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Monday, June 20, 2016

Mystery.

I have been feeding the feral barn cats (and hangers-on) at the empty farmhouse at the dairy up the road.  My farmer friend - god love him - puts out poison bait and cat food.  I told him it had to be one or the other and he chose the former.  So I supply the latter - well away from the barn.  For months, I have left a heap of dry kibble in a metal food dish and a can of food in a white plastic dish.  Months.  Last Friday, both were gone.  I hunted everywhere, to no avail.  So I used a pie tin for the kibble and a small, aluminum dish for the wet food.  Next morning - gone.  Hmmm.  I figured a raccoon had found it and was hauling away the dishes.  I would outsmart the sucker and retrieve the dishes before evening and then just bring them back in the morning.  Not.  They were gone in the afternoon.

This makes me think it is not a raccoon, as they are not broad daylight creatures (unless they are sick - rabid), but then they would not be interested in spiriting away my feeding dishes.  This is very frustrating, as I have to scramble around to find new vessels.  This morning I appeared with two replacement tin dishes and got permission to nail them to the porch.

If they are gone again, I am flummoxed.

Any ideas?

16 comments:

  1. Do you have bears in your area? They will often take containers far into the woods with them.

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    1. We do have bears. I don't think this is the work of a bear - the farmhouse is right on the road and is surrounded by fenced pasture. However, I don't know what I'm talking about most of the time, so it could be a persistent black bear.

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  2. sprinkle flour or chalk dust around the dishes, the critter may leave a track?

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  3. Our raccoons here in the Pacific NW are perfectly healthy and can be found dining at all times of the day or night. So...it still might be a raccoon buddy.

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    1. SM - This is news to me - so I might be right, after all. It seems to have the earmarks of a raccoon's work.

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  4. Now that's a mystery wrapped around an enigma!

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    1. It is, isn't it? And no sight of the dishes!

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  5. I like the dusting for footprints idea!

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    1. I'm going to see if I can get permission to dust the porch...

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  6. We have a whole family of diurnal raccoons, and they share the same trees with the nocturnal families (which are much more prolific around here). Our game cameras show them eating right along with deer, wild turkey, blackbirds, jays, etc. I'm not sure they would haul off the apparent source of their food, though, so I'm looking forward to you solving this mystery!

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    1. BTW, we can easily tell the difference between our day and night raccoons, because of their coloring. The diurnal critters are very tan/brown, and the nocturnal ones are very gray/black. And so are their offspring.

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    2. Charade - This is one time I wish I had a trail camera. I had nailed down the dishes and what/whoever it was ripped up a plastic dish that had been nailed down with TWO nails. It's a strong whatever.

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  7. Susan,

    It could be anything taking the dishes, including another human?? This is the time of year many wild critters come out to find food. Since you place the food out daily, it's a special treat for a reappearing critter. To bad you don't have a critter camera to catch the critter in the process.

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    1. Sandy - I can't imagine the cats leave anything for them. I have been leaving both dry and canned food out (the cats are awfully skinny) but I may just stick to kibble. I am thinking of setting up a HAH trap baited with marshmallows to see if I'm right.

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  8. Our neighbor's dog steals food dishes from other houses. Good luck figuring it out!

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