Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Warehouse bandit!

Last night, I got a call in my radio, and I suddenly realized that I'd have to be awake at 4:30 AM in order to be at a warehouse on time.

This, of course, did not thrill me, as I didn't find this out in time to eat dinner early so that I could get my after dinner walk done and into bed early... So I had to skip my walk. Now, I like my walk. I get to talk to all the dog-walkers in the neighborhood, and, despite the fact that my job involves jumping from the truck bed onto docks and throwing heavy boxes around all day, I don't get steady exercise, it just happens if fits and spurts. The walk keeps my trick knee strong, and compensates for the sitting in a truck seat all day part of my job.

So I was up bright and early this morning, and in a part of town that's covered in warehouses, before most of the warehouses are open...

Now, you don't really realize it, but warehouse districts are entirely different worlds at night than they are during the day... During the day they are loud, unpleasant places, full of rumbling truck engines, banging metal doors and reeking of exhaust fumes.

At night, when the workers have gone home, an almost unnatural quiet envelops them, and as the sun sets, you can hear crickets, and see the quick shadows of feral cats stalking rodents. The pavement glows yellow under the lights, and each light swirls with insects. If you're lucky, and take the time to notice, you can watch the bats swoop in and pick off their dinner...

This morning I was at the warehouse when the night and it's creatures hadn't quite yet surrendered to the day. It's a pleasant enough time, not cool, but the heat of the day hasn't yet begun to bake the pavement. I saw this guy, looking a little scared and confused...

Normally, seeing raccoons, opossums or skunks in the daylight is a cause for concern, as it may mean rabies... but this is a juvenile, and most likely he went wandering last night, became separated from his mother, and couldn't find his way home. Left on his own, he will probably find a hole to crawl into and spend a nervous sleep waiting until his mother finds him tomorrow, or he learns to salvage through the dumpsters on his own.
They're cute as all git-out of course. Many people have succumbed to trying to tame them, with painful consequences later. When Raccoons, no matter how tame they've become, reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years, hormones take over and they revert back to wild behaviour. I personally know one person who had to have over 100 stitches from the wounds inflicted by a much loved 'pet.'
When things like this happen, the animal, acclimatized as it is to humans, becomes a hazard to anyone around it, and it usually has to be destroyed, a hideous end that could have been avoided by just letting nature take it's course.
I took this pic, then I drove away. No matter what happens to this adorable little bandit, whether it finds it's mother, learns to support itself, or if it dies, it won't be because I interfered in any way.


  1. Oh gosh, it would be scary to me to try and have a racoon for a pet! He sure was a cute little feller! What a sweet picture too! I loved your writing when you were telling about the early morning and the warehouse area! Very descriptive...have you ever thought of writing a novel?????

  2. Julie - I actually used to write for a magazine, not that you can tell by my blog posts. I have decided that I should be more careful of my writing on my blog though.

    Usually, on the blog, the writing is pretty much stream of consciousness, I just write what comes to mind as it comes to mind.

    This post was partially written before I sat down at the computer, but has some stream of consciousness scattered through. If I was still writing for the magazine, this would be considered a first draft, as some points need expanded, some points need cut out, and it all needs to be clarified.

    A novel is a bit more than I'd be willing to take on at the moment.

  3. I wonder if anyone ever had them neutered like they do other animals. Maybe then they wouldn't become vicious. But I suppose that's controversial too, along with most everything else nowadays!

  4. Aiyana - laws varie from state to state, but having a wild animal nuetered is usually illegal. However, the wonderful trained racoons that you see in movies usually are. Of course, those trained animals are one of the reasons people think they can tame the things as a pet...

  5. He is such a little doll! I do hope his mama finds him. That was a great post-I learned a thing or two about racoons. Now I love 4:30AM -my favorite part of the day is early early with the sun just coming up!