anonymous said…
Delurking to say I am LMFAO at your post! That is quite a tale! I'm glad that everything worked out okay. I'm guessing that you will be keeping the cat door locked from now on?

And I love that you named him Romeo. We have one that keeps knocking over our trash cans to find his dinner and we call him Mac Rac.
Lawyer Mama said…
Oh. my. GOD!

Funniest story ever!


flutter said…

Oh my hell, that was friggin hilarious. I think you almost made me pee my pants...nope oop, I did
Unknown said…
It's later in the day now, Julie. Did you get any rest?

And the story? Hilarious in a "Ouch!" sort of way!

Do you remember Halushki's bat post? It reminds me of that.
Anonymous said…
Holy shit! I'm sure if that happened to me it wouldn't have been funny at all. I'm so glad we don't have raccoons here.
Oh my GOD that was funny! I have a mental image of how you husband looked in that getup. Ha!

Down with the racoon! Good luck.
No freakin' way!!!!!!!

Go get um!
Maisy said…
There's nothing quite like a quiet night at home is there?

WOW! Being a fellow LA gal...I can tell you those raccoons are ridiculous! At our old house our lot backed up to an open field (easement) so they were always around. When I caught them rummaging in the trash cans...I ran at them making all kinds of racket. Instead of running off terrified...they seem to stop, stare at me, and seemingly thump their chests in a disrespectful gang-like move that signified them telling me, "What! What are you going to do...bring it on!"

MAN! I hate those vermin...almost as much as I hate possums! UGH!
HomeGrownLife said…
Hysterical, yet oh-so scary! And I thought a chipmunk in my garage sent chills up and down my spine? A raccoon would scare me straight out of my house. I might have given up and let him take control of my home!
Oh, and I know about that adrenaline rush from the phone ringing in the middle of the night.
What a brave woman you are...
Julie Pippert said…
I am so glad that that entire event---which was quite horrifying yet hysterical in a largely funny sort of way---provided such vast and great amusement.

It needed to be funny. OMG it NEEDED to be FUNNY!
Unknown said…
very funny, good luck and God speed with your revenge!
atypical said…
Apparently I think of writing in regards to you (comments and Hmmmms), that I am now having trouble remembering if I actually wrote or just thought it through.

Very, very funny (in retrospect of course).

I'm with M-L in memory of the bat post.

I've seen raccoons trying to get into neighbors' houses, but we've been safe thus far. Now the opossums and the trash cans are another matter (though this summer has been relativel quiet).

May you find revenge and be satisfied by it!

Benjamin Loewen said…
HiLARious. You had my heart racing.

And BooBah? I think I remember hearing on the Today Show the first day it aired that it was designed for kids with mental/visual disabilties. Which might go to suggest its place in an averagely functioning child's life. Ahem.

I love animals but man, you gotta kill the coon. Or transport it somewhere far away.

Sk*rting you...
mpearl said…
I didn't get the chance to comment the other day but I told my husband I think this my be the funniest story I have ever heard. I know it wasn't funny to you. OMG, I am glad everyone is okay! Good luck! My husband used a bb gun to scare the giant racoon putting trash all over our front yard.
Scribbit said…
That picture can't be real? It is beyond crazy.

Rabid Raccoon coming after you? It's been nice knowing you.
amusing said…
Will you come deal with the squirrels that insist on taking over my attic? It's just a matter of time before they plot to take over the rest of the house.

I trapped one and took it far, far away so it wouldn't tell the other squirrels, but they've figured out how to get in...

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