Sunday, August 19, 2007

Entering the Ownage Phase : A New Chapter in the Raccoon Chronicles

Raccoons have thumbs which enable them to open many closed containers (such as garbage cans and doors). Their intelligence and dexterity equip them to survive in a wide range of environments. The densest population of raccoons in New York is in New York City."

Yeah but we already knew that. See the Raccoon Chronicles.

This is a new chapter.

What do you call a Catdoor with no door....?
Our Catdoor. Twenty pounds of ravenous fur ripped it off a long time ago. Raccoons have substantial hand strength.

So, our Cat Pass-Through is located in a basement window. After the raccoons began their nightly fandangos, we corked up said window. We spent our free time sketching scale drawings of mechanical fortifications that would feature the following must-haves:
  1. Tensile strength robust enough to withstand raccoon metacarpus.
  2. Blockage against nocturnal nemeses, but not against the cat.
  3. No requirement for anything to be strapped on or about Alex, Cat Houdini.
For a year, I tinkered with mini-garage doors on a timer (up at dawn, down at dusk), rotating drums with strategically placed openings, and portcullis-style barriers. I was a veritable chocolate fondue fountain of assbad ideas.

Then we went out to dinner with Erin and Guy and it took Guy about four minutes to devise a mofo ingenious solution all by his onsies. Gravy boat! It was hard to stay in the now. After some slackjawed disbelief, Tom and I giggled like feral predators.

Guy's key break came when he mused, "Raccoons can't jump." Ah, so simple in hindsight. Alex... Alex can leap small buildings in a single bound. Why had we not thought of this before....

The Raccoon-Proof Fence:

The fence surrounds the window with the Cat Pass-Through. It is 4' 6" tall. We are going to put sheetmetal on the sides and, as Dad suggested, grease it up with Crisco. Raccoons are worthy foes and not to be underestimated. The fence also keeps out dingos.

Notice the broad landing pad for cats flinging themselves skyward.

Topdown view showing Alex's ladder down to his Cat Pass-Through in the window well.

Zesty jubilance echoes throughout the land. The sieging tufted marauders have been thwarted! But alas, reminds Tom. Bushwackers creep on silent feet. He thinks I'm sounding dangerously cocky.
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