Brooklyn is Wild America

My cat Emmy has woken me up at early hours three times in the past two weeks by howling at something outside the window, seeing something on the fire escape above us. I could never figure out what it was…until today.

She woke me up around 5:30 this morning, howling, tail in its full bottle-brush glory, and back hair sticking straight up. Then she sprung up about three feet, trying to grasp at the window, trying to get to whatever it was that was on the fire escape. This was a new one, and I hopped out of bed and ran to the window in the hopes that I’d see what it was that was making her wig out. I looked up just in time to see a raccoon lumbering around the fire escape above ours. A RACCOON! It was bigger than Emmy and at first I thought maybe my neighbor had a massive cat that they let chill outside. Then I thought maybe it was a dog. But when I saw it walking, that bizarre side-to-side lilt that raccoons have, it couldn’t have been anything else (except maybe a possum, but do they even have those in this part of the country? No idea). The whole situation woke me up, a small dose of adrenaline pumping through my body. Who ever knew that this girl who grew up in Alaska would get excited to see a wild animal through the window?

It’s 45 minutes later and Emmy is still looking out the window, meowing, hoping to see the raccoon again so she can attack it.

Fifteen minutes after the incident, I laid back down in bed, the excitement over and the raccoon long gone after I’d seen it climb up the ladder to the roof. Emmy ran over to me, jumped on the bed, and snuggled in close. I wrapped my arms around her like a pillow and rested my cheek on her for about five minutes until she’d decided that she had comforted her poor, defenseless human enough and ran back to the window on full-alert.

I suppose when it comes to wild animals, little Emerson is a pretty good watch-cat. When it comes to humans, though, she loves every hairless thing on two legs, no matter who they are. I can only imagine that when we were burglarized the second summer I lived here, that she ran over to the thieves and rubbed up on their legs, begging for pats and scritches.

And still now, after she checked on me a second time to make sure I was alright, Emmy is back on the windowsill, on full guard.

This is Emmy…. about 20 minutes after the sighting (It’s sideways, but all you need is the sound):


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