Tag Archives: Racoon Kits


POSTED: JUNE 1, 2024

Mother’s Day is a special time. We pull out the emotions we don’t show often enough and share them with the ones we love, or respect. Any regular readers of my posts will know I am not a dad and don’t have a partner or siblings. My Mothers Day experiences historically have been with my own mom and my grandmother. Both sadly passed many years ago. In recent times I have taken to calling those friends of mine I respect as moms just to tell wish them well and tell them I am thinking about them. I will often do it the day before, partially because of the time difference of my location Malta and many of them being in North America. It is also a day before the busy time of Mothers Day, and if the timing doesn’t work they call me back on their time and we can have a good chat. This was the case with my friend Janice who actually called me back the day after Mothers Day when she had more free time.


I know Janice pretty well, given she is the partner of my buddy Jim. Her Mothers Days always involve Jade and Jason over for the day, and often Jim makes a nice dinner and they do some things together. They do this every second Sunday so the significance of Mother’s Day is just that it is more focused on Janice than usual. This year, like others Jade always posts on social media an image of her and her mom doing something from when she was a kid. I always like that kind of remembrance as it brings to life the historical depth of the relationship. Also like some previous years Jade and Jason brought a number of flowers they thought their mom would like for the garden, perennials I think, and spent some time with their mom choosing the location and planting them.




But what was really on her mind, were some events that had happened during the week, largely involving Jim. I felt compelled to use the often-referenced quote of our high school principal when Jims name would come up “Oh, what has he done now?”

A few days before Mother’s Day he was planning his day around an outing to see his dental hygienist. He and Janice have a good relationship with Faye. She does a great job, and works in a very large and very good dental practice and they have been with for some time. It is a small world it seems as her grandfather started a major company making short helpful guides on various subjects for high school students. I used these guides myself.  Faye has a daughter and who is about nine and she and her partner are now expecting another baby. This is of particular interest to Jim has a sister who is nine years older than him and my other buddy Jim H. has a couple brothers, the youngest of which is also nine years older.  The dynamic of these siblings is always interesting to watch. There isn’t much competitiveness, as the age spread is so large its almost like having an aunt or uncle more than a sister or brother. Where there is jealousy its because by the time the younger one comes along the parents are now more mature and able to let the little stuff slide and they almost always are in a much better financial position so the family trips aren’t inexpensive camping trips in the car, but expensive trips to exotic locations and the meagre allowance has now become much more sizable.

Like me, Janice and Jim are getting older so need to have their teeth “detailed” as Jim says, about every four months so Jim had seen Faye just after she went public with her pregnancy and had a booking with her on her last day before her scheduled time for stopping work. While he was never really happy about his trips to the dental office this one he was looking forward to because he could get the final update on how things were progressing and the plans and wish her well.

It is with these thoughts that Jim was more than a bit put off when an event happened earlier in the day that put his dental outing at risk. Over breakfast he and Janice had watched a racoon come out from a patio table in their back garden that had not been uncovered from the winter and climb over a fence they share with a neighbour and head off to the neighbour’s yard. They were relieved to see she had left as it was Jims plan to uncover the table that day and start to do the spring yard work before his dental visit. He had just made his coffee and saw her return with a baby racoon in her mouth. Before he could collect his thoughts, she had crawled under the table cover with the little one. He called to Janice to come to see this but before Janice was out the mother racoon was off and over the fence again. This was not good. She was obviously relocating from where they had been born. Hopefully that was the entire family. Nope. The process continued for three more trips.

Janice is a very resourceful person and was on the phone with the municipal wildlife control people. They assured her that this was not their problem and that she should call a private wildlife control company. The answer there was not a very good one. Two different places she called were very clear that they could come and trap the mother and her kits, but that once they were released at a park the mother would bolt, the kits would be left on their own and either starve to death or be eaten by other animals. What the hell kind of mess had they fallen into here, they thought.

But one of the private wildlife people had made a good suggestion to encourage them to relocate to someplace in the yard that would not be so intrusive but still provide shelter and that would lead to the best possible outcome.

So once Jim saw the mom head out to get another one or to get food Jim took some gear and built them a little house in a corner of their yard.  It was an aluminum step ladder covered with a tarp and with a cardboard box below with little walls so the kits wouldn’t wander out. The next part I imagine was a bit scary. With some gloves on Jim gingerly opened the table cover to reveal the nest of babies and carried one of the little guys to the new home and went back for the next one. Once the cover on the existing nest under the patio table was exposed it was obvious there were six of them! One at time Jim did the gentle walk to their new home and placed them in the box. I was at number four when mom came back and hear the squealing from the new location and went under the tarp at the ladder house. There was no turning back now so Jim got the next one and brought it to within a few meters of their new home and set it down and went back for another. Thankfully mom heard its squealing and after making sure Jim had left came out and picked it up with her mouth and took it to the new nest. They repeated this routine until the job was done. On one of Jims trips to the drop point Janice snapped this photo. Their little eyes were not even open at that point!


While the drama of this was all pretty interesting Jim was at a terrible risk of not making his dental detailing appointment and called to tell the clinic he was on his way and would not be characteristically early but might even be a few minutes late. Apparently, someone had forgotten to call him to say that the appointment would need to be rescheduled with another hygienist at a future time as Faye had gone into labour and been rushed to the hospital. She and her baby boy were doing fine he was told.

Other than caring for their elderly dog Tuli, Janice and Jim have a life these days that is quite quiet and does not have big events, or even little events to liven it up much so this had been quite the day. The new nest was quite a novelty for the next few days but then there was no action around it at all. They were getting a bit stressed that she might have abandoned the nest altogether and on Mother’s Day morning gingerly pulled back part of the tarp hoping to not see a number of dead baby racoons. Nope. Nothing. Mom had relocated them to somewhere safer.

That night having a nice mothers day dinner they could hear the mom and her kits making noise from their new nest in a nearby park.

It was not the Mother’s Day conversation I thought I would have but it made my day.

Love you mom.