A couple were left stunned after their home was invaded by a RACCOON – after it crawled in through their cat-flap.
Dad-of-one Marek Chapanionek, 44, was defrosting his freezer at around 11.30pm on Monday (15/5) night when the woodland critter entered his house.
The animal then “terrorised” the account manager’s property, eating a Nutri-Grain bar from the handbag of wife Caroline, 47, and terrifying two-year-old cat Dotty.
Marek even called daughter Katherine, 19, who is a second-year politics student at the University of Reading, as the creature rummaged through her bedroom drawers.
Eventually the unwelcome guest settled down in Dotty’s cage, allowing Caroline, a midwife at Northampton General Hospital, to get some sleep.
Marek, of Horton, Nothants., then called the RSPCA, who collected the raccoon at around 10am on Tuesday morning (16/5).
Today he said: “I was just finishing off defrosting the freezer when it happened, I was just about to head up to bed, as Caroline had already gone to sleep.
“I heard some banging upstairs, and just assumed it was Dotty messing around.
“But then I heard her run down the stairs, and straight out the cat-flap.
“I went upstairs, and noticed that the draw to Katherine’s bedroom was slightly open, which made me suspicious.
“Then I saw him, this shady creature, sat in the hallway.
“He was looking through my wife’s bag, which she’d left out there. It was very frightening. He had these big eyes, and was looking straight at me.
“Eventually he took out a Nutri-Grain bar, and rushed into Katherine’s bedroom.
“Then he started rummaging around in the drawers, pulling out clothes and making a mess.
“I tried to shoo him away, but he just hissed back at me every time. He was very aggressive.
“I called Katherine, because I thought she might be able to help, but I think if anything she was just terrified that this creature was messing around with her clothes.
“It was at that point that Caroline woke up, but she was too scared to really help.
“He was very hyperactive, jumping on door handles and making a lot of noise.
“It was terrifying, because he moved so slowly. You could never tell whether he was about to attack, or if he was just scared.
“We thought he must have been someone’s pet because he seemed to know how to open doors.
“He was an incredibly inquisitive creature, and kept on following me.
“I decided to lead him downstairs and into Dotty’s cat-bed, where he settled in. I threw a washing basket over his head, but he quickly got it off and wasn’t too happy.
“I tempted him into the cat box, and locked the cage door, so that he couldn’t get out this time.
“The RSPCA weren’t available when I phoned, and when I dialled 101 they told me I could let him out – but I know that they can damage other wildlife, so I didn’t want to do that.
“I tried to go to sleep, but he kept on crying out and making a racket. It was a difficult night, and one that I certainly won’t forget.”
It is not known where the creature came from, but Marek believes it could only have entered the house through the cat-flap.
He added: “I had to work from home – I think my boss was quite confused when I explained it all to him.
“The man from the RSPCA said in his 29 years working there he had never seen a raccoon in someone’s house before.
“It was scary, and he caused a mess, but I miss him now that he’s gone.
“He was a wonderfully curious creature, but I don’t think we could have a raccoon and a cat at the same time.”