When DH was leaving the house to meet a friend for lunch, he came back inside and asked me to come outside. I did and there sitting on the driveway across the street at 11 am in the morning was a big fat (handsome) raccoon. DH says "Isn't that a bit strange... him being out there laying in the sun in the front of the house with cars and people passing?" I agreed it was odd... and that he was probably sick or had been hit by a car (although he didn't look injured).
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So I watched him for a while after DH left. He didn't leave, just lay there and occasionally sat up. Finally I called Animal Control and told them what was going on. They said that there was a lot of distemper going around... and most probably he was sick. But they would send someone around to check.
After about 20 minutes, AC showed up and I pointed to where he was still laying. The man took out his pole and rope and went over. But his approach startled the raccoon, and he immediately got up and started away. The man chased him around for a bit, and finally gave up - telling me he ran up a tree - which he probably did. I had gone inside (admittedly after laughing a bit watching him running around and thinking, he's never going to catch him. Apparently the animal wasn't that sick.)
OK... now the venting part: While the AC man was a few houses down chasing the raccoon, I saw an SUV stop and call him over. He walked over and apparently he and the woman driver talked... for a bit. Later when he returned to his truck, I went outside again and said that I guess the animal wasn't that sick as he seemed to give him a run for his money. We both laughed.
Then he told me that the woman who stopped to talk was complaining to him about my cat. I looked at him and said, "I have a cat?" (meaning an outside cat - Ghost has never gone outside) . But before I could say anything more, he said, "You must feed the feral cats...?" And I said, "Oh yes, we do feed the ferals..." and he said that's what she was complaining about. He told her that AC had been working with us for years. Not sure how he meant that to sound... but truth be told, we do bring them feral kittens when we find them, have had ferals neutered and spayed, belong to Feral Friends, etc.
Anyway, after he left, I told DH that our 'poodle friend' from down the block was complaining about us. She lives about 4 houses down and owns a big standard black poodle which she walks on one of those adjustable leashes and allows him to run all the way up to our front porch (even walks around our car in the driveway on the side) to let him chase the ferals who sometimes sleep under the car or on the porch.
Both DH and I have asked her not to do this on our property. We would like our area to be considered a safe place for all critters. Her response was that her dog wouldn't hurt them... and I said that maybe not, but scaring them was mean and we'd appreciate it if she wouldn't allow it. Guess she didn't like that.
Anyway, I'm venting because it irks me that someone wants to tell me that I can't feed or protect the wildlife. I know the pros and cons and have lived here in this house for 35 years. Our kids and grandkids have watched generations of wildlife come and go. We have done the 'catch and release' programs and what it boils down to is that if something is hungry, we're going to feed it. And if you like for your dog to chase ferals, then do it on your own property. That's my philosophy - take it or leave it.
What do you think?
Here's a picture of one of the feral cats sleeping up on the fence. He's a sweet one, only about a year old, but a big cat. He's one that would make someone a good pet. However, he's wary enough not to get too close...
Well, that's my story. Thanks for visiting. Comment if you'd like. I acknowledge and appreciate different opinions... as long as no one gets ugly.
This post should stop here. I think it's going to pull up a lot of white space and I don't know why... if you do, please tell me how to eliminate it. The white space shows up when I do a preview, but not on my actual posting ???