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My name is Josh Allen. I’m twenty four years old, a writer and artist. I was born here in Paris Texas, and despite my escapades, have always made it back here. I love this town and its people. I always try and give my support to locally owned businesses — which I think provide the best.
I am the managing editor for this, www.eParisExtra.com. I try and keep the content as fresh as I can — as do the great other contributors . I thought I would start this post by telling you a little about myself and by saying that I am open to criticsm and comments always. Just send an email to email@example.com. You can always reach me there.
To get on with the point of this, I’ve been absolutely shocked by some visitors at this current residence that I live in. I feel it unappropriate for myself — and my landlord — to tell you my exact address, but let’s put it this way: I live on Pine Bluff Street, just east of the downtown area.
I’m sure that all Paris citizens are very aware of Pine Bluff Street and know that it is completely surrounded by this city that we call home. For those of you reading this that are residents on Pine Bluff, you know how busy this street is — both day and night, continuously. Cars drive by and drive by. The noise of the street is a bit alarming. My front door doesn’t sit more than 30 feet from this busy road, and you can bet that the cars’ noise is very audible.
Continuing to the point, I’ve had frequent — and by frequent, I mean everyday and night — visitors to my home’s front porch area from about the time the sun goes down until very early hours of the morning — or by all accounts, when the cat food is gone.
I have four cats at my house that live outside — they eat a lot and are large. They are not much for ‘guard’ cats, but they lay around the porch and try and stay cool during the heat of the Texas day, eating at night when it is cool. I place their food bowls — or in some lazy cases, food piles — right on the front porch. Naturally, they never eat as much food as I put out for them, so they leave plenty of left overs laying around.
It’s these left over bowls and piles of cat food that attract these very interesting visitors — raccoons. These animals are not endangered or anything, and seem to have plentiful numbers all over the area. It’s not such an oddity that they are at my house eating all my cats’ food at night. The cats just sit and watch, not bothered in the least by these intruders, and the raccoons are just animals fueled by the need for food, so they find it.
The oddity is that they live under my porch — on one of the busiest streets in town. Not just one or two hypothetical ‘bandits’, but an entire family. Two larger, which I assume to be the mother and father, and four smaller, baby raccoons.
To add to my apparent wonder at their presence, they lack fear of humans, just sudden movements. I sit among this little family of mammals each night, as I read and they eat. It’s quite humorous to watch them. They eat with their hands most times and always stop beside the cats’ water bowl to wash their hands — a very interesting thing to watch, they lack only soap or they’d wash just as humans do.
Many times I’ve thought to call the city, and I will. But not before I watch these fury creatures for a few more nights. My cats are unbothered and seem to be okay sharing their food for my entertainment. Not only is it entertaining, but very informative, and a far cry better than the Discovery channel.
Upon the capture of pictures, I decided to share this ‘news’ with you. Although, I’ve yet to get an image of the whole family (There are only two raccoons — the mother and father, I believe — on display in the images I’ve provided. The entire family, as a whole, rarely come out. They check it out and eat one or two at a time). They are not necessarily fans of the camera, and with the light levels low from my dim porch light and their frequent and sporadic movements, it is very hard to actually obtain a still shot photograph without it being blurry. I’ve done what I can and included those photos with this post.
This is for my enjoyment of writing and to also give a little glimpse of ‘Our Great Outdoors’ and those creatures living in it. Thank you for your support in the Extra — we could not do it without you. Keep reading for the best up-to-date FREE news in Paris, Texas.
Article and Photos by Josh Allen/Managing Editor - eParis Extra!