Â If you read last week’s e-mail instead of using it in the bottom of the bird cage, you may remember me talking about the raccoons at the cottage. The story gets worse. I had reset the raccoon trap in the garage with peanuts (unsalted of course) and marshmallows. On Monday I got a call that the house would be shown the next day at around noon, so I started cleaning up a little.
I was in the kitchen when I heard two raccoons in the attic space above me getting into a fight. They were screeching at each other and I heard one hit the deck hard. It startled me just a little and I couldn’t help thinking that a) One of the raccoons could kill the other raccoon leaving him to die in the attic crawl space and really stink up the place, or b) I could catch a lactating female in the trap only to leave her kits to die of starvation in the same crawl space, also stinking up the place.
I did a Google search for “raccoons in attic” and found a company in Kalamazoo named Wildlife Wranglers, LLC. I met with the owner of the companyÂ on Tuesday (after the cottage had been shown) and he did a thorough inspection. To make a long story somewhat shorter, he found three access holes to the attic space and found that the raccoons had trampled down the insulation from 14 inches to about two inches and used several areas as their bathroom.
Those cute little animals carry many diseases, and the solution to the problem is to trap them all out, remove all the insulation, disinfect the entire area against fleas and disease, and replace all the insulation. This after closing up all the currentÂ access points and preventing them from finding new ones. We’re in that process now and caught one of the raccoons the first day. None have been trapped since and I haven’t heard any noises, so they are either gone or there is one left in there bloating up. Not a fun experience.
On a lighter note, today was the annual run from Hastings to the Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival for pancakes. The run is around 15.5 miles and the route is hilly. I hadn’t run more than 12 miles at a time in the last year and a half, so I suffered the last two miles. I walked up the last two hills going into town, so my GPS said 15.3 miles.Â I ran with Bill and Martin for most of the way. At around 10 miles I dropped back about a hundred yards, and at 12 miles I completely lost touch with them. Since I was running longer than my body was conditioned to run, I kept slowing up. Bill and Martin had the choice of slowing up with me or running a few yards behind two pretty young women. Who do you think they chose?
A little while before they went out of sight we ran by a dead Fox Squirrel lying in the road. Bill made the comment (we use this old joke on each other all the time) that I should wake him up ‘cuz he could get hit sleeping in the traffic lane. I couldn’t help but notice, and passed the information on to the guys, that the squirrel didn’t have a mark on him and his (sorry for the crude part) “little soldier was standing at attention”. They claimed not to have noticed and chastised me for being so disgusting. We did make a comment or two about how the squirrel must have died with a smile on his faceÂ or maybe he was really sleeping and had an erotic dream erection. It’s a guy thing!Â
A few hundred yards down the road we came across another dead squirrel. This one had been run over so many times you could hardly tell what it was. Either Bill or Martin said that one was a female. They didn’t notice the squirrel with his “flag at full mast” but could tell the flattened mass of hair and skinÂ was a female?
I have a couple of injuries from the run to report. It was windy and that made it feel chilly, so (again, sorry for the crude comments) my nipples were erect and got really sore rubbing against my shirt. I usually rub Vaseline on them when I’m going to sweat a lot to keep them from getting sore, but didn’t think to do that today. Big mistake!! I grossed out everyone at my table when one of the little guys was peeking out from a hole in my shirt. Sorry!
The second one I didn’t notice until I took a shower. The hills are harder for me to go down than to run up. The force on the knees is bad, but my left knee and left hip, both of which have been giving me problems, were fine. The big toe on my right food is bruised from bumping into the toe box of my shoes on the downhills and will soon turn black. A few e-mails back I said that my toenail from last year’s running mishap finally grew out, wasn’t black any more, and I felt like I didn’t belong to the “serious runner’s club”. I really didn’t want to rejoin this way.
OK! OK! I’ll quit my whining and suck it up.
Just (Tired But Full Of Pancakes) Jack