I knew it.
I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.
Oh, many of you scoffed. You laughed at the crazy “city boy” who was getting freaked out by the local raccoon population — particularly by their tough-as-nails leader, a mountain of a raccoon I took to calling “Leviathan.” My own co-workers doubted my word when I shared the horrifying story of being chased through the parking lot one night and given a wedgie by a group of masked omnivores, as Leviathan barked orders from atop a nearby tree.
Naturally a lover of animals, I was disappointed by my reaction of pure joy when Susan Lyons informed me one day that she had come across Leviathan’s lifeless carcass following a particularly-violent storm. It’s not that I ever wanted to see any creature harmed, by the way, it’s just that I was so relieved that someone else finally saw Leviathan and could back me up to others. And, yes, admittedly, part of the joy was knowing that he wouldn’t be around to taunt me anymore.
But I didn’t actually see Leviathan’s corpse with my own two eyes, so doubt continued to course through my veins. There were sightings of other raccoons around the office, some of them quite large, but none of them had the pure mass — or flagrant hostility — of Leviathan. We even had a couple other raccoons move in to the attic of our building last year, but, again, no sightings of my nemesis.
He was either really dead, or he used a dummy raccoon to fake his own death so he would be more free to work on his new plan of global domination. As the years passed, I began to open up my mind a little bit to the notion that Leviathan was really gone forever, and I was just being paranoid to believe that a raccoon could possibly organize his entire species to rise up and take over the world.
And then it happened.
“Reports of ‘zombie-like’ raccoons puzzle police” — WKBN, in Ohio.
“Carcasses of Ohio’s ‘zombie-like’ raccoons being collected and tested” — cbsnews.com.
Zombie raccoons? Well, Mr. and Mrs. KnowItAll, what do you have to say now? You can’t tell me that a bunch of raccoons in Ohio just up and started turning into zombies overnight, can you? I mean, yeah, John Kasich is a little dry, but that doesn’t mean everything in Ohio just automatically turns into zombies.
According to police in northeast Ohio, several homeowners called in to report that raccoons were in their yards, during the daytime, and acting strangely, per WKBN. Police said they didn’t believe the animals had rabies, but they were reportedly not sure what was causing the odd behavior.
Local wildlife photographer Robert Coggeshall told reporters that he was outside with his dogs near his house when he spotted one of the “zombie raccoons” approaching him. He said that he quickly brought his dogs back into the house and grabbed his camera. That’s when he saw some real interesting behavior from the raccoon.
“He would stand up on his hind legs, which I’ve never seen a raccoon do before, and he would show his teeth and then he would fall over backward and go into almost a comatose condition,” he told WKBN.
Now, to be fair, I did that very-same routine nearly every single night in my early 20s at the old Shipwreck Lounge outside of Camp Lejeune, and that didn’t make me a zombie. It made me an immature jerk — but not a zombie. And it wasn’t necessarily strange behavior for a 21-year-old Marine at that time.
According to the experts, this behavior is indeed very odd for raccoons, and officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) believe the raccoons are most likely showing signs of distemper. The Youngstown City Health Department told cbsnews.com that the USDA has begun picking up the carcasses of euthanized raccoons for testing. Distemper is a viral disease, which can transfer from one raccoon to the next while they eat, according to ODNR.
Of course, “distemper” doesn’t move the proverbial needle like “zombie raccoons” does, so one enterprising Ohio company is striking while the “zombie” iron is still hot.
The Youngstown Clothing Company is now selling “Zombie Raccoon” T-shirts, according to a story by wfmj.com. A post on their Facebook page promoting the shirts has received more than 600 shares, as of Tuesday evening, meaning they have jumped an opportunity at the perfect time, or Leviathan is using this company as a shadow corporation, manipulating the market...
But I digress.
Either way you look at this, it’s fairly obvious that I was right all along. Don’t fall for the distemper argument, as that’s what “the man” wants you to believe. This is obviously the work of an enormous raccoon who is skilled in the arts of deception and war, and is now recruiting scores of raccoons so he can convert them to zombies in an obvious attempt to take over the world.
Or, you know, not. Whatever.