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Adventures in Housing

So I wake this morning to James stumbling around, having successfully flooded the kitchen due to a sink leak. He thinks he can fix it. Since our landlord is in Florida on vacation, and we hate to bother her, we will see if this is possible.

I go out back to drape the cleaned-behind-the-fridge-and-so-should-never-more-touch-human-flesh towels over the rail to dry, and discover that--milestone!--our trash has been raided.

We've never had our trash raided before. Something--in Minnesota, I'd assume it was a raccoon, but I'm not so up on the local fauna that I can say for certain, could be a raccoon or a possum or some kind of bizarre southern Giant Land Crawdad completely outside my experience--knocked one over, pulled out the bag of unpalatable stuff and ripped a hole in the second bag, getting a sliver of used carrot cake and half a loaf of moldy bread, which it proceeded to gaily scatter over the yard like a demented flower girl. (Do they have feral pigs here? I mean, they have javelina in AZ, maybe there's a large mammal I've missed...)

I suppose it could have been one of the ubiquitous squirrels, but it would have to have been the size of a beagle. Not that they couldn't be hiding a giant mutant squirrel somewhere for special jobs like that, but still. I'm guessing raccoon.

Anyway, I came back in from picking up the trash to find James manuevering the fridge back in place, having had to mop up the puddle newly behind and under it. "I'm gonna need a pipe wrench," he said.

"Something raided the trash and scattered it everywhere," I said.

James gazed off into the middle distance and said dryly "Boy, living in a house is FUN!" And when I spluttered a bit--he was the one gung-ho to get out of apartments--"Shut up, or I'll bury you in the backyard. Now that we have one."

While I do prefer this place to an apartment, by leaps and bounds, there were definitely some perks to the 'ol concrete box. Oh, well, it'll sort itself out...

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definitely sounds like the handiwork of a raccoon. We have a couple of pictures of one in our trashcan from the last time we stayed up in Blowing Rock, NC. It just sat there and looked at us while my dad took some flash pictures of it. He didn't leave the trashcan until my dad started to walk out the screen door (about five feet from the raccoon). Cheeky little buggers leave trash everywhere if you don't catch them. You can always use bungee cords to hold down the trash lids.

Hi, I friended you because I love your art, and your writing

Up here in PA, we have problems with raccoons, possums and bears. There's not much you can do about the bears, but for the smaller mammals, it helps to get one of the big rubbermaid trash-cans with the handles that flip up to lock the lid on. Unfortunately, both raccoons and possums will eventually figure out how to get in those too, so you generally have to bungee the whole contraption shut as well. Ultimately, that will stop all but the most persistent of critters who want to eat your trash.

Could be stray cats. We've had that in the past.

Yes, I'm well versed in the arcane art that is fixing plumbing emergencies. Especially one's I've caused :) Good luck getting it fixed.

Definitely sounds like raccoons. We had about 3 (momma and 2 babies) living in our attic (not by our invitation) and they would regularly knock the trash over and leave it strewn all over the place. Bungee cords and locking trash lids help, but they are smart and persistent buggers and will eventually figure out how to get what they want. Best solution was to keep the trash cans in the garage until trash day, and even then it wasn't guaranteed. I'm just thankful they didn't have a taste for "cat box cookies".

Be careful with that. It could be a skunk.

When I was about 12, my dad stepped outside in the evening to find that two skunks were in the process of raiding the trash, and they both hit him point blank. Ruined his clothes and shoes (which were brand new at the time) and made him so paranoid about stinking for the next week that he put on about a gallon of collogne every day, fulfilling his prophesy and making him stinky.

The last time I was there, We had to stop the car to let a Beaver the size of a medium suitcase to walk across the road. Sucker was huge, and grumpy looking. HE slid into the ditch and swam away, in no particular hurry, so something the size of a beagle going after the veggies and cake, could very well have been the local beaver, but I think Coyotes and Racoons would be more likely. The greenbelt has a lot of critters in it.


I'd guess a dog or cat. Boring, but most likely.

Least you're renting (right?), when you own it there's some extra stuff topping it. Such things would be everything that can break down, breaks down and you get to pay for everything. The house needs to get painted and if it isn't, come summer you can feel the whole place just crack in two. And all the neighbours letting their dogs out in your front yard...although that's not rent/ownership related.

It wasn't me! ... I blame it on raccoons (or skunks).

Scatter some flour around and see if you can catch the culprit via it's tracks.

Well, in addition to the afore-mentioned stray dogs/cats, raccoons, possums, bears, foxes and skunks, you might think about coyotes and, interestingly enough, crows... Although a crow wouldn't be strong enough to horse a full bag out of a trash can, they do make a hell of a mess, if given the time.

We don't have a trash can (although I have been meaning to get one for the past 20 years), so I put our garbage out first thing in the morning. More than once I've had to chase the godsd*mned birds off of our garbage.

I highly suggest the bungee cord/trash can approach.

*Pictures land crayfish with racoon markings clawing open trashcans in search of discarded donuts, chicken bits and aquarium gravel*

Ursula, now I'm going to have to go draw that...

Ooh ohh ohh...

You never cease to amaze me, Vernon. I mean....Giant Land Crawfish? Aw, man, if the guy above me hadn't mentioned it, I would /so/ be drawing that right now. I mean, really....What a scary mental image. ^___^

XD Man, I browse through my frind's page and cring. . . bad stuff. . . cringe, more bad stuff. . . then I come to your posts and still! bad stuff, but I still chuckle. MAkes me want more people to complain Ursula style, heh heh heh. On a side note, the only thing that's gotten into our trash here is dogs. Not even the coyotes or javelinas seem much interested in trash.

"Shut up, or I'll bury you in the backyard. Now that we have one."

Ah! Young love!

Just be glad they aren't chewing holes through electrical wires in the attic. Trash all over the yard is a lot easier to fix. *grimace*

Could be raccoons, possum, skunk, black bear (yes NC has bears even in the piedmont), grey fox, cougar (very rare, especially when it comes to garbage digging), dear, a pack of highly coordinated squirrels (I've seen it happen!), and of course the usual variety of domesticated animals everyone has.... best bet there is a stray dog. Talk with your neighbors, they'll likely know the culpret and methods to thwart the garbage marauder.

NC has a lot of fauna. ^.^

Could be a fox too. We got one that visits every now and then (and we live the middle of urban North Virginia, right next to DC). Or a possom, or a raccoon. We make damn sure that my cat is inside very night!

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