grooming raccoons

August 29, 2018 | Comments Off

Mark went outside to give the raccoons some more food when two little ones started grooming each other right next to him!

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

August 28, 2018 | Comments Off

Today is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day.

I miss all of these furbabies so very much. They were all such perfect, sweet babies, and I’m lucky I got to be their mama!

becca

Becca | more pics

Kip

Kip | more pics

My Tiger

Eva | more pics

Valentine's Day 2014

Spenser | more pics

Her new nickname is Squeaks!

Basia | more pics

Thundershirt product review

Pacey | more pics

neighbor kitty strikes

August 28, 2018 | Comments Off

Last night Nabi was in our yard doing some hunting and then decided to take a break:

Neighbor Kitty is taking a break from hunting in our yard

a real nail-biter

August 26, 2018 | Comments Off

Oliver has yet another injury. He sure keeps us on our toes! Friday I saw him licking his back paw, so I thought I’d check it out. I saw that his pad looked torn a bit and that one side next to it was red. We ended up taking him to the vet, and they said it definitely got caught on something. See, some of the hardwoods here have nails that pop up. They have been a huge frustration of mine ever since we moved in. Literally almost every single day I run my bare feet over the floors to see if they snag on a nail. We always seem to be pounding nails back down or replacing ones that can be removed. I worried from the start that his fluffy paws would get caught on one. He likes to get a running start and then slide on the floors. So is that what happened? It makes sense. There was one that was barely poking through that I must have missed, so maybe that was it. These nails are super annoying. Yesterday I found two that needed done, and today I found two more. I had just run my feet over the floor yesterday and that area was fine; today that very same area was not fine! That happens all the goddamned time too which is why I check it almost daily. Sigh. So he is on two kinds of medications, is using special litter, and gets his paw soaked in epsom salt twice a day. He isn’t limping, but he growls when we dunk his little foot. My poor baby.

Sam ate Lulu

August 26, 2018 | Comments Off

Yesterday Mark came home from Petsmart with this:

Sam ate Lulu!

raccoon whisperer

August 25, 2018 | Comments Off

I’ve fallen madly in love with raccoons!

These poor guys have such a bad reputation. People get so bent out of shape over raccoons! Many are scared of them and assume they all have rabies. And if one is seen out and about during the daytime, people think that they are displaying symptoms. Listen, if one is running towards you and is foaming at the mouth, that’s not ideal, no. But typically it’s just a mama who is out looking for food for her babies. Just leave them alone. There’s no need to panic. In my opinion, they’re cute, sweet, curious, gentle, smart, and friendly. I have actually earned the trust of quite a few of them and continue to earn the trust of even more all the time. I can hand feed many of them that stop by!

It all started when Mark saw a raccoon sleeping in one of our trees. We’d go out to talk to her a lot, but she didn’t really care about us. Despite that, we were so excited!

Look at our raccoon snoozing! Mark took this pic this morning.

Eventually we realized she had four babies in there with her. We’d spend night after night watching them climb on the tree at dusk. She started leaving in the mornings and coming back for them then.

But one night I saw her on the security camera moving them, and I was devastated. I was so sad that our weeks of fun watching them out there were over. Turns out, that’s a common thing for mamas to do. Moving their babies often after they hit a certain age is what they do to protect them from predators.

To our surprise, small raccoons started showing up to one of our window bird feeders after a few weeks or so had passed.

A set of raccoons came very early tonight, and I'm excited that I got a closeup of them that's lit well

I don’t remember how it started with them coming around to our carport, but that’s where the main action now takes place each and every night. Early on, though, we’d sit out there with food. It began with them running off or going out of their way to not get too close to us while they ate. It was a slow, slow process of them learning that we weren’t going to hurt them. We started holding cookies out at an arm’s length in an attempt to get the raccoons to take them from us. I think it was maybe three days later when one carefully approached Mark to gently take a cookie from his hands. And then it went from there with many others!

Here are some cute pictures and videos!

