Thursday, 9pm: A little ways above, at the top of the basement stairs, is the back door of the house. The evening is well into the twilight, almost night, but the deepening grey-blue of the sky still casts a dim, diffused glow through the open door. Heat and humidity hangs in the air.
Making its way towards the door, down the short step out of the kitchen into the small foyer and past the top of the stairs, is the nonchalant, lumbering bulk of a young raccoon.
It moves with a slow, satisfied, unconcerned gait. It probably has a belly full of cat food from the bowl near the sink. It senses movement on the stairs and quickens its exit but, as soon as its tail passes through the door, the raccoon turns to look back inside the house. As the door is slammed in its face, it looks up with the expectant innocence of young child or a career criminal.