I grew up in the country where foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons and plenty of field mice roamed. One day I explored a recently abandoned fox den. That afternoon while working in the field, I told my dad about my adventure. That’s when I learned that the meaning of the word lousy applies to more than a bad day. He asked if I had seen anything crawling on the ground. I only remembered scattered bones and feathers. Then he explained that the foxes were infested with lice and a lot more. I ran all the way home, took a bath and two showers to ensure that they were all drowned and washed away.
Recently I recalled my misadventure when I saw a video that was humorous until I realizes what I was watching was not a cat. A family had posted a security tape of a raccoon snoozing on their couch. They said he must have ventured in through the pet door, explored their house and left before anyone found him. Instead of being distressed by their intruder, they found him funny and cute so rather than barring the doggy door, they left it open and hoped he would return. He did. He made himself at home sleeping on the sofa and searching through rooms for anything he could open and eat. They posted his nightly antics.
What they didn’t think about while they watched him unrolling the toilet paper, ripping open the chips and cuddling on the couch, were the fleas, ticks, lice, and more he shared. Had they enlarged the scene they would have seen those threats scattering across their floor and invading their recliner waiting for the next warm body to feast on and share rabies, lime disease, ringworm, and parasites with. I will not even talk about the feces he dropped everywhere and that trail of contamination.
Eventually the parents quit sharing. Perhaps because so many people explained the dangers, or they grew tired of being asked if they were really letting this intruder infect their home.
Now I wonder how safe my home is and what I was letting in either through the door or devices that may be harming my family?