WHOSE MEAL IS IT ANYWAY!
It wasn’t long before the formula wasn’t filling enough for Ranger and Bandit, so I went to my kitchen and tried to come up with something yummy for them. Okay…I knew they liked kitten formula and baby rice cereal, so to that I added some baby applesauce and some instant oatmeal. WOW, that was a super hit! Not only did they eat half of their food in one sitting, but they liked it so much they ended up wearing the other half!
I’ve never seen two messier babies in my life, but oh did they have fun! Their food was so good they began licking it off each other. Well…they looked cleaner, but they were kind of sticky after their meal so I decided to give them a bath. In fact, I began to put their food bowls in the bathtub to let them eat, then when they were through and had totally made a mess, I would remove the bowls and put about 2" of warm water in the tub. At first they were a little bit cautious and looked up at me with these scared little black eyes, then they lowly got used to the water. After two or three more meals they were actually waiting for the water, staring up at the tap to see if any warm water was going to come out! They would wade around in the warm water and lunge at each other and splash the water with their cute little hands. I found a couple of small wooden objects to put in the tub and they really enjoyed playing with them and trying to take each others’ toy away. I put a new wooden pencil in the tub and Ranger would bite the eraser end of it and drag it around in the water. Bandit would play with a little wooden back massager and push it all around in the water. I’d sit and watch them play for about 20 minutes, then remove each kit, dry him off and put him back in the cage. One time I put a small teddy bear in the cage with them and they snuggled right up to the bear and went sound asleep.
When Ranger and Bandit were big enough to walk around and follow me, I would let them out of their cage and start singing the “circus” music I remembered as a child. I would march upstairs toward their bath tub singing “doot doot doodle oodle oot dooot doo doo” and they would fall right in line behind me and climb up the stairs and head straight for the bathtub so they could have their meal and bath/play time! It was so cute to see their heads and tails bobbing up and down as they maneuvered their way up the stairs!
I CAN DO IT MYSELF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH…!
With their “stick to your ribs” kind of meals, Ranger and Bandy began to grow quickly. Soon they were big enough to climb in and out of the bath tub without any help. Ranger would just hop up and climb right in but Bandit, being smaller, would climb up the side, hook his hind feet over the edge of the tub and slowly lower himself down. It was so funny to watch!
It’s amazing how different their personalities were. Ranger was first to try and do anything and Bandy would follow along and gingerly test things out before getting fully involved. Once-in-awhile, if Ranger got hold of something Bandit was trying to eat, bandit would make this HUGE “chuffing” sound and Ranger would back off immediately. Bandit’s “chuff” was so loud it would even startle me!
After a while the little rascals didn’t want to go back to their cage after they were dried off, so I put the cat’s toy basket in the bathroom and watched to see what they would do. They were so curious about all the wonderful things they found in there. It wasn’t long before they had all of the toys spread around the bathroom. They each had their favorite toys and sometimes they would chase each other trying to take back a particular favorite. Bandit and Ranger would climb into the basket… tip it over, wear it on their heads, drag it around and room and basically create a total mess in the bathroom!
They also became very curious about the drawers in the bathroom vanity! One time I had left the rascals alone to play and when I came back they were gone! I looked in the tub, behind the shower curtain and behind the commode…I couldn’t figure it out! Then I heard a rustling sound in the vanity, they had managed to pull open the bottom drawer and climb into the space behind the drawer and then pull it shut! I couldn’t coax them to come out so I had to remove the drawer and lift each little rascal out.
Well they thought this was great fun and began to do this every time I left them alone. I even began putting a yardstick down through the handles of all four drawers so they couldn’t open them. That seemed to work for one time, and one time only! I sat in there with them the next day and watched them climb from the commode seat to the vanity counter, saunter over to the yardstick that reached just above the counter top, and push the yardstick away from them with their cute little hands. This would allow the top-most drawer to open about half way and the others slightly less! Then these mischievous little rascals would climb into the top drawer and climb down the “stepped” drawer backs into their hiding place! I would then have to remove the bottom drawer again and take them out AND their stash of toys:-)
Our cat , Majique, used to sit outside the closed bathroom door and reach her paws under the door to feel around for Ranger and Bandit. The raccoons pretty much ignored Majique except to occasionally grab one of her paws which got an immediate hiss-and-leap reaction out of Majique! She must have liked it because she always did this same thing every time the kits had their bath!
To be continued…
Copyright 2009, Jan C. Snow
Continuation of a true life story about two little raccoons.