My parents and I went out to the cemetery today. After one of our stops, I walked up to the back of the car and saw a very round greyish cat’s behind sticking out from under the back of the car. I bent over and said, “Hi, kitty! Better get out from under the car….”
The “cat” turned around, pulled its tail out from under it, and revealed itself to be a raccoon.
Well, I stepped back automatically, expecting the raccoon to do the same. (Or hiss. Or beg for food. Or scuttle away on its own business.)
But it didn’t. Didn’t move at all. Settled itself back down under the car. Odd.
My dad and mom were coming up to the car, so I warned them to watch out. Mom got into the front seat. We decided that the best procedure was for Dad to pull forward; then I could get into the car without spooking the raccoon or inadvertently taking it for a ride. Dad did so.
The raccoon sat there. After a moment, it looked around dazedly and realized the car was gone. It got up and shambled disconnectedly across the road, all its legs hitching and dragging.
At this point, the creep-o-meter went off, and we all looked at each other and said, “Rabies. The last stages.” And there has been rabies in our area this year. So we drove back around and told the cemetery staff what we’d seen where, and what we suspected. They looked equally green and said they’d take care of it.
I am soooo glad I didn’t touch it. *shiver*
So the moral of the story is… don’t pet an animal unless you’ve seen its head. (And speak to one from a little farther away than I did.)
(Btw: The parents and I did take our dog Liath to the local Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, and got prayed over ourselves. So if there’s any connection between that and our current non-rabid state… yay for God and St. Francis!)