I would have to say I am one of the BIGGEST animal lovers I know. I now have 2 cats, 1 dog, another coming Sunday and 2 birds living with me. I know I would have more if Pierre and I could agree on it. So, it isn’t that I don’t like animals. But for the last two nights I have received nightly visits from a mama raccoon and her five very large babies. I have glass doors in my bedroom that lead out to my deck and around 12:30am Zeta begins frantically barking waking me from a sound sleep. It really is something to open your eyes at that time of night and see a 2′ tall raccoon standing on her hind legs looking in the door at you. Upon further inspection I see her five babies behind her scurrying around. They are quite large as well and not one of them is even slightly scared of me. Not even the mama. I am pounding on my glass door yelling and she is just sitting there looking at me like I have lost my mind. I might not care so much except Twinkle is an outdoor cat. I hate that she is an outdoor cat but she is old and set in her ways. She will not step one foot in the house. We have gone so far as to buy her a small dog house to live in. She has been perfectly fine up until now as she never leaves the yard and hangs out on the deck and patio most of the time. But now I have a problem. These guys are very large garden pests and I have no idea why they are choosing to hang out on my deck with Twinkle. I have made sure there is no food or water for them. No apples on the ground each night from the apple tree. I’m surprised I haven’t woken up the whole neighborhood with all the noise my daughter Tashi and I have made trying to scare them away. They do eventually leave after about half an hour, but only after they have chased Twinkle from her home and driven the dog crazy. Sadly I think I’m going to have to force Twinkle in for the night if I can catch her until they move on.