A little while later I heard what I thought was Tweety and the Raccoon in a fight to the death. I ran out to try to help Tweety and found him waiting at the back door totally unscathed and looking no worse for wear. He didn't even appear to have been in a fight.
The next day we found the raccoon in our back yard. My best guess is that Tweety spooked the raccoon and it fell off the deck.
Numerous calls to various town offices revealed that this is something "the man of the house" is supposed to deal with on his own. So I went out and dug a grave.
Burying something that was once alive, even if it did scare the crap out of me when it was, is a humbling experience. It's physically hard work and it gives you time to think:
All I was trying to do was to clear a path for my cat to come inside. As scared as I was in doing so, it appears the raccoon was more scared, making me at least partially responsible for his death. In the end he wasn't so much a nemesis as a hungry guy with strange eyes, looking for food on my back deck.
My encounter with this little guy is making me think twice about the power I wield day to day. A smile here, a kind gesture there... I bet they go a long way. Maybe even as far towards doing something good as the simple act of spooking a raccoon went the other way.