That's Totally Sick!
One recent stormy February day, with snow swirling around and schools closed, my neighbor rang my doorbell and reported sighting a rather confused-looking raccoon walking around in circles and trying to climb into the wheel well of my car. Outside, it was easy to see where the animal had formed two sets of distinct, concentric circles, as though trying to communicate with extraterrestrials. Hmmm. Soon, I heard the beast shifting around nearby; he’d taken refuge under our covered grill.
Animal Control encouraged me to ignore the animal and carry on. The storm would end and off he’d go. A reasonable expectation, but for the confusion and concentric circles. But the next day I found no exit tracks, and returned to the grill to hear more breathing. Either the charcoal had been given life, or the squatter was still present.
Animal Control now advised me to expose the grill and its untamed occupant. To protect myself, I carefully positioned a ladder beside the cooker and climbed two steps up so as not to have my ankles chewed upon when I yanked off the cover. Now exposed, the raccoon seemed content to lie there, as though sleeping off a three-day drunk. Not normal! I called a third time, and now Animal Control agreed to send an officer.
Apparently sensing it was time flee, the raccoon awoke and stumbled around my yard, eventually leaving to stumble up and down the neighborhood’s sidewalks and up porch steps to people’s front doors, scratching to get in. At one point, a neighbor emerged from her house and came face to face with our confused and probably rabid beast, screamed, and jumped back inside.
After 45 minutes of my keeping tabs on this guy, an animal control officer arrived and expertly snared the plump little ball of fur. “Is he sick?” I asked. Totally!