I felt like I needed an antidote to my last post… Over the past few weeks, I noticed that the water in the Infinity Pool and Blue Lagoon was murky. I had my suspicions so we put the night camera out. My heart melted when I saw these baby raccoon kits. The next night we put out some of our old cat’s toys and the kits didn’t disappoint. It has been really hot so they loved having a wee bath. Perhaps they are bathed more than Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ kids?
Raccoons are part of the Procyonidae family widely spread through North and South America. There are 7 species, from Alaska to Argentina, and include Coatimundi and Kinkajou. Their original Latin name, Ursus Lotor, referred to their perceived habit of washing their paws. As omnivores they will eat food in shallow water but the real reason for them moving their webbed paws in a washing motion is because they use them as vibration sensors. Our kits were about the size of the Pyrex dish (although apparently two can fit at a push…) In my mind, they look like a cute little bear/cat/dog hybrid.
Mother raccoon did not appear on camera so she was probably resting in the reserve, leaving the kits in the Garden of Raccoon Delights. Raccoons usually have 2 to 8 kits but it’s likely that our 6 kits are cousins. Female raccoons sometimes live together to raise their kits – the original Sister Wives? The biggest raccoon I have seen in our yard was as big as a Bulldog – their weight ranges from 5 to over 50 lbs. Mrs Stripe, who was a street cat from Egypt, looked at it with utter astonishment. It didn’t smell like a dog or a cat, so what was it??
Striped tails are my weakness so I smile every time I look at the video. They are so small, fluffy and playful! In another video we heard them whining for Mama. It sounded like a puppy whining softly. In general raccoons can make a variety of noises – yowling, growling, hissing, purring, chirping and cooing. This litter was really quiet and I couldn’t hear them even though they were feet away from my bed. What goes on in our yard at night? It’s a magical, if occasionally stinky, place.