Shortly after midnight, last night, Autolycus woke me from a sound sleep to indicate that he was hungry and would I please provide him with a midnight snack. This by way of kneading my hair with intent to harm. I rolled out of bed and got the boy a plate of food, which, of course, I had to take *back* to the bed because, what? You expected him to get up?? He tucked in.
I took the opportunity to check on the girls. Cuillean snoozing in her heated bed atop the fridge. Check. Hatshepsut - uh oh - Hatshepsut is stationed at the door to the cockpit. Standing at attention. Her gaze riveted in that clear "Mom, something's out there" gaze I'm finally coming to recognize.
I grab the flashlight. Oh, look. The canvas door has been pulled open. The 2 gallon water jug I put in front of that door (to keep Hatshepsut from letting herself out) has been shoved to one side. Great. We had a visit from the local masked bandit. Except. The compost bag is still inside. Huh. He must not have gotten in past the water jug. Flick off the light and start to turn away.
Hatshepsut does not abandon her post. In fact, she repositions. It isn't quite a shout of 'you idiot, it's still out there' but it's close. So I scan the cockpit. Looks clear. And I open the door. That's when I hear it - this odd, metallic scraping sound. Thinking I'm walking into an enclosed space that contains a raccoon, I hesitate, my heart going from 'wish I were asleep' to 'oh shit' in a flash. But no. The noise is coming from outside the boat. I flip on the overhead light with the intent of scaring away anything or anyone lingering outside my boat. Doesn't work. Just blinds me. Flip the light back off, suck up my courage and unzip the door to outside.
There's the raccoon. On the finger pier, just aft of my boat, staring at me over the corpse of a brand new 2lb bag of cat kibble.
No longer merely human, I hiss at the little bastard and climb out onto the transom. He grabs that bag of kibble in his teeth and bolts. I pursue, still hissing. It's raining. It's almost 1AM. I am dressed in a tee shirt and a pair of fuzzy slippers. But I chase that damned raccoon up the dock for several yards - to that light post Autolycus is looking at in this photo - until the raccoon decides discretion is the better part of supper.
He drops the bag of kibble and makes his break.
I only wanted the kibble. That's Autolycus's favorite. Stuff is $12 a 2lb bag. That raccoon can just pay for his own damned bag of noms.
I only hope none of my neighbors were up at that hour of the night. . .