Intrusion by two masked villains…
When I first met my wife we lived about an hour apart from each other but soon after our marital vows we moved in together. We had purchased a Berm Style home surrounded by several acres of open farm land just outside the Binghamton area in upstate New York. The location was in a very remote area where the previous owners felt safe enough living without the needs for such security like deadbolt locks. With my wife having lived in a more suburban area and I had always resided within bigger cities, we both agreed that updating the locks on all windows and doors was a must.
One of the many things that we liked about this house was it’s location, we were encircled with wildlife which visited our property often. Because the house was built into a hill, it wasn’t unusual to hear the foot steps of wildlife on the rooftop, and knowing that it wasn’t Christmas Eve well, we knew that Santa wasn’t planning a visit anytime soon. Between the deer, possum, coyotes, and raccoons, we felt right at home. Shortly after moving into this house our son dropped off his 3 year old cat named Tigger who had always been an outdoor cat. Our son had to take up residence in an apartment while attending college so we all agreed that this would be a better home for Tigger. It didn’t take Tigger long to get adjusted to his new surroundings who enjoyed making his rounds. Although Tigger was a great mouser, he also made quick friends of some of the smaller wildlife such as the possums and raccoons.
One of the features to our new home was the front view looking out from the living room where we could see several acres of open country. Just below the cathedral ceilings there were awning windows which were also installed just above the floorboard in order to accommodate the Southern flow of air throughout the home. One day I made the mistake of letting our beloved cat in through one of the front windows by simply pushing the screen out instead of letting him in through the usual way… the front door. You see, here I was relaxing on the couch watching one of my favorite television shows, and with the windows only an arm’s reach away, my only interest at that time was maintaining my comfort status while providing Tigger with some convenience. Had I known just how clever Tigger was at the time than I would have instead waited for a commercial and taken the extra journey towards the front door.
One morning after retrieving a cup of coffee I asked my wife if she had gotten up sometime in the middle of the night to let Tigger indoors. After she insisted that she didn’t, I than realized that Tigger has exceptional memory and without any assistance, had discovered how easy it is to enter the house through this window on his own. The only problem with this newly discovered development is that I failed to realize just how difficult it would be in training him to reinstall the screen in order to keep the bugs out. A few weeks later I learned that bugs were my least of worries.
One night I was awakened by some sudden sounds coming from the living room. Both my wife and I were sound asleep at the time so, taking on all responsibilities of the man of the house, I got up in the middle of the night to see what all the commotion was about. Normally you would call 911 under such situations but, the closest police station to us was more than 45 minutes away so I relied on my military background in hopes to save the day… actually the night! I grabbed the first thing I could find to use as a weapon and headed towards the living room. As I stood in the bedroom doorway that lead into the kitchen, I could see some activity through the reflection of the microwave’s oven door. We definitely had a trespasser and perhaps more than just one. Our beloved cat was sitting next to my wife in the bed everyone which meant that all occupants were accounted for so I knew that Tigger wasn’t up to his usual mischievous activities.
As I turned the corner from the kitchen into the living room I got into position for the fight of my life. I could see from where I was standing that the screen in the awning window had been removed which was the very same window that Tigger had used previously but, that didn’t explain the physical movement I had just witnessed. All of a sudden from behind the couch appeared the face of a masked creature… an adult raccoon. Then from over the top of the couch popped the head of her kinfolk which followed her mother into our home. Even though I felt a sudden relief that our lives were no longer in any danger I knew that my mission was not over yet.
I swiftly moved to the other side of the room without trying to alarm our little guests anymore than they already were and began closing every door in order to isolate the situation. I asked my wife to go out on the porch and start counting little masked faces as I tried to carefully escort them through the very same window that they entered through. As my wife manned her post I went into action. All of the sudden my wife screams… “that’s one” I thought to myself. I yelled out a warning for the last raccoon to my wife, “OK honey, here comes the little guy!” Once we got everything under control we couldn’t help wonder if our little Tigger was the one responsible for deviously invited the little masked fellows into our home but, my wife quickly reminded me that if I hadn’t let Tigger through the awning window in the first place than we would still be sound asleep right now… “but thanks for putting a little excitement into our lives anyway!”, she added.
We have since moved away and now live in Florida where we now encounter Alligators, snakes, wild pigs, and bob cats… I guess you couls say that we like to keep life interesting.
About the Author
the Rascally Road Warriors are traveling story tellers who are always on the go writing about the journeys through life's ever lasting changes.
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