03/31/2017 – Around Colehaus

A spot of sun! No, really! Finally we can peek at what’s going on around Colehaus, other than to watch our Pacific Northwet “liquid sunshine” falling from the skies. We’re on track to set another month’s record of rain here and we just might do it by midnight tonight.

Outside, our pretty primroses are blooming. Dad always asks, “Tell me, when AREN’T primroses blooming?”

Spring Primroses - © Colehaus.com

Spring Primroses – © Colehaus.com

When nearly everyone else’s bulbs have already bloomed around the country, our grape hyacinths are the first bulbs blooming here.

Grape Hyacinths - © Colehaus.com

Grape Hyacinths – © Colehaus.com

Somewhat near the grape hyacinths, neighbor cats Z and Scruffy discuss the weather, as all cats do. We imagine their conversation went something like this:

Z: “So, it’s not raining at the moment.”
Scruffy: “Can’t get nothing past you, can we?”
Z: “Well, I mention it because while my butt isn’t wet, the rock I’m sitting on is still cold on the bits, if you catch my drift.”
Scruffy: “. . . . .”

Z and Scruffy discussing the odd lack of rain - © Colehauscats.com

Z and Scruffy discussing the odd lack of rain – © Colehauscats.com

Meanwhile, Mom was so inspired by our day of dry weather, she cleaned up the strawberry baskets and found new leaves coming out.

Strawberry plants coming up - © Colehaus.com

Strawberry plants coming up – © Colehaus.com

The squirrel we call Tilt (because he has a head tilt) isn’t so sure Mom should have removed all the dead strawberry foliage. Word has it squirrels are avid gardeners when not raiding bird feeders, so they should know.

The squirrel named Tilt - © Colehauscats.com

The squirrel named Tilt – © Colehauscats.com

Our Star Magnolia is bursting with white flower buds. After years of living in gloom, half-hidden behind a big birch tree that was removed two years ago, this magnolia has blossomed into a real beauty (pun intended).

Star Magnolia buds - © Colehaus.com

Star Magnolia buds – © Colehaus.com

Remember back in January, when we mentioned we saw a new cat in our backyard? Mom called it Teese because, well, only she understands her misspelling, and slowly, Teese started trusting Mom. Now, Teese is at the feeding station most mornings waiting for the food bowls to be set out.

Teese in the feeding station - © Colehauscats.com

Teese in the feeding station – © Colehauscats.com

And look who’s become an outside friend!

Sweet Teese is a talker - © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese is a talker – © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese likes Dad - © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese likes Dad – © Colehauscats.com

Mom’s pretty sure Sweet Teese is a spayed girl but then again, she’s been known to be wrong half the time. She’s also pretty sure Teese has a home on the next street over down the hill, and when the weather warms up and dries out, she’ll take a walk down there to ask around.


Old raccoon (Happy?) returns - © Colehauscats.com

Old raccoon (Happy?) returns – © Colehauscats.com

Forgive us for the poor photo. This is the best picture we’ve yet to capture of an old, but somewhat-speedy raccoon who is staying in one of our heated feral shelters. Can you see it there on the fence behind the evergreens?

Mom and Dad both have seen an old raccoon hanging around for the past few weeks, eating from one of the feeding stations during the day, in the pouring rain, something that is a bit unusual for a raccoon around here. It doesn’t act sick, it just looks old and clearly, it’s hungry.

Upon a single closer look last week, we think it might be partially blind, yet it knew directly where to go for food. And this pleases us.

Background info: We’ve been setting food out in our side yard during daylight hours since 2005, and we’ve been aware of recognizable raccoons, ones with distinctive markings or behaviors, returning year after year since 2012. Could this be Happy, the raccoon mama who brought her three babies to meet us in 2013? It could be. Happy had a darker raccoon mask than any other raccoon we’d ever seen, with significantly less white/grey on her face. She had a very, very pointy nose. And her tail was never full and puffy like typical raccoon tails are, and with her darker fur, the rings on her tail were very faint.

This raccoon is almost completely dark faced, has a sharply pointed nose, and has a thin furred tail. If this is Happy, she is the daughter of Sunny who, in 2013 along with her three babies, were the very first raccoons we’d ever seen during daylight hours. One of her babies was very dark compared to the other two. We named that one Happy.

In 2014, Happy returned with her three babies, one we called Lily who returned with her three babies and with Happy in tow in 2015, making Happy a grandmother.

Happy became a great grandmother last year when one of Lily’s babies whom we called Daisy, returned with her two babies.

In the wild, raccoons only survive between one and three years. We never know if we’ll have raccoons come visit us at all because a few people in our neighborhood feel the need to go on “raccoon relocation” forays. This raccoon somehow must have been spared that horror and we are so thankful we have a kind of sanctuary for it here. Here, this raccoon, be it Happy or not, will be safe with a warm shelter, food, and water for as long as it likes. That said, the neighborhood greenspace with tall native trees, a creek, and open access for animals is a quarter mile down the hill and this is, undoubtedly, where Happy and her extensive family normally resides.

