Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Urban Wildlife

Raccoons - especially urban raccoons - are not cute.


Raccoons are aggressive little monsters who will break into your house and eat your toothpaste if you leave a window open.

One morning, there was a single muddy raccoon pawprint on the glass of my parents' backdoor. It was like the cover of a B Horror movie:

Raccoons!! They come out at night!!

In the movie, I'm pretty sure that they'd use mechanical raccoon puppets to terrorize an innocent family who just moved into a new house. Probably in the first scene, a little girl would squeal and point at a cute raccoon with shiny eyes, and ask if she could keep it as a pet. Her mom would laugh and shoo it away. But it would come back. I'm pretty sure that the little girl would survive until the end of the movie, so don't worry too much. The family dog, unfortunately, wouldn't stand a chance. I think I'd probably cry when he died.

I'm also not a huge fan of urban squirrels, skunks or gophers.

39 comments:

  1. me, neither. but i AM a fan of your CLAY animals!! esp that adorable raccoon!

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  2. Urban animals are so much braver than the rural ones. When I lived in a city I saw foxes all the time, since living meters away from fields and farms I have seen none. Not one. I do see quite a lot of very stupid pheasants though.

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  3. We have lots of squirrels, bunnies and chipmunks in our yard. I like looking at them and they're pretty un menacing. Ralph sometimes sees racoons and possums at night when he's outside having his cigars. I agree with Cathy, the racoon is too cute!

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  4. Heheh I like em, as long as they're out during the appropriate time. Raccoons hanging out during the day? AHHHHHHHHHH!!

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  5. Aww, but I think raccoons and squirrels are cute. Skunks are cute-ish... but a skunk sprayed one of my dogs, so I have a grudge against said skunk (and since I don't know who the culprit is, I'll just hold the grudge against all skunks).

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  6. Raccoons always manage to scare the bejeebus outta me when we're camping. Little buggers are always trying to break into our Rubbermaid containers. Never had a problem with them in the urban landscape though.

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  7. Racoons are cute. I love racoons. Or at least I *used* to before I met the ones that terrorized our back porch, broke into our trash cans (closed with a brick on top), tore the screen off our screened in porch, left trash strewn about, frightened the cat..........

    And when I confronted one of these "cute" racoons by shining my flashlight in his face and screaming a string of profanities at him, he merely shrugged and went back to eating the leftover chicken. He gave me a look, a look that could only be interpreted as "Why did you not microwave the chicken for me? Now it's cold. I hate you."

    They don't wear a mask for nothing..........

    xxo
    MOV

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  8. We have a small stand of trees in our back yard (separating us from the cemetary), and there have been raccoons out there. We heard them crashing around, and put out some food to see what it was. Then, we were all "Awww. Cute, raccoons" until one day I came home from work and went to check on the baby robins in the pine tree on the side of the house and found that they were missing. Then I followed the trail of feathers and blood around the side of the house and the back patio. And then I made my husband call the village and get them out to set traps for the little murdering bastards. (I won't go into all the emotional triggers that the raccoon's little stunt pulled) Now, the raccoons stay hidden...at least around my house.

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  9. I found out I could levitate a while back thanks to a young raccoon. I figured out how cats do it.

    We were coming in through the back, semi dark garage, and apparently the raccoon likes cat food. Boyfriend flipped on the light and froze. I saw this gray THING waddling towards me really really fast and I levitated four feet off the ground, then turned 90 degrees and ended up on top of the deep freeze. The raccoon brushed by boyfriend and escaped through the cat door.

    I still like the little monsters, though. They have little hands! They're like monkeys or something! SO cute and so evil!

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  10. I was unaware of the urban vs rural distinction. Thank you! Most of the raccoons I have seen have had their fight knocked out of them by passing cars...ewww...then I am forced to feel badly for their families.

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  11. Heck you got scary critters up there! Mostly ours run away from us, mostly...

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  12. Yup..The only good raccoon is a flattened raccoon.

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  13. Stephanie--you have to stop making things you hate, like raccoons, squirrels and spiders, look so adorably appealing!

    We have a family of raccoons living beneath our deck. Although I know they're extreme mischief makers, I still think they're awfully cute. My husband HATES when I tap at the glass patio door, trying to engage them. LOL

    Loved what Leauxra said above: "found out I could levitate a while back thanks to a young raccoon. I figured out how cats do it." Great visual! :D

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  14. That raccoon looks amazing! You are SO talented! I have a raccoon that visits me on my fire escape outside the kitchen window every summer. Last year he visited twice. I've named him Ramon.

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  15. I'm not a fan of animals in the urban area where I live. The lizards aren't too bad, but I could do without the occasional rat I've seen outside. Hope none of them ever get inside my house. I used to see possums on occasion, but haven't seen one of those in a long time. Not in my neighborhood, but not too far away either, I've seen coyotes and smelled skunks. Animals are everywhere.


