Saturday, April 23, 2011

Davy Crockett is Alive and Well and Living in Thornhill

I realize it's April but we need to backtrack to early March....just for a couple of minutes. MO's birthday was coming up and we were planning a nice evening out for dinner to his choice of restaurant. The week prior to MO turning 23 we received an unexpected and uninvited guest at our home. Steve and I were asleep and awoke to the sounds of small animal feet running back and forth above us. My first fear was that something made it's way into the attic. In the past 23 years we have had numerous houseguests including chipmunks, squirrels, skunks, field mice, and birds. Steve has no fear of any outdoor or indoor creepy crawlers or wild animals so he was dispatched to investigate what was causing all the racket above our heads. He climbed out onto the roof with his ladder. Poked his head over the top shingles to see if his premonition was right....he guessed it was squirrels running around but instead was met with the stare of a very young racoon who had somehow made his way up to the top of our roof and would not come down. Steves suggestion was to just leave it alone and "eventually" it would get hungry and make it's way back to the neighbourhood garbage cans. Day one passed. Day two passed and "eventually" turned into 6 days. We nicknamed him Rocky Raccoon and each day he would sit and stare at me when I left for work and each night he would run around the roof like a mishugana (Yiddish Definition: crazy person). Mid week I made a conscious decision to call the Ministry of Natural Resources to inquire about our options with Mr. Rocky. They informed me that there was nothing they could do unless the animal was on the ground. Now I'm thinking like this....if the freakin animal was on the ground why would I be calling you? There were only two ways to bring Rocky down.

1. Shoot, drop and roll - Not humane
2. Trap and drop - very humane

I googled "raccoon removal" and found a company called SWAT Raccoon Services. Although I didn't need a SWAT team to remove the little guy we needed some kind of intervention so I dialed.....

"Hello? this SWAT RACCOON?" I asked.
"Yes ma'am....this is Trapper John at your can I help ya".
"Yes..Um.....I have a smallish raccoon that has been on my roof for almost a week now...what are your suggestions"? I ask.
"Well little lady...I reckon ya might need my help but I would suggest you just leave the wee fella there...he will come down eventually". He answered.
"Eventually? My husband said the same thing.What exactly is the timeline definition for "eventually"? I ask.
"Give it a couple more days and then give Trapper John a holler back if it ain't comin down", he replied.

I took his advice and watched Rocky walk back and forth for another two days. At this stage of the game I became worried  as to how he was going to survive without food. He had plenty of water because of the amount of snow on the roof but what about his junk food diet? I tossed and turned at night, not able to sleep thinking about little RR. He was all alone at night...his mum probably had no idea where he ended up and he was most likely starving to DEATH on my roof. Did I need this? No. The next day I asked Steve to do something. He volunteered to check out Home Depot for Wildlife traps. You have to understand my husband. If Steve thinks  he can do it himself....he will do it himself. How? He watches insanely stupid shows on TV and learns how to do what no Jew would do. Not so insane and not so stupid when it comes to saving me money but nonetheless when Trauma in the ER is one of the shows of choice would you want him sewing your left leg back on for you? Hmmmmm....

After watching, Survivorman, Steve can definitely survive in the wilderness for at least a week by eating insects and bark.  After watching Holmes on Homes, Steve has learned how to pour a foundation, repair weeping tiles and scope plumbing with an underground camera. I have witnessed him do some really weird things in the past 12  years. He can build. He can cook. He can even sew. He has eaten chocolate covered crickets and sampled the cat treats.

And then there is my favorite show...Billy the Exterminator. Billy is a studded cowboy punk style dude who makes his living annihilating unwanted creatures from your home. To be quite honest, there is something very attractive about a man who can wrestle alligators off your front lawn and vacuum cockroaches out of the crevices of your walls. So watching and absorbing the tricks of the trade, Steve has no qualms about venturing out to conquer these types of tasks around the house. I'm one lucky girl.

I arrived home to prepare for our night out for MO's birthday. There was RR in  his usual place on top of the roof waving at me. Inside the house was a large white box which contained a good sized trap for Rocky. Steve put the trap together, ventured out on the roof and took a can of tuna with him to lure RR in. When he returned he stated that by 5 p.m. Rocky should be secured in the trap..."just you wait and see". So we waited and saw nothing but Rocky staring at our car as we departed for dinner. So much for the 5 p.m. checkout time.

As we enjoyed our celebration at Baton Rouge, I couldn't help but think of Rocky. What happens if he didn't enter the trap? Maybe he was already too weak to make his way over to the can of tuna? With the candles blown and the bill paid, we anxiously rushed home to see if the Trapper trapped the trappee. What we found was this...a dark shadow hovering on the roof in it's regular spot, staring down at us...laughing. Rocky had us in the palm of his hands...he was mocking our indignation for his lack of cooperation. Our goal was to ensure his safe removal from our roof. If we had no other choice we would have to succumb to calling Trapper John while Trapper Steve made his way back to Home Depot with the trap. Just as we were about to give up, YO left to go out to his friend's house. As he backed out of the driveway the headlights from the car shone up to the roof - there inside the trap was a shadow - Rocky had checked IN.

It was time for Trapper Steve AKA - Stevey Crockett to commence the balance of the mission. Comparable to the Chilean minors rescue, he and YO took to the roof with flashlights and baseball bats. The lights were to assist in seeing what they were doing without falling off roof ....the baseball bats were to protect themselves from the 2 pound animal in the trap. Although the weather had made a turn for the worse, we all witnessed this miraculous event.

I doned my coat, couldn't find my hat so I wrapped my scarf around my head burka-style and watched Rocky as he was gently being lowered to the ground via the trap held  by electrical wire. There he was looking frightened and hungry, somewhat like all my children do on daily basis. I couldn't tell if he was afraid of the trap or confused as to who I was in my disguise. Steve and YO were elated that they accomplished the feat of getting Rocky off the roof. They carefully placed the trap in the trunk of my car and proceeded with the transfer. He was being moved to another place in the neighbourhood....far from my roof...and back to his lifestyle which included a diet of garbage and dodging cars. Each time I come home from work I gaze up at my roof. I miss ya Rocky but at least you left me with one fond memory...of the two nars that were your friends...

Stevey and YOey Crockett...Kings of the Wild Frontier

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