What is it with me and wild animals?
It started as a simple task - walk up the hill with the Budster and put all the neighborhood garbage bins back in place. However, my sunset stroll quickly turned into a rescue mission.
I heard weak mewing coming from one of the bins, ours 'natch. The sound seemed to be coming from our bin, even though there was a large rock on it. I carefully opened the lid and there was a juvenile raccoon sprawled at the bottom. The smell of rotting garbage and who knows what else was horrific. I realized the poor wee thing may have been in there for as long as a week. It was in really bad shape, so I carefully tipped over the bin, and Buddy and I waited for it to scamper away. It took five, very long minutes to crawl out, then it collapsed on the grass, calling for its mother, unable to get up. It crawled forward on its paws, dragging its body behind it.
It really did look close to death, so I ran (crying) back down the hill to the cottage, got some water in a dish and a bottle (cursing myself for not buying the turkey baster in the dollar store last week! which I had in my hand!) then ran back up the hill and approached it cautiously. I was worried it might bite, but it was so emaciated and thirsty it could barely move. I went right up to it with a water bottle, and poured some into the side of its mouth and on its paws which it tried to lick. It barely managed to crawl over to the water dish and drink with its head half in the water, then collapsed on the grass again. I ran back down the hill again for some dog food, a piece of steak, some nuts, a strawberry, and ran...back...up...the damn hill again.
It took the steak in one hand and the strawberry in the other, and tucked them under its body. Then lay its head down, quietly huffing, struggling to breathe. I was a wreck at this point.
Back down the hill to call the game warden thinking that's what they do, no? Help with wild animals? That was an interesting conversation, since he was French with no English, and I couldn't think of the word for raccoon* but it didn't matter because he wasn't going to come for this.
*Raton-laveur, in case you wondered. Literal translation is "young rat who washes"
I phoned my trusty guy up here who knows everything about everything, and he said, and I quote, "It's a raccoon! Let nature take its course."
I couldn't. I'm hoping the little guy makes it through the night. I'll check in the morning.
Does this make me a cidiot?