I pretty much hate them right now though. One (or more) of them ate our boat. That tends to not give me a lot of warm fuzzy feelings about them.
I have been wondering a lot about why God made raccoons. I tried to get feeling better about them by doing some research to find more out about them. Their only benefit? They eat small rodents. That begs the question as to why God made small rodents. If we didn't have small rodents, all the raccoons would starve to death. At least in my current state of mind, that would be a good thing.
Our pontoon boat was on the lift, hanging over the lake. Somehow the varmint ended up getting under the cover back near the ladder off of the boat where there are some gaps in the way the cover fits. Once there, it scraped, scratched, and clawed its way through all of our seat cushions. And, if there was an area it didn't tear away at, it peed on it. You can well imagine what else it did on the boat as well.
I generally have a strong stomach but, as we worked to clean up the boat a bit before driving it across the lake to the marina (where it will probably now sit all summer waiting to be repaired), I really did get pretty queasy. That was brought on mainly by the smell of it all. I feel bad for the people who will end up trying to repair it.
You could tell that the raccoon had spent a lot of time sitting in the captain's chair on the boat. Now, if you have ever had a boat, you will understand the full sacreligious magnitude of having a destructive, disgusting, lice laden, probably rabid animal sit in your captain's chair. Those stripes and bandit eyes aren't so cute now.
Oh, and did I mention that their poop apparently often has parasites in it which are pretty nasty if they get transferred to humans? Forgot about that tasty tidbit, didn't I?
After we get the boat repaired, I am concerned about how we keep the raccoon off of it. It appeared to have had more fun on the boat than we will this summer so I am guessing it will be anxious to come aboard again. I read that you can purchase dried coyote urine and spread it around and that will keep raccons at bay. My fear is that our raccoon would have some strange coyote fetish and actually be drawn to the powdered pee.
One of my hopes is that, as it was getting off of the boat, it stumbled, fell into the lake, and drowned. I sort of doubt that happened though.
Okay, maybe I am being a bit cruel right now. I realize that the raccoon is too stupid to realize what it was doing, but just the same, when I get to heaven (I hope that isn't making too big of an assumption especially given my current state of mind), I am going to do a little checking around to find out just why God made raccoons. I'm thinking that maybe it was so that alligators would have something to eat. Now, I just need to get me a gator.