We have been feeding an adorable black and white stray cat, which runs and hides the minute it sees you, even though this daily routine has been going on for a year. With the temperature often below zero here in Connecticut this past winter, we wanted to make sure there was ample food outside for the cat. During the coldest snap the cat would eat more than five times a day.
Early one morning after a snowstorm, I followed the paw prints to see if I could discover where the cat was living — no such luck! The tracks ended at the bottom of our driveway, the remaining clues wiped clean by the town plow.
As spring came I noticed the food bowl was moved from the platform to the patio. Hm, did the cat knock it down and it just happened to land flat without spilling the food? This happened again the next evening, leading me to wonder what was eating the cat food.
The following night I thought the cat was lurking under the bird feeders, hung in the swamp maple, because I saw eyes glistening. I grabbed my flashlight leveling it near the ground to see if the cat was visiting. Instead of the cat, there were five raccoons, snacking happily on the bird seed, a veritable smorgSEEDbord for them. It was suddenly clear: the raccoons with their opposable thumbs had carefully taken the food bowl from the platform and placed it on the ground to make their dining more comfortable. I shooed them away many times but … the lure of free food kept them coming back time after time, in relentless pursuit of an easy meal.
As the flowers begin to push through the ground, the bird feeders have been stored for the summer, the relentless raccoons will have to go elsewhere to dine!