We have critters in our backyard. This is not news. They live up on the third level of the fire escape, behind the air conditioner. They defecate all over the stairs, creating an obstacle course for anyone brave enough to walk the metal slatted steps.
Last summer, we were sitting in the backyard barbecuing and we noticed this little coon carefully making it’s way down the fire escape steps. It had smelled our food, and was coming to join us, to ask for handouts. We refused to feed it. Feeding the critters is just asking for trouble.
And once, Stef opened up the door to the fire escape from the second floor hallway and heard a loud THUD. She opened up the door carefully to see what she hit, and there was a big raccoon, standing her ground, hissing away. Normally animals run away when humans show up. Not this animal, though.
And then today, as I was leaving for work, I encountered five raccoons on the fire escape; a mother and her four babies (they were pretty big babies, still cute, but fairly hefty). I thought about going down the front and entering the backyard from the side gate, but I thought to myself, “Hey! This is my fire escape… I’m not backing down!” And so I took out my camera, snapped a few pics, and slowly, quietly walked down the steps. The animals stood there for a minute, the babies looking to their mom for direction, and mom staring at me, waiting for me to crumble. I didn’t though, and after a couple minutes, the momma purred to her babies, telling them, “This bitch isn’t going anywhere, we should split.” And so they did. I win!