Thursdays.  Priority number 1.  Trap that darn cat.  Five years of Thursdays.  Roughly 260 attempts.  Ok. So, that’s a lie. Some days it’s too rainy, or too snowy, or just too cold.  Some days, he is a no show.  As of late, it’s been a constant battle with raccoons.  Yet, I swear by persistence.

Today.  I set the trap but he is wise.  He heard the rattle of the cage and fled.  He has not returned.  Yet, I sit…watching, waiting, guarding.  The last thing I want is to trap a raccoon instead of a cat.  They can be nasty.  So far, I’ve been lucky when it comes to raccoons.  They have been nothing but sweet.  Perhaps sneaky but sweet.

Once, nearly 20 years ago, a couple of friends and I spent a week camping our way up the West coast.  Day 4, we arrived at camp.  The Redwoods.  Midnight.  We unloaded; then realized, we were out of firewood.  I chose to stay behind while my friends drove back to the gate for timber.  It seemed wise at the time.

It was dark.  Really dark.  The forest was so dense that it blocked out the light of the moon.  I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.  Litterally.  Not wanting to drain the battery from the flashlight, there I sat in the darkness.  Cross-legged.  On the picnic table.  

It’s funny what happens when you can’t see.  It’s true…your other senses do kick in.  I strongly sensed I was being watched.  I could feel it was close…whatever it was.  I listened.  I strained to hear.  Movement.  Breathing.  Anything.  I got nothing.  

I grabbed the flashlight.  My senses were correct.  There they were.  Eight sets of eyes belonging to eight raccoons.  I was completely surrounded.  All eight on their hind legs.  All about four feet away.  All about three feet tall.  Staring.  Just staring.

Not knowing if spooking them would cause them to flea or attack, I chose to turn the flashlight back off and sit.  So far, it had worked.  Seemed logical at the time.  So, there I sat.  In the dark.  Quietly.  Motionless.  After about five minutes, I checked again.  And there they were.  All eight.  Still in the same position.  Same stance.  Same stare.  Apparently, we think alike.

So, logically, I turned the flash light off again and began the wait.  Shortly thereafter, my friends returned.  

Today, I wait again.  Guarding my trap from raccoons.  Yet, this time I wait on a stray.  A very wise stray.  Persistence will pay off.  I will win.