They came before sunrise.  Then they cleaned up the cat’s left overs.  Roving bands of plump raccoons aren’t unusual but we often don’t see them so close to our employee door, and within an hour before sunrise.

It was never as friendly as a cat or dog.

A spokesman at Idaho Fish and Game warned me long ago we would see raccoons when I started putting out food for the neighborhood stray cats.  One morning some months ago I had just freshened the cat’s water dish and then started dishing food.  I turned around to see one of the bandits taking a drink.  I clapped my hands and it wandered away.  Some mornings I’ve seen them waddling around the parked cars.

Monday morning was the first time we spotted more than one of these fellows on a security camera.  I had seen one wandering by my car through a window and asked the boss to check the camera.

I shared the picture with a friend.  She explained an old friend of hers once raised a raccoon found as a baby at roadside.  It was friendly for a time but once grown took to hissing when being fed.

When I was a little boy my siblings and I had a babysitter.  She and her husband raised an albino.  It stayed friendly as an adult and we could pet it, although.  It was never as friendly as a cat or dog.

This current crowd mainly eats the dry cat food I put out.  Along with the magpies, we go through a lot of the dry.  The cats are apparently so well fed I’ve seen them curled up two feet from a bird eating from the dish.  And the cats seem to get along with the raccoons.

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