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.