Thursday, June 15, 2006

Animal house

June is traditionally the time of year when strange animals come to visit our yard. A few nights ago we heard a car honking in front of our house, and a man yelling "There's a raccoon chasing your cat." He was pointing to our back yard. We ran down the path and came upon our cat Zoe frolicking with a young raccoon (at that point, she was chasing him). Her sister Kaylee was watching. The raccoon hustled around the corner into our side yard; by the time I got back around to the front, our next-door neighbor was standing in his driveway with a sack of garbage in his hand and an incredulous expression. Apparently the raccoon had ambled right over his foot and across his yard on its way to the underbrush in the nearby alley.

The following morning, there was an immense bug-eyed black and white cat on our back porch, eating Betaille's catfood. Zoe and Sheba begged to be let out to get him. I opened the door, and they got him to back off a few yards, but he didn't seem particularly intimidated.

We've been trying to bring Zoe and Kaylee in by 10 p.m. every night, which is increasingly difficult. Tonight we lured them into the house at the appointed hour. But a few minutes later, I spotted Zoe out on the back porch again. She turned around to face me, and I realized it wasn't Zoe, it was a nearly identical large gray tabby, who slunk down the stairs and across the patio. Zoe, it turned out, was behind me on the kitchen table and didn't see her doppelganger.

I give up. It's a zoo.

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