Mr. Raccoon and a New Roof

Very exciting times in our household.  We put a new roof on the house.  Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

When I about 20 weeks pregnant with Ava, Matt went overseas to Germany for work.  I stayed home, as I was working.  Matt was gone for our longest time apart, 3 weeks. Matt travels, I am used to taking care of things on my own but three weeks seemed like a lot to me.   It caused me anxiety to be in charge of everything back at home for so long …and of course life showed me who was boss.

It was November and the weather was turning cool.  Two days after he left I got up and the house was a very chilly 16 C.  I went over to check the furnace it said it was on, but the air it was blowing was cool.  That day it was an early snowfall and I knew I was in for it.  After a consult with Matthew the international furnace man it was determined we needed more help then I could provide by turning up the thermostat.  I had to spend the day at home, next to our fire with Charlie and Simon as a strange furnace man fixed our furnace wanting to chat with me about his kids.   A job Matt could have done for 15 dollars ended up costing us a couple hundred.  Great.  The price you pay when the fix it man travels overseas.  I figured the worst of it was over, just snow to shovel and little baby and I were in the clear for the next few weeks.

Three days later, in the middle of the night I heard a scratching sound on the roof.  At first, being a chick who is oh-so-level-headed about staying alone, I thought someone was breaking into the house.  I grabbed the phone and leapt into action.  Quickly I clued in the noise was coming from the roof and not a pried window and my heart returned to normal.  I can still hear the noise if I think of it, a scratching, prying, ripping noise.  Loud. Menacing.  In the middle of the night, I put on my snow boots and trudged into the snow to figure out what was on our roof…

A raccoon.

A huge fat raccoon searching for a place to stay for the night in the cold weather.  Apparently this huge fat raccoon found a soft spot in our roof and was proceeding to rip its way into our attic for a comfy place to stay.

So there I stood on the front lawn, big pregnant belly at 3 am staring at the roof.  My feet in snow boots and one of Matt’s big jackets…and somehow I have to get a raccoon off of my roof before it breaks through. Oh! And remember ladies, while pregnant never climb ladders! First I did what every rational, hormonal pregnant lady does in disaster; I called my husband overseas.  Terrified him out of his skin to be receiving a call in the middle of the night my time as I explain to him that there is vermin attacking the family home and WHAT SHOULD I DO? He makes a number of suggestions but most involve ladders and having a male appendage which I do not possess nor do I feel like growing at the moment.

After watching Mr. Raccoon for some time, trying to figure out what to do (and maybe waiting for the cobwebs to clear out of my mind) I got out Matt’s pressure washer.  They do not have a “remove animal from roof setting” so I started on the lowest setting and proceeded to spray Mr. Raccoon off of our roof (We have a bungalow, no raccoons were hurt in the making of this blog.)  I managed to knock him off of the roof and proceeded to scurry inside like the girl I am because who knows how mad spraying a raccoon off a roof can make it.

An hour later the raccoon was back and I was sleepless.  The good news was by then my Dad could be woken up and help me in my raccoon adventure.  Mr. Raccoon managed to break his way into our house that night and my poor Dad had to spend an afternoon on the roof securing everything for the winter.  Not our finest hour.  When Matt returned he too fixed the roof and attic to ensure that the soft spots would hold over time.

Now I am 25 weeks pregnant with Beta and I just do not feel like tempting fate. Matt is beginning to do more overnight trips lately and I swear each time he does, I lie in bed waiting for the raccoon to return.  Like it is out there somewhere, it remembers the nice set up we have here and would like to come back.  The raccoon taunts me.

We decided, before this baby gets any bigger and Matt leaves again perhaps it is time to replace the roof.  Today I watched as they ripped the shingles off, once and for all got rid of the soft spots and put a strong new roof down. There is very little satisfying about getting a new roof, it feels a bit like buying tires, a lot of money for not a lot of fun. This roof felt cathartic somehow.  Almost symbolic.  We are hunkering down and bracing for the storm against wind, hail, snow, sleet and yes, even Mr. Raccoon.