Sunday, June 17, 2012

urban wildlife

It was only a matter of time before the undesired wildlife discovered the outdoor cat food. This past week I learned that two different wild critters have been coming and stealing the cats' food.

First, on Tuesday night I recorded the overnight back porch happenings. Later reviewing the recordings, I learned that a raccoon entered the back porch several times throughout early Wednesday morning and helped itself to the feral's food.

Oliver watches the raccoon eat his dinner

Later the raccoon comes back for seconds

A few days later, I happen to look out the window at the right time and saw the raccoon cross the street and make it's way to the Dining Hall for dinner. I tried to frighten it away with a water pistol but it just ignored it! I tried throwing a small rock at it and no result. So, I pulled up the food. As soon as I went back inside, it came right back looking for the food, not finding any, it went right to the back porch. It then gave up and moved on. I'm sure it will return on it's way back through.

Watching the raccoon through the back door was informative. That sucker was huge! I'm actually wondering if there might be more than one that comes around because the one that I saw looked a lot bigger than the ones in the above feral-cam pictures.

Come Thursday morning, I happen to glance out the window and I see Oliver and MK hanging out in their yard. Suddenly, my eye is drawn to a large white critter ambling across the yard. It was an opossum!

Oliver hanging out with the opossum

beady eyed, nasty looking bugger

MK doing his best "walk like an opossum" impression

This might be the first opossum that I have ever seen that's actually alive. Usually, I see them in the form of roadkill. Even though they are ugly, I prefer them alive, but in someone else's yard!

I'm not interested in feeding all these other critters, nor do I want to be the neighbor who is attracting all the undesirable urban wildlife. So, that means it's time to make some changes to the outdoor operations of the fourwhitepaws hobby cattery. My friend Nancy has inspired me with some ideas for outdoor raccoon-proof feeders. Inspiration + weekend = stay tuned!


  1. I like raccoons, but they're pests and can be quite nasty. I thought opossums could eat cats...No, wait, I'm thinking of badgers. I remember last summer or the summer before a badger got someone's roaming housecat -- they weren't sure at first, thought it was a human.

    I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  2. If you put out half rotting fruit it should lure the opposums away. They just love it.
    Jane x

  3. Ahhh... Rockies... I know them well. They're pretty darned cute. Some live in our subdivision but we cats get along just fine with them. Plus, they eat stuff like June bugs so the peep is always quite happy 'bout them 'cause she hates the June bugs. Icky, she says. Don't think I've ever met an opossum, though.

  4. Good luck with the new ways of feeding the ferals without feeding the critters.

  5. When we had a barn we put the cat flap three feet up with a small platform for the outdoor crew--we never had coons get in. Prolly a platform feeder is the way to go, I can't wait to see what you build!

  6. This is awful and it never ever fails. I was amazed that you had not said anything before. But I see it was just late it coming.

    Raccoons are liable to attack you as look at you. My best friend was just recently bitten by one. He was killed by her husband and my friend had to have rabies shots. All she did was go to her car but the raccoon took offense I guess.

  7. Raccoons look cute, but they are pretty determined when they want food. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeve (paws).

  8. I used to gather my trash in the morning and leave the bag on the porch. I'd then dump the bag when I left for work. One morning I heard tearing paper and other noises on my porch. I opened the door to a opossum in my trash. He didn't bother to play dead--just hissed at me and left.

  9. I'm surprised it took the critters so long to find the feral food. They (critters) are the main reason I don't put out food for ferals. Raccoons are potentially nasty (and rabid) and skunks are attracted to the food as well. Looking forward to your solutions!

  10. OMG! Good spying! I worry about that too, we live in an area where there is lots of wildlife too... sneaky buggers! ;o)


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