Friday, June 01, 2007

Freaking raccoons

With apologies to Wikipedia:

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

A raccoon is any one of three species of nocturnal mammals which comprise the genus Procyon of the Procyonidae family. The most widespread species, the Common Raccoon (P. lotor), is often known simply as the raccoon, as the two other raccoon species in the genus are native only to the tropics and are considerably lesser-known.

Raccoons are unusual for their thumbs, which (though not opposable) enable them to open many closed containers (such as garbage cans and doors). They are omnivores with a reputation for being clever and mischievous; their intelligence and dexterity equip them to survive in a wide range of environments and are one of the few medium-to-large-sized animals that have enlarged its range since human encroachment began (another is the coyote). Raccoon hindfeet are plantigrade similar to a human's.

Raccoons are also evil little bastards known for their sense of humour, often waiting until children have just been put to bed before starting a series of piercingly loud trilling noises, which are amplified and echo-y due to the fact that the raccoons are under the deck at the back of the house. This prolonged series of calls can sometimes last from about 8 p.m. until well after 11, not stopping even when the irate house owner throws open her bathroom window and screams "Shut up, shut up, shut up, you stupid animals!". Scientist have not yet discovered whether the loudest of the raccoons' repertoire of calls signifies a male raccoon in search of a mate, a mother raccoon calling to her kits, or just a bunch of raccoons sitting around knocking back Mike's Hard Lemonade and drunkenly arguing about hockey.

(And they're probably Leafs fans...)

4 comments:

  1. Ouch--low blow on the Leafs comment--I won't tell Andrew... :)

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  2. Bill Walsh1:58 PM

    Oh, they're just softening you up. It's obviously just the opening, psychological gambit in some devious plan.

    Wikipedia also fails to mention that raccoons can also use those opposable thumbs to pick locks, clean, load, and operate firearms, rewire electrical boxes, build incendiary devices, fly small aircraft, brew espresso, deal meth, and set shape charges to blow bank vaults.

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  3. But they're so cute! ;-)

    Put some bowls or sprinkles of dog food way out at the perimeter of your property. At least then they'll stay away from the house... Of course, they'll come every night.

    I caught my coon with a live trap and, um, disposed of him.

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  4. We have raccoons and possums nightly here. Aside from their obvious differences in physical appearance, the real difference between the two is that possums just wave at you when you try to shoo them away from the trash cans, but raccoons go one step further and flip you off. It must be the thumbs. I've never believed in guns or harming innocent creatures, but after two years of living here and picking up after them-I want a BB gun.

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