Raccoon? My wife wanted a pet raccoon when we lived in the Phoenix Metro area of Arizona. I am not sure exactly why. It might have had something to do with her time spent in the Albuquerque area of New Mexico. While there, she lived with her brother and parents who were all fond of the outdoors lifestyle. With that said, I gotta tell ya that animal was the craziest and most troublesome pet we ever owned.
Purchased from a local pet store that got it from a supplier in Minnesota, we just thought that baby critter was the cutest thing when my wife brought it home. The little rascal was quite friendly and we found that letting her have the run of the house was a viable option. She also got along well with the kids and they named her Coco!
Camping Pet Shenanigans!
When they are babies, you can easily make raccoons part of the family. Along with our German Shepherd puppy, we took her on camping trips with us in our truck mounted RV camper unit, but it was not all that big enough for the whole clan. Stuffing 2 adults, 3 kids, a dog, and our new pet inside of it was not that easy, but somehow it worked out. For awhile, that is!
The first time we took the plunge, we lost track of Coco. And that disappearance happened inside of the camper. Searching high and low, she was finally found lodged inside the propane tank compartment. Trying to pull her out was strenuous because she wedged herself in there very tight. It was a real struggle to free that rascal up, but as I neared a successful extraction, fear set in and she “pooped” in my hand as I made the final tug.
Another time we were hiking along a trail while the little raccoon followed us along. When a stray dog showed up, that set things off. This little critter decided right away that the strange invader was a threat. As a result of this disposition, she started hopping around all over the place as if to indicate she wanted the animal out of there. That dog must have been frightened out of its wits because it eliminated some bowel innards as it ran away.
Of course, our “protective pet” went and sniffed those remains and stuck her nose in the stuff. After that little feat, while we split our guts in laughter, she spent the next 10 minutes or so walking around with her head pointed up in the air. We then realized she was trying to figure out what that brown goo was on the end of her nozzle. The whole ordeal was more than we could bear!
Raccoon Loose Under The Table!
Another time, our young daughter, Susan, was challenged by the antics of this miniature rapscallion. Being a feisty sort, she did not take kindly to someone stealing her stuff. While at the dinner table that night messing around, she got careless and dropped some food on the floor.
Well, I guess she wanted it more than we could imagine because she got down on her knees and sought that elusive morsel. When she did spot it, dismay enveloped her persona the moment she discovered that Coco had eyed it first and claimed sole possession of it. That maneuver was a mistake, I must say.
Within seconds of Susan’s disappearance, we heard some screaming and yelling beneath our feet as she began to let the raccoon know she did not favor giving up that delectable prize without a fight. There was knocking and bumping of the table legs along with other machinations I won’t mention.
When all was said and done, we couldn’t determine who won that battle. Through it all, I am certain that our poorly suppressed giggles didn’t help the matter any. Nevertheless, I didn’t have the heart to make her get up and sit in her chair after the fracas subsided.
As this pet got older and grew in size, I asked myself an ominous question. How do you keep a domesticated wild animal contained that can climb a tree in a heartbeat? Behind a fence? Absolutely not! And that physical attribute was the thing that gave impetus to our real adventures with Coco!
Around the age of 3 months, that raccoon approached maturity and her wild animal instincts began to kick in. The wanderlust bug progressively dominated her mantra and she would continually wind up exploring the front yard of our house and beyond. So, I found myself getting frustrated with this infraction more often than not.
I remember that I would often find her out there and pick her up by the scruff of the neck, then fling her into the back yard which caused her to rotate in mid-air like a Frisbee. Still, that trick didn’t hurt her feelings. She simply landed on all four feet and just walked away like nothing happened.
Where Did That Nuisance Wander Off To Now?
Can you imagine what it is like when your pet raccoon acquaints you with your unfriendly neighbors? Ones that you normally would prefer not knowing? The words IRRITATED and HORRIFIED come to mind when you decipher the expressions on their faces as they stand at your front door. And those words don’t even do our mischievous devil justice.
Returning from a California trip, we found our house had been robbed. The lady next door got hit as well. While talking with her about the incident, she made mention of a strange occurrence. It turned out that she spotted a horrible beast trying to get into her bedroom window several times. She said that it was the ugliest “cat” she had ever seen. We almost told her that it was our pet raccoon, but thought better of it and kept our lips sealed.
As for the next exploit, the people who lived down the street finally had enough of our little monster. So, they came and knocked on our front door one evening in protest. After reluctantly confessing that we owned a raccoon, they wasted no time telling us what she had been doing.
It turns out that our intruder was continually driving their dogs crazy by hanging off the edge of the roof. She would be up there looking down at them as they jumped around and barked on and on with no end in sight. When we told the couple that we would handle the situation, we knew it was a lie because we had no clue. In any event, it became clear that our pet’s days were numbered.
The deciding blow came a week later. Coco brought people across our paths whom we thought would never have any interest in dealing with us. They told us that, while sitting in their home one evening, they heard a noise in their attic. Something up there was crawling around. As they sat watching the TV in the living room, they caught sight of an animal’s face staring at them. It peered through the air conditioner register and simply terrified them with its beady eyes. Notwithstanding, that was the final straw!
Bye Bye, Miss Troublemaker, Goodbye!
Since my wife was pregnant with our youngest daughter at the time, the concept of having people come after us continually with their fangs blaring was more than we could handle back then. Not long after that final incident, we ran an ad for Coco and sold her right off the bat to someone living in the neighboring city of Mesa.
So, the urge to have a wild animal as a pet in the future finally transitioned into alley cats, a dog, a ferret, and eventually a parrot and some conjures (noisy parrot-like birds). Coco was a learning experience we will never forget. Nor will we venture into ever again!
I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf as a masterpiece when you are done. FATE STALKS A HERO I: RESURGENCE, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM, and THE SAGA OF HERACLES PENOIT. I will be giving excerpts on these works in upcoming blogs to familiarize you the reader with exciting details about the contents of each one. Thank you!