So at my apartment, I can see my garbage dumpster from my bedroom window. Not a big deal. Kind of annoying on trash day, but so it goes. A week or two ago, I noticed some movement around the dumpster. I thought it might be a cat, since we have a few around here. However, this critter looked a little more plump. So, a raccoon, I thought. The area around the dumpster is fairly well lit, but not well enough to really make out critters in the shadows. Later in the week I saw two of these critters at the dumpster at the same time. I decided they were definitely raccoons. It was night time, there was food, they didn't look like cats. A few nights ago, Brad drove me back home and I noticed some eyes peeping out at me. I had to go take a look. As I approached, there were three sets of eyes. Three raccoons! And they weren't aggressive. One kind of crept away into the woods, whereas the other two just hung out as I looked at them and said hi.
All this to say, I had to take the trash out tonight. There was leftover pizza and kitty litter. In this humidity, that was going to be a bad smell. However, I knew there would probably be a friend or two waiting for me. I already have an irrational fear of dumpsters because I used to think there would be a homeless person living in mine and he'd attack me. Now I was faced with the more realistic fear that a raccoon might get me. So I walk my ass outside, clutching my garbage bag, pizza box and phone with the flashlight on. As I approach, I see familiar eyes. But they disappear into the darkness. No worries, right? Wrong. My dumpster has a slide-open side, so I took a peek inside, thinking there could possibly be a raccoon in there, and I definitely didn't want to throw my garbage on a raccoon. Was there a raccoon inside? You betcha. A mom and her two babies, actually. And they seemed perfectly content in there. One of them was casually scaling the wall. They weren't afraid. The weren't running away, but they weren't growling or being territorial. I stayed out there for a long time. People walked by and looked at me funny. What was I going to do? Risk angering a raccoon? Or hurting one?
And that's the story of how my garbage is simply placed near the dumpster, and not inside of it. I hope the raccoons like the pizza.