It started with the patter of little feet overhead as I lay in bed one night. I first thought it was a squirrel because we’d had squirrels in the attic at our former rental house. The woman living there was terrified that they’d come downstairs, burst through the plasterboard, and attack her. We dealt with the situation by calling “Trapper Bob” who saved her from the monsters in the walls.
Several years later, it was my turn to hear an invader overhead. But these footsteps were pretty heavy. A fifteen-pound squirrel? Not likely. They probably belonged to a raccoon who had graduated from eating the food I put out for stray cats to home invasion.
Confrontation between a cat and a raccoon
The situation went downhill from there. Hearing suspicious sounds from the front hall closet, I opened the door to find a masked bandit staring at me from his perch on a bag of Meow Mix. In a very girlie reaction I jumped back and screamed. Equally alarmed, the raccoon disappeared back upstairs. But now I was onto his clever scheme for free room and board.
Three raccoons chowing down
When I inspected the closet, I figured out how he’d gotten there–-by climbing down the inside of the wall and squeezing through a hole a workman had cut years ago to install a phone line. This time, I called our regular pest control company. They sent their “small animal expert” who told us the invader had accessed the attic through a panel where a fan had been removed. The man was confident that he could solve the problem with a one-way door. The varmint could get out but not back in.
Raccoon absconding with a piece of bread
We looked forward to an easy victory, until it turned out the tally was raccoon one, trapper zero. The guy tried again and scored another defeat. Resorting to emergency measures, he baited a trap on the lower roof near the access panel. This time it worked. My last sight of the defeated thief was in a cage, staring morosely through the wire mesh as he was hauled off to a truck.
I’m still feeding cats, and thus raccoons, outside, but luckily nobody else has mounted a home invasion.
My latest release is Forged in Dreams from Changeling Press. Silversmith Megan Holder thinks she’s an ordinary woman, until she’s kidnapped by demonic creatures and learns she’s a key player in a desperate struggle over the fate of humanity. Her only hope of survival lies with werewolf Daniel Fenton, the man she’s growing to love. But can the two of them survive to fulfill the destiny ordained by the Norse gods?
NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.