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MACJR

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The adjacent apartment building is more or less identical to the building I live in but is aligned east to west rather than north to south like my apartment building. You might say that I live on the inside of an L shape where the two lines connect, only there is a gap between the buildings so it is more like this | __. This gives me a view right down the north side of the adjacent building (but unfortunately, it also gives anyone from the near top floor apartments, who are standing on their balcony, a great view through my kitchen window, that is if they care to look my way – one dude with a handheld mirror even).

 

From my kitchen window, the adjacent apartment’s west end is probably close enough for me to spit on if I chose to be that crude.

 

Yesterday, while I was getting ready to make breakfast, I happened to glance out my kitchen window and noticed something huddled behind a chimney stack on the apartment roof just across the way. Since I live in a top floor apartment I have a good view of the west end of the adjacent building’s rooftop. At first glance, I had thought it was a couple of light colored pigeons, which are a common sight here. But another glance later, made me take a closer look. Hmm, that looks more like fur than feathers. So, I looked even closer, and sure enough, it was some furry animal about the size of a large cat. Since it was curled up trying to stay warm while it took a nap, I could not quite make out for sure, but it looked like a light colored cat, about the shade of a Siamese.

 

I kept checking off and on as I washed dishes and made breakfast but I never could get a clear view of the furry animals head or tail, but I did get a glimpse of what looked like cat ears. After breakfast I called the apartment management to report what I thought was probably a cat on the roof and then went about my normal daily routines. I did check back a little later and noticed the animal was gone. I figured either the cat had been rescued or was smart enough to find its way of the now wet roof. It had started raining sometime after I last looked. Anyway, I hoped that it was not out there huddled in the rain somewhere out of sight, cats hate to get wet and there is no place to find cover on that roof.

 

This morning, I had forgotten all about that cat of yesterday, but again, I happen to glance out my kitchen window as I was getting ready to make breakfast. This time, I just caught a glimpse of the animal as it was lying down. It was such a quick glance that I did not have time to really make out what I had seen… but I was no longer convinced it was a cat. Although the color of the body fur is all wrong, it looked like the face of a raccoon or an opossum (pronounced “possum” - locally anyway). That brief glimpse of the face indicated raccoon… but the fur color suggested opossum.

 

This time, I was determined to keep an eye out long enough to find out what that furry creature is. Finally, I was able to get a good look. It turns out it is an unusually colored raccoon… and it is missing its tail. It probably had a bad run in with some dogs but it otherwise looks healthy. I watched it clean itself for a bit then came here to type my story.

 

Without that big fluffy stripped raccoon tail it is no wonder I had such a hard time identifying this animal. From a distance, when it was all curled up in its nap, it had looked very much like a cat, until I got a good look at its face. It may be an unusually colored raccoon but it does have its black mask on. 

 

My guess is this raccoon has no problem getting on and off the roof; there are some trees next to that building. Perhaps the raccoon has just found a new favorite nap spot that happens to be just within view from my kitchen window. After all, I may be the only one with a view of that particular spot on that roof. I believe that there, behind that chimney, the raccoon would be out of view of all the other apartments.

 

 

Michael A. Crane, Jr.

AKA MACJR

April 30, 2006


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Questmaker

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Reply with quote  #2 
That's pretty cool Mac. My buddy says that raccoons that color are pretty rare. And no doubt the critter is sleeping on the roof to avoid losing anything else like he lost his tail.
biosigns83642

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Reply with quote  #3 
That's really awesome.  That would have been funny if you'd tried to take it home (well, sort of) because raccoons are really awful and they have very sharp teeth and grabby little hands, so they're a real handful even if they're NOT wild!  LOL!  An angry, ungrateful kitty!

That is a rare color, but may help explain how the tail got bitten off or something - easier for a predator to see the poor coon, even in the bushes! 

I always think it's nice when you have your own "secret" wild creature that no one else knows hangs around.  I used to have a heron that perched on the neighbor's house in the mornings, which is pretty neat considering I live in the desert.  And I had a chukkar and some California quail that came to my bird feeder.  Haven't seen them for a while, though.  It was pretty cool seeing them out there on my driveway!


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MACJR

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When I was a child we had a raccoon that stayed around for a while. My parents had found it injured by the side of the road and took it home to nurse it back to health.

 

Bandit stayed around for a year or two before the call of nature, a female raccoon, lured him away.

 

We lived out in the country back then. My first five and a half years were well away from city life. I still miss that country peace and the closeness of nature.

 

I have only seen this tailless raccoon, from my article, one more time since this the story was written. I do hope to see it around from time to time. It was kind of cool to see it napping and cleaning itself up there. It has probably been up there on that roof but my schedule tends to shift and I just have not been around at the right times to see it lately.

 

However, the barn swallows are back, nesting on the light by my front door, again this year. I am not sure how many years in a row I have had barn swallows nesting there but it has been at least 5 or 6 years now. Each spring, in about early April, they show up and lay five eggs, take care of the chicks until they are able to go it alone, and then they do it again with another batch of five. That makes about 10 baby barn swallows hatched each year just outside my front door. Not all of them live but a good number of them do. I am willing to bet that over the years that at least 30 of those babies made it to adulthood.

 

Not everyone is crazy about having birds messing up their front entrance area, birds never heard of toilets, but I don’t mind… I even chase the outdoor cats away when I hear the birds squawking. I just like to see the generations of birds come and go and it makes me feel good that they do not feel threatened when I open my front door to take a look. They just look back at me. 

 

 

MACJR

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Kirock

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Reply with quote  #5 

"I had a pet raccoon once that took my

comb, but only to another room."

