“What was that?”

It was the middle of the night in February 1993.  Theresa and I were sound asleep, and were woken suddenly by loud noises above us.

“What was that?”

At first it sounded like someone was walking on the roof.  There was definitely movement above us.  Footsteps.

The next sound that I heard will stay with me forever.  That was the sound of our house being broken into.

—–

I called 911, and explained the situation.  Noises on the roof, and then sounds of a break-in.   And now I can hear footsteps in the attic above us.  The dispatcher sent a patrol car right away, and asked me to stay on the line.

Within a couple of minutes, the patrol car arrived, and the dispatcher connected the officer in the patrol car onto our call.  He asked us to stay put while he analyzed the situation.

He was quiet for a minute or two, and then he started laughing.  He said “you can come outside now, it’s ok”.

—–

When Theresa and I went outside, the officer was shining a flashlight near the roof of our house.  Just beneath the roof, there was a set of metal eaves that had been broken, with a gaping hole in the front of the house where the eaves used to be.

In the middle of the hole, there was a raccoon throwing attic insulation out of the house.

After we regained our composure, we asked the police officer what to do about the raccoon.  He suggested that we call an exterminator.  In the morning, we called our exterminator, but they explained that raccoons were not something that they dealt with.  We would have to call a wildlife company.

Later that day, we identified a wildlife company that would come out and assess the situation.  They assessed the situation (and the size of our bank account, I think) and proposed a solution that would remove the raccoon, and our life savings, from the house.

Raccoons don’t normally break into homes in the middle of the night.  The wildlife expert explained that raccoons look for nesting areas in the wintertime, right before giving birth.  The raccoon in our attic was probably a pregnant one, who may or may not have given birth in our attic.

Over the next few days, the wildlife company cleaned out our attic (mom had left, and had not given birth yet).  The raccoon did tear our attic up, so it had to be re-insulated.  The wildlife company installed barriers, so that momma raccoon couldn’t return.

I never did get back to sleep that night…..