Emerging from a hipster bar in Brooklyn the other night, I encountered a rodent. But not a rat, squirrel, mouse or other unwelcome, yet expected creature.
At first, I thought, that humpedback cat is huge! Then my double-take identified a masked face and hand-like forepaws. The realization stung: it was a RACCOON. A huge, casually walking-in-my-neighborhood raccoon.
And I just paid $9 for a craft beer.
My true instinct to scream is finally – after many years – disappearing. I’ve been beaten down by New York City nonchalance. Like the time I was in the locker room at a New York Sports Club and a mouse streaked across the room. I screamed, but the other ladies didn’t rush to put their clothes or even stop talking.
Or the time I was at the movies at Lincoln Center and someone announced that a rat was in the auditorium. There was no screaming or a mass exodus. Instead, the moviegoers simply lifted their legs and kept munching popcorn. (I guess they’d been doing core-strengthening exercises.)
Yet, still after 15 years, I’m still not cool about the rodent situation.
So back to that night… I grabbed my phone to take a photos of the masked bandit. He was walking pretty slow, but I fumbled and soon he was between cars and I was too afraid to follow his hump-backed, masked ass.
So missed my opportunity. I wanted to immediately post on social media about my sighting and warn my neighbors. Before doing so, I ran a quick Google search to see if raccoons were a common sighting in Brooklyn. To my surprise, they are!
The search revealed stories and photos of Brooklynites and their pesky visiting raccoons. One of the more chilling stories was of a Brooklyn family who was watching TV and heard the cat in the kitchen eating. Only then, they realized that the cat was sitting on the couch with them. A raccoon had figured out the cat door and helped himself.
There were other stories and photos I’d prefer forgetting. Like this one. And This one. Although the video commentary about this drunk raccoon spotted at a Brooklyn workplace (“YO, this son is liiitttt”) is definitely more entertaining than my last Netflix binge.
So now, in addition to the bears, giant rats, abundant, constantly proliferating and apartment-dwelling mice, alligators in the sewers and coyotes on the loose, raccoons are added to the list of things we just have to deal with.
What’s next, armadillos?