Eye to Eye…with a beast!!!

raccoonIf you read my training page you probably already heard about my encounter…but if not, let me recap the experience for you!

I procrastinated yesterday, and before I realized, it was 10:00PM and I still had to get my 1 mile run in! So, I laced up my shoes and grabbed my ipod and started out the door. But, my husband, sweety that he is, said he would come out with me and walk while I ran my normal route. He is the sweetest man…EVER!!! I hate running in the darkness of night by myself!  The darkness of morning, I am fine with…go figure!

So, we set off and I ran ahead, tunes cranked, thinking about world peace and tomorrow’s dinner menu. As I came around the bend in our street, not even 200 yards from our house, I saw a shadowy figure hunched over a pile of tree branches. I immediately thought that it was one of the wild, or shall I say homeless, cats that live in our neighborhood. But after a double, triple and quadruple take, I realized that this “CAT” was HUGE!!! If it was a homeless cat, then it must have eaten its home and everything in it! Suddenly it looked up and locked eyes with me! I didn’t know what to do! What’s the protocol when running into a homeless cat? Don’t make eye contact…do make eye contact…act dominant…act subservient? I couldn’t think!

It’s yellow beady eyes stayed on me as it slowly crossed the street in front of me. It stopped at the curb and raised up onto its back legs,standing-raccoon showing its full size! YIKES!!! It really was HUGE!!! But I could tell, now, that it was a raccoon, a very well fed raccoon! This thing was twice the size of my overweight cocker spaniel! Obviously, it was not afraid of me! I figured that the sound of my feet hitting the pavement would scare it away, but… uh… no!  It just stayed there, raised up on his haunches watching me as if he were critiquing my technique! Again my brain froze and I couldn’t think of what I should do. Normally, my brain would scream “RUN!!”…but I was already running…just in the wrong direction! Finally, it clicked, and I abruptly turned around!

My husband, not knowing what was going on, looked puzzled as he chuckled at me sprinting back towards him, with a look of terror on my face.  I explained what had happened and we continued on towards the raccoon. I  was hiding behind him as we approached the beast again! Evidently, we looked a little more daunting, because the beast sauntered off into the bushes, without even looking back.

I continued my run, but I couldn’t help but think about the family of dumpster-diving black bears that live near our neighborhood, too. Needless to say, I ran my fastest mile…EVER!!