Despite the fact that I have spent the past decade living a champagne and croissant fueled life in the heart of a major city, I seem to have all too regular run-ins with feral vermin, particularly those of the raccoon persuasion.
And this year is no exception.
A few months ago, Country Boy and his hapless but hilarious assistant (me) finally finished revamping our tiny backyard. We managed to squeeze in a deck, an in-ground hot tub, and a covered porch that is the home to a gorgeous white outdoor couch.
But, Shangri-La ain’t cheap, which means I have to drag my ass to work every day to pay for my little slice of paradise.
I came home from work earlier this week and wandered outside to get my zen on. Sliding into that hot tub would make every argumentative telephone call and curt email melt away.
But, I immediately felt that something was amiss.
And then I saw it.
There were muddy prints all around the hot tub. Around MY hot tub.
I knew those paw prints.
I had seen them before.
They come with beady little eyes, a mask, and paws.
How in the hell was there a raccoon in my hot tub?
I live smack in the middle of a city, a tropical city no less. While I do have a one-story house, it’s an urban house. On every side of my house, there is another house within spitting distance. There are high-rise buildings within walking distance. There is no nearby forest filled with wildlife. Hell, this place is barely hospitable to pigeons.
Yet, there were those unmistakable paw prints.
This raccoon had clearly packed a suitcase, took her last $200 and her record collection, and hopped a bus to make her way in the big city.
But, then I turned around.
It was immediately apparent that I was not dealing with some sweet, misguided raccoon who was fresh off the bus from Kansas.
I was dealing with an entirely different sort of beast.
There were also paw prints all over my new white couch, eventually ending in a circle in the corner where the raccoon had decided to stretch out and assume her lounging position.
You know what else was on my pristine, white couch?
A half-eaten avocado.
Not only had this raccoon taken a dip in my hot tub and sprawled out on my couch, she had also managed to procure some local, organic produce for her afternoon snack. Apparently, everyone knows that nothing pairs better with a day of leisure than some guacamole.
And my little ‘buddy” did all of this while I was trapped in an office working hard to finance the entire operation.
I was clearly dealing with a professional.
How did this happen to me?! How did I become both the sugar mama and the maid to a freeloading vermin of leisure?
I sat down on my violated couch to ponder how my life had taken such a turn. After a few moments, a shocked gasp escaped my mouth.
I had a realization.
You know what a hot-tub lounging, guacamole-eating urban raccoon probably has? An iPhone.
And, you know what an iPhone has? The Internet.
And, you know what the Internet has? My blog post from last Christmas about how I risked family scorn and exile, because I wasn’t willing to eat raccoon.
Kato the Raccoon apparently misinterpreted that as an open invitation to take up residence in my pool house.
I always knew the Internet would ruin my life, but I just never expected its weapon of choice to be a feral woodland creature with a penchant for Mexican food.