B4C5132D-601D-4642-8C8F-3B9A6B53697C
Me with seven raccoons!
Our baby raccoon visitor thinks cookies taste better when on his belly - photo 2
Two raccoons playing by my feet
Two baby raccoons eating marshmallows from my hand

Two raccoons eating cookies:

One “washing” food on a paper plate:

Me feeding four raccoons at once:

One resting right by our feet:

A raccoon playing with a cashew:

Me making friends with a new one:

A raccoon sliding a plate away from a stray cat:

Me waving one over and it trotting to me:

One taking poundcake from me:

One stealing a donut:

Fun raccoon wrestling at the 1:04 mark:

Me hanging out with six of them:

Me feeding them marshmallows:

Raccoons drinking and wading in water:

One playing with a cat toy:

Another one eating a marshmallow:

A baby raccoon playing with something:

A mama raccoon eating a cookie:

I definitely do look forward to seeing them each night. That being said, I don’t go outside every night, but I try to sit out there as often as I can and for as long as I can manage. If my back pain is too strong, I watch them on the security cameras. I’ve heard both sides of the story with regards to the pros and cons of feeding them. I’m in a secret raccoon group on Facebook. It has people just like me in it, as well as wildlife rehabbers and people who have raccoons as pets. I’m so jealous of the people who have mama raccoons that leave their babies with them for thirty minutes here and there so that they can take a break – what a level of trust that is! Anyway, they thank me for feeding them because it’s a harsh world for them out in the wild. Then there are those who think I’m doing them a disservice. One of these reasons for that is because they believe that they won’t go out hunting if I am providing food for them. I put out a bunch of cookies and donuts, not a five-course meal. I certainly don’t put out enough food to fill up the bellies of twenty raccoons; I’d be bankrupt! It’s just a little something to help them out. Another reason I have heard is that I’m getting them too used to being around humans, and that’s not ideal because most people get scared of and then hurt the raccoons that approach them. I worry about that last part too, to be honest. There are raccoons who don’t want anything to do with me. There are some who run off scared if I open a plastic donut wrapper (but usually come back). There are one or two who stand right beside me as I pour kibble out onto a paper plate. There are a few who like to sniff me and touch me. I guess I like to think that they’re only being friendly to us because they know us. I’ve read that they can be discerning. For instance, two have recently given Mark the stink eye because they knew me but didn’t recognize him – I go out much more often than he does. The first time was when one came to eat at the food station but wouldn’t stop staring at him while he chewed. And the second was when one saw me, walked up, saw Mark, and left. Hahaha. It takes time to earn their trust, and I do hope it’s just us that they know they’re safe with. I love when a new one appears, and I eventually win them over and they’re taking food from my hands. I have a new one right now that has a very, very dark face. He is very skittish; plastic wrappers are not his friend. But he’s been taking steps closer and closer to me. I’ll be sooo happy when we make friends.

A person is supposed to be able to differentiate between raccoons by looking at their masks. Well, I apparently suck at doing that! I can only tell some of them apart based on their behavior and actions. I hope to get better at recognizing them by their faces. So, yeah, we have ones who ignore us, we have our regulars, and we have newbies that are deciding if they should like us or not. What’s maddening is that the time changes as to when they show up to eat. When this all started last year in the late summer, they’d eat early at the same time each night. Then they did their version of hibernation last winter (they don’t come out if there’s snow or if it’s below 15 degrees). When it got warmer, they started coming at almost midnight and then at all hours of the night. Recently, their arrival time has gotten earlier and earlier as the summer has progressed. Right now they’re coming even earlier and are done eating by midnight for the most part. I think they’re amazing little guys, and I’m grateful that they spend any kind of time with me. It’s actually quite an honor. I remember one time last year when it was raining really hard out. Two baby raccoons were done eating and decided to nap on our welcome mat to wait out the heavy rain. They were right next to me as I was on the bench to the left of them, and I couldn’t even go inside because they were blocking the door. Hahah. So we all just hung out together, and it was really cool. Here’s a photo from that night:

Raccoons hang out on the welcome mat instead of going back out into the rain

rewatching Felicity

August 20, 2018 | Comments Off

So I just finished rewatching felicity. We started watching it again a few years ago but never got beyond four or five episodes of season one. Mark doesn’t know how to binge watch anything; he watches one episode a day whereas I do at least five. Anyway, 20 years ago I was Team Ben over Team Noel. Upon the rewatch, I am definitely Team Noel. Ben was such a wishy-washy jerk, and Noel was always there for her – no matter what happened. I used to think Ben was tortured and misunderstood and that Noel was boring. The thing is, after season one, there really wasn’t any competition between the two guys. Felicity was always all about Ben. It’s funny how I remember thinking Noel had a chance and that there was a true triangle, but there never really was any hope for Noel and Felicity to be together. Also interesting is that I remembered season one clearly, season two barely, and seasons three and four not at all. Time and perspective are funny things. #teamnoel

black cat appreciation day

August 17, 2018 | Comments Off

Sam wanted to say hey because today is #BlackCatAppreciationDay!

Chillin’

finally

August 17, 2018 | Comments Off

After a 19/20 year wait, Mark’s name finally came up, and he’s now a season ticket holder!