 

Your bird story reminds me of some of the Robins that have lived here for years. Every year they come back to the same tree and build their nest and have three or four babies. They have actually become use to me. I can be sitting on the deck and one of them will land on the edge of the deck and get a drink out of the cats water bucket. And after throwing stale bread out to them a few times, they get to the place where when I go out they will prance up to the edge of the deck, on the grass, and beg for bread, they chirp and chatter until you give them some, then fly back and forth until they have taken it all away.

MACJR

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Reply with quote  #6 

The rooftop napping raccoon is still around.

 

I just saw it up there napping again a few minutes ago. I had wondered if I would see it again.

 

 

MACJR


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MACJR

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Reply with quote  #7 

This time, I remembered that I have a camera!  [smile]

 

Fortunately, my digital camera has a very good zoom feature so I was able to get some fairly good shots.

 

These pictures were taken from just inside my balcony doorway, which was open to give me the clearest shots possible.

 

Enjoy.  [smile]

 

 

MACJR

 

 

PS. By the way, it’s a male. You can’t tell from these reduced sized images but in the full size versions it is quite clear in a couple shots.

 

 

 

 

[RooftopRaccoon_P01]       [RooftopRaccoon_P02] 

 

[RooftopRaccoon_P03]       [RooftopRaccoon_P04] 

 

[RooftopRaccoon_P05]       [RooftopRaccoon_P06] 

 

[RooftopRaccoon_P07]       [RooftopRaccoon_P08] 

 

[RooftopRaccoon_P09] 


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Kirock

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Reply with quote  #8 

Those are some good clear shots Mac. He looks like a pretty good sized raccoon, he doesn't get to many good chances for a sunbath in your area does he? How far inside the city do you live? Is it on the edge where he comes in looking for food or is he a real city raccoon?

MACJR

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Reply with quote  #9 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirock

Those are some good clear shots Mac. He looks like a pretty good sized raccoon, he doesn't get to many good chances for a sunbath in your area does he? How far inside the city do you live? Is it on the edge where he comes in looking for food or is he a real city raccoon?

I live in an area that is not too far from wooded areas... but those wooded areas are rapidly vanishing as more and more housing complexes and businesses move in.

 

And yes, the sun is fairly rare up here... as you can see from the algae on the rain gutters. We do get some nice sunny days during the summer, but it is definitely not southern California up here. 

 

Added in: This raccoon probably spends most, or all, of its time in urban areas. Just within the last year another wooded area close to me disappeared. They cut down the trees and developed a large plot so recently that the new buildings are nearly finished now. Now that you bring it up, I have to wonder if this raccoon’s birth place was in that last wooded area to vanish.

 

 

MACJR


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nannyjo

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Reply with quote  #10 

If he is a regular, I might not worry as much, but growing up we were amways warned to be leary of racoons in the daytime.  Since they are normally nocturnal the "daytime" racoons were usually sick or rabid.

 

He does look fine.. VERY happy and comfortable... and VERY cute

 

....but don't try to hand feed him


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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyjo

If he is a regular, I might not worry as much, but growing up we were amways warned to be leary of racoons in the daytime.  Since they are normally nocturnal the "daytime" racoons were usually sick or rabid.

 

He does look fine.. VERY happy and comfortable... and VERY cute

 

....but don't try to hand feed him

Don't worry, I have no intentions of trying to get close to the little fella.

 

Fortunately, rabies is not all that common up here, at least not on my side of the state. Though, it is not unheard of, just rare.

 

Still, it is not a good idea to get too close to any wild animal unless you know what you are doing and have a darn good reason to do so. Raccoons are not house cats and can hurt you pretty good if they feel threatened or if you anger them.

 

 

MACJR


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nannyjo

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Reply with quote  #12 

I do have ask, how many stores your building are?   How the HECK does he get up there? 

 

SUPER RACOON!!


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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyjo

I do have ask, how many stores your building are?   How the HECK does he get up there? 

 

SUPER RACOON!!

Well, since he is missing his tail, let’s go with Daredevil Raccoon instead. 

 

It is a 3 story building. My guess is that he climbs up a tall tree that is to the building's southwest corner, which is out of view in these pictures.

 

The angle of these pictures is to the southeast, as viewed from just inside my balcony door. From my kitchen window, the view is more of to the east-southeast and you can see a few trees in the background from that angle. One of those trees might be close enough to the building’s southeast corner for the raccoon get up onto the roof with too, but this seems less likely because it is a smaller three than the one at the southwest corner of the building.

 

I didn't show any of the pictures taken from the kitchen because the bug screen reduced the quality of those pictures quite a bit.

 

I will investigate to find out which tree the raccoon is probably climbing to get onto the roof and get back to you on this sometime soon.

 

 

MACJR


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Questmaker

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Reply with quote  #14 
Great pictures Mac. Thanks for sharing  He certainly does look happy. I can't wait to show them to my buddy.
MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questmaker
Great pictures Mac. Thanks for sharing  He certainly does look happy. I can't wait to show them to my buddy.

A belated "Thanks" Quest. Let me know what your bubby thinks of our rooftop napper, AKA Daredevil Raccoon.

 

By the way, he usually does not stay up there very long. In fact, the day I took those pictures was the longest I had seen him stay up there. It was like he was posing for the pictures and only left when I was done with that last shot. I put the camera down, sat down, turned to look, and he was gone.

 

I still have not scoped out his rooftop access point yet but I am still sticking with the west corner tree as most likely. When I went to the mailbox the other day I did see two other trees in front of that building (my rout to the mailbox is from the back side) but they are younger shorter trees and I am not sure how sturdy the top branches would be for his size.

 

Anyway, another thing to get back to later. 

 

 

MACJR


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