As you can see, there were developments following my last posting of the uninvited guest in our cupola (https://stevenkennard.com/blog/archives/702 ).
What we didn’t know, was that she had a bunch of kids with her. If you read Ellie Kennard’s posting with her photo here https://elliekennard.ca/time-to-check-out-129365 you can read the story up to the point where we had screwed a board across the opening and then gone out for the evening.
When we got back, pandemonium had broken out! There were screams from inside the cupola (they make a lot of noise for such cute little things) and frantic noises from the mother as she ripped and tore at the slats and board trying to get at her babies. (They must have been hiding within the rafters when we looked into the hole, so that we didn’t see any signs of them.)
At 10:30 pm, therefore, in the dark, I was faced with the prospect of getting up on the roof with a frantic, protective big mother raccoon to try to unscrew the plank we had put over the hole. I didn’t fancy that much, but the thought of letting those babies starve to death while the mother tore all the shingles off our roof appealed less. What I did, in the end, as you can see, was to climb to the top of the ladder and use a long stick to force the two bottom slats off. This allowed the mother to get in (they flatten themselves to the size of a rug) and reassure the kits. She tried to get them to leave with her, but they wouldn’t go. This photo was taken 11:13 pm, in the pitch dark, with a work light illuminating the faces of these little masked bandits.
Ellie is convinced that the mother knew that we were trying to help and did not represent a threat, which was why she did not attack me.
For those who want to know how we finally managed to get our guests to vacate, the secret was simpler than we could have guessed. They apparently hate rock music. So we put a radio in the bedroom under the cupola, turned our local rock station on full blast and left it on. Within 1 hour she was moving them out. With a lot of complaining and fussing the babies eventually must have followed her over the roof and down the crab apple tree to seek a quieter neighbourhood. They are wild animals. They will be happier in the wild as we will be happier with them in it. (They look soft and fluffy, by the way, but their fur is actually very coarse and stiff even as babies.)