Really strange things in the night

sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)January 5, 2009

I have always been aware of the neighborhood wildlife and have seen some weird things but I must admit I am baffled. A few nights ago I was sitting at the dining room table which is separated from the porch by a glass wall when a medium to large opossum threw itself at the glass. I thought it was going to come through it but it finally pushed itself into the corner behind some flowerpots. It was absolutely terrified and it huddled there for some time, then after repeatedly checking the porch, it climbed into a large planter and stayed there for over an hour when I stopped checking on it.

The next day I opened the door to the porch and to my shock there was a dead raccoon just outside the door. It was lying on it's back and there was a fairly neat 5 inch long vertical slash in it's belly. It probably weighed 12 to 15 pounds and was more than a year old, probably 20 months.

Now I have had time to think about it and have checked the porch and much of the yard, I am baffled about the whole thing. There was no blood. The body and fur were not bloody. I couldn't find any trace of a fight. The gash in the belly was almost like an incision and there was no blood at all in the wound although the innards were clearly visible. All the organs and intestines were still neatly in place. I saw no other wounds. The body was not limp but it was not particularly stiff either. The paw pads were soft. There was no odor.

The opossum must be blameless. It is smaller than the raccoon and has always been cautious around them but was never terrified as it was that night and the raccoons have never been aggressive towards the opossum. It could not have dragged the raccoon onto the porch. There was no evidence of dragging anyway. I had spilled some perlite on the porch and had not cleaned it up and it would have been disturbed.

Please make some suggestions as to the cause of the raccoons death and how the it wound up on my porch. There must have been a preditor of some sort to scare the opossum so much since it has never been scared by me or the raccoons. When I was around and the opossum felt threatened it would hide behind me. That might explain why it ran into the glass and hid in that corner. I was about 3 feet away from the glass. I was only 8 to 10 feet away from where the body was left and I was clearly visible to anything on the porch. Sandy

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catherinet(5 IN)

That's really strange Sandy! Maybe its "Those of whom we do not speak". (haha....from "The Village").
Hmmmm......maybe an owl attacked it, but then it got scared off??? Would a talon do that? Maybe when the owl attacked the coon, the opossum was nearby, and that's when it ran into the glass? Maybe the coon lived long enough to make it to your porch??

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:52PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey, Catherine. I can't imagine any owl in this area picking up or attacking an almost adult raccoon. We don't have the really big ones here like the Snowy owls we used to see in Wisconsin. I'm sure one of the really big birds would have talons that could do the job but that wouldn't explain the total lack of blood anywhere. With a gash that big it must have bled out hard and would have left a trail on the concrete floor. It must be close to 16 feet from the front of the porch to the door and windows. Your quote from The Village makes more sense than anything I have thought up. Sandy

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 5:45AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Sandy,
Is it possible that the coon was already dead when it got the gash? Maybe it had been hit by a car, and was carried by a hawk/owl, or dragged by a dog/coyote? Very curious, indeed!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 8:06AM
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Must be a chubacabra (or however it is spelled)!!!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 4:41PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Years and years ago we had a cat go missing when she dashed out the door. She returned with a gash very much as you described, and no blood to speak of. She went to the vet and he thought she had previously gone over a fence and that is how her abdomen was slashed. Since it was over a day old it was not actively bleeding. She had intervention so she survived, but maybe not so for the poor raccoon.

The possum may be just a coincidence or perhaps the racoon hissed or something that scared it.

Just some ideas,


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 12:40AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey, Lisa. That is certainly less dramatic (or traumatic) than some of the things I have come up with. Thanks for the newest entry in Sandy's Stories of the Strange. ;-) Sandy

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 10:38PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Hi Sandy,
Your post caught my eye. Now that's a perfect story about things that go "bump" in the night! lol

Hope you're doing well.
Poo :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 12:47PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey Grandmapoo. I haven't seen you posting recently so welcome back. I seem to remember you saying you would be gone for a while. As for my little night time surprises, I have to say live and learn. I hope the opossum has recovered from his scare. He has been a visitor for going on 4 years. His elders haven't gotten too close since I caught one in the laundry room trying to hide under my lingerie. I tossed him outside in the laundry basket. Sandy

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:01AM
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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

Sandy. Too funny. In my mind I picture you tossing a possum out the door wearing your lingerie.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 2:06PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

LOL Jenny! I got somewhat of the same picture. Only I don't know if I would be so brave to get that close.
BREAKING NEWS: Possum spotted wearing ladies unmentionables on side of highway in Ft. Wayne...Full story at 11.
Poo :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:24PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

It's pretty simple really. In the cover of darkness and only with enough light from the nearby window, the troubled teen was in the process of terminating an unplanned pregnancy. Considering the circumstances, the self-induced procedure was going OK until the dang unsuspecting possum came around the corner and scared the bejesus out of all parties involved.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:31PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Uh...was the lingerie on the opossum or me?
As I have mentioned in other threads, I have a bad history of tossing the opossum. DH has said if I don't stop grabbing them by the tail, one day it will come off in mid toss and an opossum without a tail is a really sad opossum.
I do try to refrain but they really try my patience. They are STUPID!! Sandy

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:20PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Hummmm...tossing the possum...

Sounds like someone ate some bad possum stew. :)

Mark, post again when you're sober. Hee hee :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 3:20PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

I dunno whachu talkin' 'bout. I'm PERFECTLY shober shank you very much. *HIC*

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:50PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

LOL on the huge *HIC*
Uhuh..I knew it!
Cheers! ;)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 9:27AM
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