Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6.22.08 a bit of a sad day

We had a very traumatic morning. I was awakened around 2:30 am to the sounds of the mother cats screaming for help on the front porch. It was a raccoon trying to kill one of the kittens. It had attacked little Oded and he's now hurt very badly.

It's about 1:00 pm now tho and he's doing much better. I made a healing energy paste for him to eat and he ate very well. I put a salve on his wounds but I'm still afraid a lung might be punctured and/or his leg broken. He's going to the Vet first thing in the morning.

Over the last few weeks 3 other kittens have vanished in the night and one of our cats showed up with a terrible injury to his face. Right away I thought it looked like a raccoon bite but I've lived in or near the forest for many years and have always had wild raccoons around and have never seen one attack a cat. I've even seen them share food with cats. I've heard of raccoons attacking cats but I truly thought it would have to be under extraordinary circumstances, like extreme starvation. These raccoons are very fat and healthy with bright eyes and shiny fur. Our forest here is lush and full of food.

I feel very terrible about it but I've hired a hitman to take out the raccoon. I don't have the words to describe how bad I feel about that. The raccoons are just living in the way they know best. But besides the danger to the cats and chickens and dogs from raccoons willing to attack like that right on our porch, there's also the danger of rabies.

When it first happened and I saw him attacking Oded myself, I could have killed him with my bare hands but as the minutes passed and I came to my senses I remembered that the raccoon is no different than any of us. Humans kill to eat each day and they very often eat the babies of others.

Nonetheless, the hitman will come tonight and wait for the raccoon to return. If I am willing to have a life taken I should be willing to actually take that life and with it the guilt and responsibility.

I did consider live trapping and relocating but if he's so brazen as to come onto our porch and kill then I would feel wrong to expose anyone else to him. Raccoons are scavengers by nature and I believe that at some point this one may have eaten a dead kitten and gotten a taste for them enough to make it hunt for them.

It's a terrible thing all the way around and regardless what happens tonight I accept the responsibility of the outcome. It hurts my heart.

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