One raccoon in Sarasota, Florida, wasn’t satisfied with merely stealing Susie Chinn‘s cats’ food. Nope, after using the ill-gotten goods to feeds her babies, the mother raccoon, affectionately (but unoriginally) dubbed “Rocksy,” tried to get Susie’s attention, presumably to ask for more food. Rocksy does this by knocking on Susie’s glass door on the rear deck. Rocksy makes sure she can be heard by holding a small rock in her hand which she rolls against the glass.
It’s cute, but also terrifying. It means they’re using tools. And predicting behavior.
It’s birthing season among raccoons right now (baby raccoons being calls “cubs.”) Actually that’s incorrect, it was birthing season a while ago. According to the Smithsonian:
The female nurses her cubs for about 70 days. The cubs’ eyes open at 18—24 days and they begin exploring the world outside the den when they are 9—10 weeks old. By 20 weeks of age they can forage on their own.
So around 70 days ago was birthing season. Right now it’s “taking the kids out to show them the ropes” season. As such, the media has decided to warn people to be wary of squads of roving bandits breaking into trashcans, running amok, and engaging in general cute-ry. Take this report for example, which specifically warns that they may have a bit of “attitude.”
The report is originally from CBS 8 in San Diego, you can see their posting here.
Of course, when they use “attitude” in the headline all I can think of is that 90’s sense of the word. You know: pastels, backwards hates and skateboards while shouting “extreme” and “totally rad.” What passes for attitude these days? I guess a lot of snark and sarcasm. What will attitude be like in the future? Maybe the newest generation of raccoons will show the way as they toss aside the roller blades and too cool for school attitude, stop saying the opposite of what they mean, and discover a whole new way of sticking it to the man!