The other day I was working at home in the north side of Chicago. Sitting at my desk in my fourth-floor apartment at around 5:30, I heard my neighbor coming up the back stairs. I didn’t really think about her until I heard a blood-curdling scream. And not just a brief little scream of surprise. It was long horrified scream, breath, continued scream, breath, more screaming. With some gibbering thrown in.
I rushed to my back door as the screams were already receding down the stairs. I looked out my window, and crouched at the end of the landing was a raccoon. A pretty big one – probably a twenty pounder. It’s funny: your brain immediately assumes ‘cat’ when faced with something that size and shape, but then there’s a brief instant of “hey, that’s the biggest cat ever” and then “that’s a strangely shaped face for a cat,” and finally “oh, it’s not a cat.”
Anyway, I went back into my apartment to get some pants. (I was working from home. Sue me.) I went out to shoo him away, but by the time I got out there, he was already ambling down the stairs.
I’ve seen raccoons around Chicago before, but only in parks by the lake. Never a full mile from the shore with no parks or anything nearby. Though it’s only a mile, so I guess I probably shouldn’t be surprised. And yes, I know raccoons aren’t that exotic.
Does anyone else have any stories of urban encounters with non-urban animals?