To this day, I can't believe my parents gave Coonie to me and let me keep her. Why? Beside the fact that they are hugely susceptible to rabies, farmers loathe raccoons. They eat anything. They ruin crops and gardens. They get into grain bins and garbage cans. They pester livestock and eat their food. So not only did my father give Coonie to me, but my mother let me bring her in the house on more than one occasion. Really. Looking back, this was very odd behavior for Art and Wilma.
I loved Coonie and she obviously loved me. When Dad gave her to me, I was the happiest kid in the world. To heck with the kittens we had every so often - I had a baby raccoon!! (Our cat, Coonie - again, I was not the most imaginative child - must have had 200 kittens in her lifetime. In all fairness to 5-year-old-Me, she did have raccoon coloring.) Years later, my brother, Denny told me that Dad ran over the rest of Coonie's family with some sort of farm implement and she was the only one left. Even if that were true, it would be more characteristic of my father to go back and finish the job instead of rescuing one lone kit. Just like farm women, farmers don't mess around. They do what needs to be done.
Coonie and I hung out together all that summer. I swear I taught her how to play hide and seek. While raccoons are very intelligent, I seriously doubt she could master such a feat at such a young age, especially with my limited training abilities - but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
We had her on a leash at some point. A raccoon. On a leash.
The cats didn't appreciate Coonie. I think they were just jealous of the attention I gave her. This cat looks like it could have been Fry-Fry. (Seriously. I will write a whole entry on my ability, or lack thereof, to name animals.)
I honestly don't remember where Coonie stayed that summer, but it was probably on our back porch. At some point, she grew big enough that she was granted new quarters - a barrel in our barn. I saw less and less of Coonie after that until one day, she was gone for good. Dad took matters into his own hands? I refuse to think so. Remembering things like I want them to be, I'm sure Coonie went off to have a lovely family of her own, lived a good, long life and never gave my father a moment of trouble. Why, I think her great-great-great....grandkits are still roaming around the farm to this day.
My story. Sticking to it.