    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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  16. i don't mind urban animals - their menacing ways are just a response to our own inability to clean up after ourselves.

    at least you don't have the rural animal problems... deer, moose, foxes, coyotes.... bears....

    trust me - raccoons and squirrels are tiny animal angels compared to all of those... so glad we live in the city now ;)

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  17. Okay, so I'm the weirdo. I love animals and still act like an excited two-year-old whenever I see any of them in the wild. Of course, I've never encountered a rabid raccoon or lost a pet to coyotes, either. Or had my yard and garden destroyed by deer or armadillos. I can certainly understand why some people aren't enthusiastic at the sight of certain animals in their yards. Like the bears that come down from the north GA mountains from time to time. But other than gagging at the stench of a skunk, I haven't had any bad personal experiences with animals, so when I think "raccoon", I think of the adorable pet raccoon I met when I was a teenager. (It was almost as cute as your clay one!)

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  18. I hate raccoons. We have a family of them living in my neighbourhood. One night while watching The Exorcism of Emily Rose I could hear something rattling on my porch. Of course I assumed it was a demon come to possess and ultimately kill me. I screwed up some courage, flicked the porch light on (because demons don't like artificial lighting) and peeked through the blinds. I was startled to discover a giant raccoon going through my recycling! I knocked on the window to try and scare it and it looked at me and yawned (okay she didn't yawn but that was the LOOK). I opened the window and yelled "Get out of here" and then three little heads popped up from the other side of the porch. She had three babies with her! SO I yelled for my husband and he grabbed a pot and a spoon and scared them off, we brought our recylcing in and then I finished my movie.

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  19. The most terrifying urban animal is the possum. Seriously, that is one fucked up mutherfucker.

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  20. we used to have raccoons who would come up to our back door/window and play patty-cake with me against the glass. they liked it when i fed them stale mini-marshmallows or raisins. they even ate my daughter's leftover gross hardboiled easter eggs.

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  21. You are so talented.

    I hate squirrels. And also people who eat squirrels freak me out.

    The whole squirrel-existence thing is not okay.

    ;)

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  22. Urban squirrels scare me. They are definitely horror movie material. And can we add opossums to the list of animals that people think are cute but really aren't? I mean, have you SEEN an opossum? Those things are terrifying, and the urban version won't hesitate to attack either. Plus rabies.

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  23. I always thought raccoons were fairly benign, until I lived in an apartment and took the trash out to the community dumpster late one night. I must've interrupted his dinner when I threw the bag in, because before I knew it I was being charged at by a huge, hissing raccoon. Bear Grylls probably would've told me to stand my ground and roast it over an open fire pit after skewering it with a pointy stick, but his show wasn't on yet back then so instead I screamed and ran away like a sissypants little girl.

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    1. that is exactly what Bear Grylls would say.

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  24. I'm with you on squirrels, but I can't help it...I LOVE raccoons. I think they are so cute. One time I was camping and one got into my dining tent, opened up the Scrabble box and clawed its way into the letter bag. It took out the letters R, C and N. I think it was trying to spell raccoon :)

    Another time I accidentally hit a raccoon that was crossing the street with my car, and immediately this other raccoon and two babies came over, and the bigger one started dancing frantically on its hind legs around the one I had hit. It was heartbreaking. I think I killed the Dad :(

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  25. I live in Britain so Raccoons are a no no, and I live in the sticks so urban is a no no. So I guess I have no more to say.

    Well OK just one small thing that Squirrel looks like Godzilla ........ WELL COOL.

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  26. Interesting figures. You're making me glad we don't have any of those animals in Jamaica.

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  27. Racoons are evil. They have bunkers by your house watching with radar and take movies of you tripping in your back yard chasing them. They are in the bunker now laughing at you.

    Shaggy my dog says squirrels are America's greatest threat to life and tries to get as many as possible. He's up to, lets see now, let me count. Zero.

    Really good raccoon!

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  28. Honestly, most rural-type animals who go urban become almost rat-like. Maybe it's because they eat toothpaste (or toxic mutating garbage)?

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  29. You know, *your* raccoon and squirrel are awfully cute!
    I remember once I was leaving my dad's house after dark...I could kind of see something hopping down the street...eventually, I made out black body. white stripes running down back. And at that point the skunk hopped under my car. Thankfully he kept on hopping...

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  30. I agree...most urban wildlife got too much street smarts, they can handle them selves and travel in gangs. Especially them damn coyotes in the field where I live.

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  31. Being forced to choose a superpower (really, how out there can hypothetical situations get?) would probably mean me controlling small mammals like squirrels, raccoons, or rabbits.

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  32. I think that the squirrels and the raccoons need to have a battle royale.

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  33. I am not a fan of birds. Their poop carries a lot of bad stuff. Even looking at their poop can make you ill.

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  34. Raccoons are scary .. I bring the cats in when it gets dark because of them.

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  35. maybe the post should be clay raccoons, I know, I know you need the "U". Nice clay raccoon btw.

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  36. I actually find the clay squirrel to be adorable. I suggest dressing him in a ninja costume so he can become Ninja Squirrel and lose cuteness points.

    I tend to freak when I see raccoons in my area. They are usually hanging by the garbage where I am sure they are up to no good!

    -Barb the French Bean

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  37. I have a long and harried relationship with squirrels. I don't trust them one bit. A squirrel stole my lunch one time and haven't forgiven the species since...

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  38. Ooooh... your urban raccoon looks quite life-like... scary! you even got the eye to look sly and stealthy - like he's up to no good...

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