When we last left our heroine, she and her beloved hero were battling the Plague of Locusts:
Yes, you heard that correctly. The Spouse spotted it, I turned around and saw this:
We were dumbfounded. Our deck is on the second floor. Something had walked up the stairs, chosen this particular spot right underneath our kitchen window, and emptied its bowels.
Now we knew it wasn't our cat because he stays inside (altho his 'guard cat' qualities are now questionable since he did nothing to scare off the late night poopertrator). We deduced it wasn't a neighborhood cat because the poop was too big to be cat turdlings and the nearby catnip plant was untouched. We also figured it wasn't a dog because our entire backyard is fenced in, three sides of which are a 6 foot privacy fence.
What the hell? Some woodland critter came up on our deck and shit a big pile! Possibly a possum but more likely a raccoon. But why our deck? Why not the backyard, or someone else's deck for that matter.
I guess it's because all the other backyards surrounding ours have dogs. Perhaps the critter can concentrate better on the quiet peace of our deck, making his bowel movement more satisfying. We do have a nice, clear view of the night sky. Perhaps that makes his movements border on the spiritual.
Our theory on the raccoon was proven the very next morning. It was a cool enough night to leave our windows open. While I'm getting myself ready for work I hear something rummaging around in the Spouse's compost pile. I grab a flashlight and aim it directly down from the bedroom window, only to have a little furry masked face with glowing gold eyes stare me down.
I yelled for the Spouse and we both ran for the deck. Sure enough, a large raccoon goes scampering off to the far corner of our backyard, occasionally stopping to glance over his shoulder to make sure we aren't coming after him.
There was no poop on our deck. This time.
But for the next several mornings we were greeted by a nice steamy pile of raccoon shit. Sometimes it was very seedy. Seems the critter likes mulberries.
So now we have this phantom shitter what shows up sometimes between 11pm and 5am to take a dump on our deck. We have a gate at the bottom of the deck stairs, but closing that did no good. The critter climbed right over it. We see its little muddy footprints leading up to the latest pile of shit.
I even wedged our very large grill right into the corner. Didn't stop him. He either shat next to it or even climbed thru the bottom rack, wedged his little furry raccoon ass between the grill and the exterior house wall and let loose, leaving a nice streak on the aluminum siding.
Sometimes there's been two piles. One morning there was three. Either his colon is really active or he brought friends.
"Boys, you GOTTA to try this new shittin' place! I been comin' there for about a week or two and it RAWKS!"
I've been asking around about how to repel raccoons. One answer sounded logical enough to give it a shot: coyote urine. Apparently, besides kayaks, running shoes and rock-climbing gear, you can also get coyote urine at your local sporting goods store.
So off we went to our local sporting good store (that's named after a penis) and proceeded to the hunting supplies. We asked the guy behind the counter for coyote urine and (of course) he asked what for. When we told him to ward off raccoons, his illustrious answer was:
"Well why don' yew jist shewt'm?"
Now, in my head, I said, "Oh, yeah, Cooter, that's a swell idea! We'll just stay up all night long out on our deck with a shotgun and wait for the little fucker to show up for his nightly shit and blow his little mulberry-eating ass all over our yard. Brilliant!"
But instead, the Spouse and I eloquently explain that we don't have a gun and killing the animal is not an option. We don't want to hurt him. We just want him to go away and shit somewhere else.
But 'Cooter' and his pal, 'Skeeter,' at the penis-named sporting goods store's hunting section are no help. Altho they did offer another suggestion of using a trap to catch him. We have a trap, but if he's clever enough to figure out the gate at the bottom of the deck stairs, he's probably be smart enough to avoid the trap.
Another suggestion we got came from WasabiJohn. He said when he was a kid some raccoons got into his house and after they scared the critters off his dad had to clean up the raccoon poop with ammonia. Seems the ammonia kept them from coming back.
I mentioned the ammonia plan to my mom, who then suggested bleach. So I found a metal pan, put a large sponge in it and filled it with about a quarter inch of bleach and set it at the top of the deck stairs.
Four nights in a row I've done this. Four mornings in a row the Spouse has not had to clean raccoon shit off our deck. Clorox: is there anything it can't do? Well, ok, it can't restore the finish on an '89 T-bird, but dammit, it keeps the shitty raccoons away.
And we didn't have to shewt'm.