Season ticket holder - after a 19/20 year wait!

boycott memorablegifts.com

August 16, 2018 | Comments Off

I said on Twitter that my very first post when I got back to writing would be about how fucking awful memorablegifts.com is. I’m not even going to link to them. I may be a little late in getting around to it, but I still feel the same way: you need to boycott these assholes.

I actually liked them at first because I searched high and low until I found the cutest memory boxes for my babies on their site. I wanted a place to put their stuff (ashes, favorite toys, snippets of bedding they loved, and so on), and the box I found was just perfect! I had gotten a total of five others engraved over the years without incident. When I needed one to order for Pacey, I decided to get three more – for Lulu, Samuel, and Oliver – to have just in case. Minus the maybe-jinxing-myself factor, I liked them so much that I was afraid they’d be discontinued and I’d have to find another one.

But there were issues with all four of these that I got from them. They had scratches and paint on them, and I was so disappointed. I took pictures and emailed them to my contact. Initially, she was trying to blame this on FedEx. She said that those marks were made after they shipped them to us. I replied that there was no way this could be true because they were packed so very tightly and there was just no possibility of movement whatsoever. Like none. Then she told me that production recreated the one issue with silver paint. In fact, my replacement boxes had to stop being made until the engraving project with the silver paint was completed first. It was frustrating because I just wanted to put Pacey’s belongings in his box!

I asked her to please inspect these new boxes closely because I am a perfectionist. She said they wanted the original boxes back to investigate how the damage occurred. After they recreated the damage, I never heard anything else about the need to send them back. Besides, when companies want something back, they typically send paperwork and arrange a pick-up date. That never happened. I also wrote in an email, “I am expecting that I won’t need to send my boxes back in anymore since production recreated the issues themselves” to which I never ever heard anything back. And when these four replacements arrived, they were far from perfect too. When I got them, I emailed that Oliver and Lulu’s boxes had minor scratches on them. That’s when I recieved a call tag as an official request to send those two boxes back. I said I wasn’t going to do that because I wanted to try to fix them with wood markers (which worked!). And that was that. Or so I thought.

Then out of the blue, like a month and a half or so after, I got a phone call from the company president, Raffi Dermenjian. I know everyone throws the “bully” word around a lot these days, but that’s exactly what he was. He kept cutting me off, kept raising his voice, and kept accusing me of lying. He wanted the first four boxes back, and we had almost thrown them out! He said he was going to charge us for the damaged products if we didn’t have them. He also said I never sent pictures of the first four boxes that had paint and scratches on them, but I did. He was basically insinuating that I was making the damage up. I mentioned the issue with the silver paint being recreated and my boxes not being redone until the silver paint job was over, and he said I was never told that. I guess I just pulled that out of my ass. He then said my contact was trying to reach me via phone and emails for days about sending the first four boxes back, but that wasn’t true. My phone never ever rang from their offices until he called me. I tried to say that I don’t think she emailed me either because all of her emails came thru to my inbox just fine (I guess there’s a slim chance they could have gone to my junk folder, but that never happened with them before). He didn’t believe me about any of that either. In fact, he didn’t even believe I was a previous customer! I couldn’t even say more than a few words at a time before he’d cut me off with yelling and accusations that I was lying. He also minimized my chronic pain when I said I was unable, at that exact moment we were on the phone, to go out to the garage to see if we still had the first four. This guy was a giant, rude asshole. I honestly couldn’t believe the conversation. I hung up on him because why not? He wasn’t letting me speak and just repeatedly said I was lying about the things I could squeak out. He called right back, but I didn’t pick up. I sent a not-so-pleasant email after Mark said we still had the boxes. They then sent over the paperwork and arranged pick-up, which was fine. But I’ll never forget the way I was spoken to or the way I was treated. It was ridiculous. My contact must have lied to him over and over. I’m not sure why he didn’t check her emails too before calling me. What happened to “the customer is always right?” What would I want with a bunch of damaged memory boxes anyway? Would I sell them on eBay to people who also had pets named Lulu and Oliver or something? All I wanted were ones that looked just as nice as the other five I already had. They are, after all, for my babies. FYI, between the scratches being made to look better (like perfect) with marker and the silver paint rubbing off on some of the others, I did end up with four boxes that fit my needs. Things just didn’t need to go down like this.

updated to add: upon doing a quick search on the company, I came across this review of memorable gifts from an ex-employee:

Advice to Management
It seems like whenever there are mistakes, you approach the person who made the mistake very aggressively, and speak in a very condescending tone. After a year, it got to be too much.

That was from 2013, I believe. Gee, sound familiar?


« Previous Page | Next Page »