A quick check outside confirms the Fed Ex truck is outside my house. YES! A work package I requested has finally arrived! I open my door and step onto the porch, planning to kiss the delivery man. Instead I see this.
Whoa, dude. What did I do to deserve this from Fed Ex? I mean, I haven't seen the poop on a stoop prank since 1992.
"Your package is actually out here by the garage," the man points behind him as he half-jogs back to his truck. "I decided to stay off the porch." he warns. "That raccoon must've gotten sick on your porch."
Um, what? I nod my head like I totally get what he's talking about (I do that a lot) and start to head back inside.
"Just so you know, it's also all over your the stairs," Fed Ex man says. He gives a little wave, puts the truck in drive and is gone.
I walk over to our front stoop, and see this...
WHAT IN THE NAME OF CHRIST ON A BICYCLE.
I hear a small noise that sounds like gragle-gurdlakc and it all suddenly becomes clear. Because right there, just to the right of the steps - is a raccoon. A totally scared (I'm assuming shitless) raccoon.
I decide he is a boy.
His eyes are wide and terrified. He's shaking like a blizzard is ripping his little body to shreds. I react lik a rational adult and instantly begin to sob. What do I do? Any raccoon that has made this much of a mess and isn't running scared from a human is either:
b) really sick
I run back into the house and grab my phone to call my husband. He must've forgiven me for falling asleep at 8:15 last night because he answers right away. I inform him of what's happening and that I'm thinking of picking the raccoon up, wrapping it in swaddling clothes and feeding it some orange juice.
He tells me not to touch it and call Animal Control ASAP.
I hang up, stand there on my porch, continue to cry, and coo at the racoon, "it's going to be okay, little baby! Kimmy is going to get you taken care of. I won't let anybody hurt you, no I won't!"
(I will admit I also added, "it's okay that you took a poo poo on the steps. I know your tummy hurts, baby. Don't be embarrassed." Because, look, shitting yourself is humiliating, human or no.)
You would think there would be a general number to dial in the unlikely event a wild animal appears on your front steps with an explosive case of diarrhea. Well there's not.
When it's all said and done, I call five different numbers and all five inform me that yes, they will remove wild animals for $150-$220 depending on the size of animal and amount of force required for it to be removed. Let's just back the hell on up, a minute. Why do we need force to remove a raccoon that just needs a roll of Charmin Ultra Soft and some Pepto? Who are these sick people?
I am thisclose to calling 911 which will result in a leaked recording of my hysteria going viral on YouTube, when I look across the street and see my neighbor. He is also a cop. I ignore the fact that I'm in pajama pants and call him over.
Neighbor Cop is not one to be trifled with. He's bald and washes his car three times a week and therefore I assume he is also a badass. He wastes no time, hops on his cell and is all, "Dispatch, this is Officer Blah Blah and we have a potential rabid raccoon in Sector 9.654 of the suburbs."
But get this - even Neighbor Cop has to go through five different numbers to find the appropriate people to come get this poor animal. Shouldn't the correct animal control number be easy? Like 444 or something?
(Yes, I named the raccoon. Shut up.)
The Neighborhood & Community Services Department for Animal Health & Public Safety (there's the problem right there. With a name like that, how can I expect them to have an easy phone number?) tells Neighbor Cop they will be by within the hour. In the meantime, don't bother Rork and don't touch him.
Neighbor Cop goes back into his house and I stay out on the porch to talk to Rork and keep him calm. I also completely forget his tummy problem and lovingly toss him some dry cat food in case he's hungry.
I won't lie to you. I sing to him. The only song I can think of is Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone." Rork's big brown eyes tell me he appreciates the gesture. Either that or they're telling me to leave him alone because he has some more crapping to do. It's a toss up, really.
Twenty minutes later the cavalry arrives. Rork is put into a safety cage in the Animal Control officer's truck. I'm told Rork probably just ate something that made him feel sick and very disoriented. They will monitor his behavior over the next few hours and if he is deemed safe, they will re-release him back into the woods.
(I'm also told to clean up the dry cat food in my yard unless I want more wild animals showing up on my front porch.)
In the end, I wave good-bye to Rork and am glad that he's going to be okay.
I don't know why Rork decided to poo poo and vomit all over my front porch and find solace there. Maybe he knew what a lover of animals I am and that I'd find a way to make him safe, even if it meant calling every number in the tri-state area. Maybe he wanted to inspire me to write a catchy phrase that will help people remember the Animal Control phone number. I'll never really know the whole story.
Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it happened to me because I'm a blogger and I reach (a few) people through this medium. And maybe just telling my story will help one or two other people to know what to do if this happens to them.
Either way, I'm going to do my part. If you live in the Kansas City area, and a wild animal is injured or lurking around your house, don't waste your time on a worthless Google search. Call 816.839.2947 to reach the Animal Health & Public Safety office.
Don't try and help Rork the Raccoon or Sophie the Snake or Bingo the Batshit Bear by yourself. Just be there for them in the best way you can. They'll appreciate it.
Now I'm off to clean up Rork's smelly mess. And I really don't mind.