Rocket J

Remember a couple months ago when I posted about a mama raccoon and her brood of six adorable kits? They invaded our flat bird feeder attached to the deck rail. She had three babies around eight inches long, two around six inches long and a runt about four inches that stayed under his mama all night.

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After a couple nights we removed all the leftover seeds to discourage the night visitors. Then a couple weeks later we noticed a movement in the feeder. When we looked out the window we saw a tiny little raccoon in the feeder eating the few remaining seeds. After he ate, he curled up in the feeder and went to sleep. When I took Norma Jean out, he raised his head but stayed curled up and soon went back to sleep.

He returned the next night and again slept in the feeder. On the third night, before he showed up, I placed a handful of grapes in the feeder. Then I watched him eat his tasty treat. When I confessed to Rob what I’d done, he laughed and told me that he had cut up a hot dog and put it in the feeder the night before.

This was most probably the runt of the group that had visited us before and he was now on his own. Being a Rocky and Bullwinkle fan, I started calling him Rocket J. He came every night around 8:30 and ate whatever we left for him plus all the birdseed left from the birds. He stopped sleeping in the box but he knew we were watching him and would look at us as he ate. If we went outside he would climb the deck post and sit on the roof and watch us. When we went back inside he’d come down and finish his meal.

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Rob started putting a little dog food out each evening and if we had any leftovers we shared. His favorites seem to be hard boiled egg and fruit. His very favorite was a stale glazed doughnut. That was really yummy!

Occasionally Rocket will bring a friend, probably a big brother to share his dinner. We call this fat little guy Crash. He earned the name because while Rocket climbs to the roof if he’s disturbed, Crash runs across the porch and launches himself into the hedge. A couple times we’ve heard him make hard landings on the ground.

Last week a new little critter showed up for a free meal. A fairly large opossum came along and climbed into the feeder. She sucks up the seed and anything else available in a real hurry and because of her shape, like a handheld auto vac, I started calling her Hoover.

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Hoover does not share nicely and she snarled at Rocket. He was afraid and ran away. He sat on the other side of the porch watching Hoover eat his dinner. After awhile Rob went outside with a stick and encouraged Hoover to move along and leave some food for Rocket. He had to poke her a couple times because she didn’t want to leave.

The next night Rocket brought Crash and another friend to eat with him to protect him from Hoover. Now Rocket shows up just before dark to beat Hoover to the feeder.

Our little plot of land has turned into wild kingdom and we’re enjoying our visitors.

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