The adventures August and Jenna Hague experienced Sunday night mimicked those in Ray Stevens epic song, "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". In the Hague’s case, they and their home were invaded by an adventurous raccoon.
"I’m a light sleeper," said Jenna. "About 3 o’clock. Sunday morning I heard a plop and scratching in our attic. I knew something was crawling around up there. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at the time because we have had raccoons and even a possum invade our attic over the years."
Sunday the Hague’s went about their day practically dismissing the early morning noises. But, as a precaution in case something was in their house, they closed the doors leading to the bedroom and adjoining dining room. "About 9 o’clock Sunday evening we heard a commotion in our bedroom and then a crash and the sounds of glass breaking and lamps being turned over," said August. "We were so glad we had closed off the room."
What the Hague’s discovered was a raccoon had managed to squeeze through the chimney flue and wiggle his way down the fireplace into the bedroom. Not satisfied with destroying the room, the critter managed to open the double French doors and scramble into the adjoining dining room. In his efforts to reenter the attic, the raccoon gnawed a hole in ceiling above the door frame. When that failed, he scrambled over to the bay window where he literally destroyed the blinds. As he frantically sought an escape route, the raccoon broke a number of Jenna’s collectibles.
"He was going wild," said August.
"I was on the phone talking to my daughter and granddaughter when I glanced up and the raccoon was standing upright looking me square in the eye," continued Jenna. August interjected, "After that, he settled down in one of the dining room chairs where he was sitting when Animal Control Officer Troy Jester and Police Officer Justin Garrison arrived.
"Officer Jester knew his stuff," said Jenna. "He was able to rescue that frightened animal and release him well outside the city limits. Both officers were so appreciated and did a great job."
As much damage as he did, Jenna was amazed that not a single item was disturbed when the raccoon sashayed across her buffet which was laden with delicate pieces.
When the Hague’s asked how that raccoon could have possibly made it through the narrow chimney flue, Jester explained a raccoon’s body can constrict much like a mouse and get into very tiny spaces.
The Hague’s aren’t sure what it is about their property that attracts wild animals but they have accumulated an interesting trove of stories.
"One evening we heard a commotion out on our patio deck," said August, "When I turned on the porch light, I saw a family of 8 skunks having a party. They didn’t seem the least bit bothered by me and ran under the deck. Needless to say, the stench was not pleasant."
Upon investigation, August found an opening left over when their central heating and air had been installed. He said he is constantly working to seal off areas where wildlife can enter his home, but it seems to be an ongoing chore. Fortunately, his attic access is large enough where he can set live traps to catch unwanted visitors.
Somehow, Sunday’s visitor eluded that trap.