We’ve had a cat door into our garage, going back to the time when Jan and I both worked. Our cat (Itty) was happier outside and she could come and go as she pleased. We never had a problem except once when another cat followed her into the garage.
After I retired, we stopped leaving her out all day and just let her out when she wanted. I never removed the old cat door, figuring she might go into the garage occasionally and catch any mice that got inside.
A few weeks ago I noticed that the cat door was broken. It’s quite old and I just thought the sun and weather had finally taken their toll on the plastic. We’d been having windy weather and I thought the door flopping in the wind was the reason for it breaking. I covered over the broken door with a piece of plastic, saying I’d replace it later.
The next day the plastic was ripped up and the door damaged more. Clearly some critter had been using it to get in and out of the garage. I removed the old door entirely and covered the opening with a couple of scraps of 1″x10″ lumber as a temporary fix. Then, just in case the critter was still in the garage I set out our Have-A-Heart trap baited with cat food.
The next morning inside the garage looked like a war zone. The trap had been tipped on its side and all the bait was gone. The Styrofoam insulation around the blocked opening had been ripped to shreds but the wood was still in place. What ever the critter was, it was large, strong, smart and still inside. I reset the trap, this time placing concrete blocks on top of it and along the side to prevent it from being moved easily.
The next morning I found we had caught a large, angry and very frustrated raccoon. Not wanting to kill it, we decided to go to a public access area by the river about 8 miles away to release it.
That was an adventure in itself. The one problem is our trap is somewhat hard to open. You are momentarily exposed to whatever is in the trap while you are releasing the catch. Fortunately the raccoon was terrified and stayed at the far end, away from where I was unlatching the trap. Once open, the critter took a couple seconds to realize it was free, then ran off.
I hope 8 miles is far enough that it won’t be back.
To make matters even more difficult, momma raccoon had (unbeknownst to us) left behind four youngsters which I discovered just a while ago. I managed to get them out of the garage but I have no idea how they will manage without the mother.
Left behind in the garage is a huge mess. They had shredded up a number of old cardboard boxes, sheets of Styrofoam and old rags. All tucked behind the place where I store lumber, plywood and paneling. It will take several days to clean up the mess and get rid of the smell.
Just some of the fun of living in the country….