Strike two: our latest raccoon infestation, a couple of months ago, was both severe and puzzling. Severe in that the animal control folks trapped no less than *five* raccoons that had been hanging around (one of them so fat he looked like a beach ball with fur). Puzzling because I couldn't figure out how the damned things were getting into the house. The problem was originally because the soffits (sp?) had never been sealed in the back, but we dealt with that some time ago. From the ground, there were no visible entryways.
But while raking leaves on Sunday, I noticed something disturbing: a small fluff of insulation, at the edge of the roof. So I went up on a ladder (never a small thing for acrophobic me), and confirmed my worst suspicions: the damned things had actually chewed a hole in the roof proper. It was under the eaves, which was why we didn't notice water leakage, but it's a pretty damned substantal hole.
I've nailed up an exceedingly temporary patch: no sort of real long-term fix, but it should keep out blown rain and opportunistic animals that aren't *too* determined. But it's yet another nail in the coffin of the back wing of this damned house.
Strike three: Comet is nearing the end. He's been slowly dying of abdomenal cancer for pretty much the entire year. Now his appetite is beginning to fail: he's clearly queasy when we present him with food, and he's eating less and less of it. At the current rate, he's not going to survive the month, and I'm not entirely certain about the week; that final call to the vet is looking scarily imminent. He's had a good run (seventeen years is a reasonably advanced age for a cat), but it aches to watch this in a pet we've had for our entire marriage...