Originally uploaded by Mic2006.
The voice on the other end of the phone was my wife, "Shhh, Shhh, he's about to come out. he had his paw up over the grate a second ago". "Who? What? Where? "The grate, he's coming up any minute". What on earth are you doing?" "Covert action" was the reply (Maggie reads to many spy novels, she and our elderly neighbour Bob trade paperbacks all the time). Shaka smelled him first and lay there dead still with his nose up against the grate for about 10 minutes. "Well what is it? "Oh here he comes, He's all the way out, I can see his eyes. Oh no a car.
By this time I could picture the scene and knew what she was talking about. Maggie is infatuated by animals. She knows all the local dogs by name and temperament but is a little hazy on the owners. Yowling neighbourhood cats often visit us, "Hobbie" (Hobart) is still fed though I had long ago banned him from my house, he's a real pest. Maggie indulges in what she calls "critter spotting" on any country drive, she sees them everywhere. My phone call had interupted her hiding behind the latice on the front porch. She was watching a sewer grate in the road where a whole colony of raccoons lived.
Dammit, dammit, you are scaring him she yells at the unhearing driver of the car. I hear the woosh on the phone as it passes on the wet road. "Looks like he's heading into the neighbour's yard, gonna have a big pig out on the garbage". We frequently wake to find that the coons have strewn our garbage all over the back doorstep. One sorry night what I thought was a raccoon out back turned out to be a skunk. It took weeks to totally purge Shaka of the stench.