We fully understand this is a wild animal and will conduct ourselves accordingly. There will be no attempts at petting, brushing, or feeding of snacks from fingers we wish to keep intact. We won’t try to pose the raccoon with toys, try to entice it to play with a feather wand, or make it wear a hat. We will however, keep working toward capturing a better photo of this raccoon while following all safety precautions.

Lastly, let’s take another look at Sweet Teese, because she isn’t wild, the camera seems to like her, and simply because we can.

Sweet Teese - © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese – © Colehauscats.com

21 responses to “03/31/2017 – Around Colehaus

  1. Teese sure is cute and glad she found you. She looks very happy too. Good for you to help the raccoons. They are as important as any of the other animals. The only thing that we have wild around here is possoms and they are very brave and come up on the porch and clean up the left over cat food.

  2. Teese is sure a pretty girl. We like reading about your sanctuary. You’ve put so much work into it.

  3. Sweet Teese is adorable, and yes, the camera LOVES black and white kitties! Fingers crossed that she is spayed. I too would try to entice the raccoons around, but our yard is too small and they would be in too close a proximity to Patty and Sweetie, although they manage to wash their hands in the cats’ water bowl. Our purple hyacinth haven’t come up yet, but the snowdrops are everywhere!

  4. Katie Isabella

    I hope she does have a home in the neighborhood. I noticed that smile in one of the pictures…took my heart. Yours are not a problem but here in the woods where I live are many raccoons. They are known to attack cats who are feeding so I am glad mine is in the house all the time. I am so glad that is not the case where you are.

  5. What pretty flowers!

  6. We don’t have feeding stations, and we live in the city, but we have oodles of wildlife. We have a raccoon and skunks (they could move away and we’d be okay with that) who come at night. We have groundhogs that winter nearby and come back every spring. Yesterday, Mom saw the huge groundhog sitting on his hindquarters in our side yard stripping leaves from the Quince bush. We also get bunnies, and our resident squirrels. We only live about three blocks from the river, and we guess all these critters once lived there, as Mom says they were not in the neighborhood when they moved here in the mid-80s. Looks as if Quint may start painting soon. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy.

  7. All the rain sure did make your flowers and garden very pretty
    Hugs madi your bfff

  8. You certainly have a lot of critters around your house! Teese looks like a nice kitty.

  9. We absolutely love spring blooms–they’re the best! Sweet Teese is a beauty. We would bet she has another family somewhere, too. Always glad to see pictures of your wildlife. We’re sure the old raccoon appreciates your food and shelter.

  10. How can you not fall in love with Teese? She’s a beauty and sweet! I still can’t believe how many “neighbor” cats you have that aren’t inside where they belong. Thank goodness you give them a safe haven. We love the story of Happy. Have the raccoons and neighbor cats ever tussled over the shelter or food?

    • Our visiting raccoons and visiting neighborhood cats have never, not once, tussled or fought over food here. We don’t leave the food out at night though we do dump whatever kibble is left in the daylight hour bowls in the feeders at dusk. Everyone has always got along, oddly enough. We’ve heard horror stories.

  11. Teese is such a pretty girl ! We enjoyed reading about your feeding stations and about the wildlife who visits you regularly. You have lovely flowers in your garden ! Purrs

  12. That was a fun bunch of photos today!

  13. Enjoyed seeing Teese and the animals

  14. teese….wavez two ewe frum de land oh trout……ewe izza gorgeouz gurl !! & wavez two ewe both az well Z & scruffy….we due bee leeve we haz yur rain coz itz been rainin palez heer late lee…noe joke….ther waz a small streem in de back yard yesterday….N we hope that iz happy…how kewl wood that bee !!!! ♥♥☺☺

  15. Com certeza a câmera ama Teese doce! Ela é muito bonita.
    Tenham um ótimo final de semana!

  16. Teese is a lovely looking kitty. It is nice that the raccoons keep coming back to you for so many years, and know that you provide a safe haven for them.

  17. Wow, you sure have a lot of activity going on outside. It’s still too cold here…nothing really blooming yet, though we did see some daffodils.

  18. We all love strolling around your yard with you! It’s so much fun to see all the wonderful fur people who are helped by your love and kindness. Blessings on all of you!!! We love you!!!
    Stereo purrs……Hemingway and Steinbeck
    Hugs…….from Pam (The Mom)

  19. meowmeowmans

    Teese is beautiful, and she looks like such a sweetie!

    As for the raccoon, we saw on Facebook that you finally got a clear photo of her. 🙂 Thank you for caring for all the creatures lucky enough to find Colehaus!


  20. Loved Z and Scruffy’s conversation! And it’s great that Reese is comfortable enough for scritches and conversation now!