Not the scene at our house this morning
This morning did not go as I had planned. Normally on Tuesday mornings, I get up a bit later than I do on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (when I go to the gym to be tortured by my trainer), and I walk the dog. Sometimes I also do something else, like tai chi or gardening. This morning, I did a little of all three, but not how I expected to do them.
First off, the bird feed can (a medium-sized galvanized bucket with a tight fitting lid) was lying on its side, open, with bird seed spilling out. A sure sign that raccoons have been around in the night. Miikka was incredibly barky and fixated on the deck and the gate. He gets that way sometimes when the raccoons have been around, so I just chalked it up to him being a pill/defending the homestead after the marauders have left, managed to get the leash on him, and headed out the opposite gate. I went out that way because I wanted to turn on the sprinkler in the front yard, to keep my Rose of Sharon, day lilies, hostas and azaleas from dying in the heat we are having. That done, we set out on our normal walk. I had a moment of attempting to get him to go up the hill - so as to do the walk in the opposite direction for once - but that didn't last long. Down the hill it would be. Except that half way down the hill Miikka decided that he didn't want to walk. At all. With some coaxing and coercing I managed to get him to the bottom, in the hopes that he would get excited about the walk again once he was in the interesting areas. No dice. Still no go. So, back up the hill, which he did at a nice trot. Argh!
Once back at the house we headed for the gate, and who should meet us there but Creamsicle. Now, of the three cats, she is the one who is allowed outside unchaperoned, and is the only one who will tolerate Miikka. That being said, however, I would prefer she not leave the backyard. And until today, I didn't think that she did. I don't know if I left the gate open enough for her to slip out (it didn't appear to be open when we got there, but I wasn't paying close attention, since I was trying to keep Miikka from chasing her off), or if she climbed over the gate (she used to do that with the chain link fence at the house in Brockport, but I haven't seen her do anything that athletic in a while.) Anyway, I had to herd a cat for a little while, until I could get close enough to grab her and get her back in the yard.
Was my wacky morning over yet? Oh no. After the aborted walk, I still wanted to get some exercise, so I decided to do tai chi. My attempts at this were constantly disturbed by Miikka's incessant barking on the deck. I brought him back in, but then he just barked out the window. After a bit he finally quieted down, but was under my feet. Sigh. Anyway, I am in the middle of a single whip or something, when I see a raccoon. Descending the crape myrtle bush next to the deck. No wonder Miikka was having fits. Sorry for yelling. I took a couple of pictures (still on camera, sorry, maybe later) of the poor thing, which appeared to be rather young (probably why it was stuck in the tree instead of fighting back), but as soon as Miikka spotted it and started barking, it climbed back up to its rather tenuous perch (I mean, crape myrtles have a lot of branches, but they aren't particularly sturdy or anything).
The only thing to do was to keep Miikka in the house and give the raccoon time to escape, when it felt up to it. I guess that worked, because the raccoon was gone by the time I left for work.
So, morning recap: 1 aborted walk, 1 almost escaped cat, 1 crazy dog, 2 watered flower/vegetable gardens. 1 treed raccoon. All before 7 AM.