In the mid 1980s, we lived in Navy housing. The back of our townhouse overlooked Monterey Bay, at the top of a steep wooded hillside. My husband was attending the Naval Post Graduate School.
One evening, we noticed a raccoon on our back deck. His muddy paw tracks decorated the door as he tried to force the sliding glass door open. He stared intently into the living room, while eating one of our recently planted tulip bulbs. While he watched us, his left paw knocked an empty flower pot filled water all over the muddy prints on the wooden deck. Seeing what a klutz he was, we named him after one of my husband’s classmates who had been asking asking if any one wanted to do a joint thesis as soon as he met them.
The next night he returned. This time he finished off half a plant as he once again tried to force his way into the den.
After that Kardos became almost a nightly visitor. He would sit outside for about 15-20 minutes watching us and trying to force his way into the house. We learned that Kardos liked dog biscuits and peanut M&Ms but did not care for rice cakes.
We also got a raccoon puppet. When Kardos would make an appearance, we would stage the puppet by the door so that the real and puppet raccoons were at eye level. Kardos seemed fascinated how this raccoon could get inside the house, but he could not. I’m not sure if he realized that the inside raccoon was an imposter.
For over a month, Kardos was a regular visitor. He took very few days off. After one such brief hiatus, he returned with strangely yellow, glowing eyes. He seemed nervous and twitchy, even for him. Later that evening, a second raccoon showed up for the first time. That was when we learned that Kardos was actually a Kardette.
We only saw Kardette, as we now called the raccoon, one more time. She came back for a brief visit. We never did learn if she had babies.
Raccoons are highly intelligent animals and quite dexterous about getting into houses. They can also carry rabies. We were lucky the Kardette never managed to get into the house. In retrospect, we were very stupid to feed her.
Have you ever been fascinated by wildlife outside your door? Did you ever interact with it? Join in the conversatoin and share your wild animal story.