Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Remember Notchey…

“What would you name a pet raccoon?’

A dear friend asked that question yesterday  as she told me that a raccoon had been sullying her garage and grounds, getting into everything, and reasoned that it was because her husband had been leaving food out for it. She is a hopeless animal lover and mused the question innocently, but it brought back memories.  

Well, I named my pet raccoon “Notchey”. Now she might technically not have been a household pet but she was precious. A dainty little girl, fleet of foot and with beautiful sparkling eyes, she was a charmer. She had a little notch in one ear, probably resulting from some scuffle with another animal and had survived with minor casualties so we named her Notchey.

We first met Notchey when she came to our kitchen door one night and I threw out a couple of pieces of bread. She returned often, timidly at first, but as the food got better, moving from stale bread steadily up the scale to meat and bones, the frequency of her visits increased in direct proportion. As our friendship progressed she became more confident and would come and knock on the back door in the early evening. 

Our relationship was almost ended prematurely by my "not so eager" wife who liked the raccoon, but more at a distance. One evening Dear Wife had been in another room and she came into the kitchen unexpectedly. Notchey and I just happened to be sitting together in the kitchen, chatting and sharing some pork chops. In all fairness, I can appreciate Gail's surprise but to me she really overreacted. You would have thought I had an elephant in there instead of a raccoon. Here you could paint a mental picture of loud screams, a frantic wife, a scared raccoon and Peacemaker Pat trying to calm everyone down and sort things out.

I will admit that no one had ever really explained to me that clearly about how horrible it was to have a raccoon in the kitchen, until Gail introduced the subject and spoke at some length in terse sentences, interjected by something that sounded like "I can't believe you let that THING in the house!!!" 

We didn't see Notchey for some weeks but then one night she came back and knocked at the back door. My heart was bubbling over as I looked out and saw Notchey with five little baby raccoons. She had given birth to darling little black eyed love bundles and brought them to visit us. We then knew why she hadn't been around much. 

I hurried to rustle up some dinner for my guests and plopped down in the driveway feeding Notchey’s offspring while she looked on proudly, showing off her family to her friend. My neighbors thought I was crazy for getting so close to a raccoon but I love animals. I can just see my dear friend, our wonderful local Veterinarian, Doc Mitchell, the kindest animal lover in the world, peering with a raised eyebrow, giving me a quiet word of caution about dealing directly with wild animals.

Love for animals, that deep feeling of joy that they bring to so many people in the world is another proof that life is Love expressed, that above and beyond the threats and fears of this temporal dream of material existence, all creatures live in safety and harmony in the Divine Consciousness, in God, Mind.    And we can, at times, experience this kinship and sense of  “oneness” with all life right here, when we are open to seeing and listening spiritually.

True Love is always loving, always forgiving, always freeing. 

On the wall above my desk hangs a birthday gift from my forgiving wife, a very large picture, a professional photo of the most beautiful little raccoon face staring down, watching over me as I write. 

And I remember Notchey.


kellymac said...

Nice reading to start my day, and loved the pics of natchey and family!! very sweet.. thanks for sharing.

actually... i had a raccoon visit me one night, but thats a whole different story. ;-)

Laura Moliter said...

Thanks, Pat, for this sweet story. I think Gail's reaction to the raccoon in the kitchen was only about half as wild as mine would have been! I love the lessons in love in this story, as well as your signature humor. Your love for animals and your trust in God as Father of us all is such a great example. I appreciate all your blogs, Pat. Keep 'em coming!

Poet said...

Perfectly charming, Patrick. It must surely please the Creator of all things that there are people in this world like you.
Truly an lover of animals is what you are!
(Adorable pics, too)

Penny Wise said...

I remember when Gail purchased that wonderful photograph. We had a small part in keeping it a secret from you!! Loved your story, as usual.


Anonymous said...

I once met Notchey. I too enjoyed her from a distance! Thank you Peaceful Pat for this message of love.