Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Raccoon Tale (Part Two)

This is part two of Sunday's post about orphaned raccoon kits. Please read part one here first. All photos were taken the following day. Please remember to click on them to enlarge.

I opened my door to see my son kneeling on the deck, with a lovely, little raccoon kit nestled in his arms.

The raccoon kit had seen Jeffrey, and came to him when he called her. She waddled over, and sat on his feet, then tried to climb his jeans. She was cold, frightened and very loud. I phoned Nicky, and she and Sarah came over right away. They brought grapes, so that the kit could suck the juice from them and restore some of her depleted fluids. She was tired, somewhat dehydrated, and her little hand-like paws were cold to the touch but she was not a goner by any means. There was no doubt that she was orphaned.

Nicky had yet another wonderful resource - neighbour Lynn who had a small supply of infant animal formula (Mamalac) and tiny baby bottles - just perfect for a raccoon kit's mouth. Lynn hurried right over, and this little sweetie was drinking, regaining body heat and strength, and warming to the touch of her new human mamas.

Missing its mother, this raccoon kit rests on my lap to get a meal. They're messy eaters but the contents of this bottle filled a hungry belly. Photo credit goes to my neighbour, Caroline. Please click to enlarge.

Sarah's focus went directly to trying to encourage the sibling(s) out from under the deck. She worked tirelessly for almost four hours, calling to it, reaching her hand through the small hole around a drainpipe, and trying to nudge it out by sliding a stick through the slats of the deck. Nothing was working. It was a very cold night and Sarah spent most of it flat on her belly, without her jacket, so that her arm could fit through the small hole in the deck. We had a heater set up inside of the garage to keep the kit warm, but Sarah wasn't having any of that for herself. For her, the raccoons came first.

At one in the morning, the three women each went to their respective homes for less than fifteen minutes. Lynn went to ready a cage so that she could take what she hoped would eventually be two kits home. Nicky went to find a crowbar to lift one or two of my deck slats, so we could get at the other kit(s), and Sarah accompanied her so she could warm up for a bit.

Lynne feeds the female. Isn't she a lovely little creature? Please click to enlarge.

Immediately after their brief departure, the chatter of the seemingly-resistant kit was unmistakably closer. The sibling in my arms lifted her head and called back to him, and out popped another adorable face. Jeffrey and I held very still, and waited until he ventured far enough from the deck so that Jeffrey could block his return inside. Clad in gloves, Jeffrey bent over and picked this little guy up. He was a young spitfire, and he hissed, yowled and bit into his gloved hands to show his displeasure. Jeffrey sat down with him, crouched his upper body over him for warmth and darkness, and I placed a blanket over the little bundle. He immediately calmed down and went to sleep.

Still a bit fearful of human hands, the male snuggles close to his sister at the back of the cage. Please click to enlarge.

Upon their return moments later, Nicky, Sarah and Lynn were thrilled to learn that we now had the second kit with us. Lynn gathered them up and took them to her home overnight where they would temporarily join her menagerie of amazing critters - six cats, three dogs, an amazon parrot, a ciaque, two prairie dogs, a snake, a turtle, a bearded dragon, a few dogs on loan for training and quite possibly a few others which I've either forgotten or didn't see. Lynn is one serious animal lover.

Sadly, no further sounds came from under the deck. If the third one was alive the previous night, chances are it was no longer so at this time. We could not locate it, and it was not in any state to make itself seen or heard. At least we were able to care for two reasonably healthy kits.

Much like a human baby, the kits needed to be burped after a bottle feeding. Caroline does the honours. Please click to enlarge.

Nicky and Lynn each made a few phone calls the next day. They learned that the wildlife center was no longer taking any more raccoons at this time, and they suggested contacting a veterinarian located over an hour away. Lynn spoke to her and learned that she was willing to take the raccoons but Lynn found her condescending attitude off-putting. Lynn stressed to me that she was probably a fine care-giver but totally lacked people skills, and the ability to assess Lynn's voice of experience. In other words, she was ego-driven. And cash-driven. She insisted that a significant donation be made upon dropping these kits off at her location or she would not accept them. The donation in itself is not unreasonable, but demanding it up front seemed to show a lack of understanding that we had all put a fair bit of effort into protecting these babies. Essentially, there was discomfort (mine, mostly) with the notion of taking these babies to her.

Enter Theresa.

After a few feedings, the kits have come to trust human hands.. and shoulders a lot more. Theresa has shouldered the raising of many orphaned raccoons and squirrels. Please click to enlarge.

Theresa is Frank's wonderful, big-hearted sister who has rehabilitated several raccoons (among other critters) in the past. I knew she had pretty much decided to at least temporarily suspend this practice but I figured that she might know of someone experienced who lived within a one-to-two hour's drive from my home. Frank put the call in to Theresa, and shortly afterward she phoned back with the offer to take these two babies on herself. What a relief! Not only would these sweeties be going to a home where they'd have experienced and dedicated nurturing, we'd also be able get updates on their status, and perhaps even visit them from time to time.

I knew without doubt that Theresa would be a great surrogate Mom to these critters, and that was reinforced not only by the look on her face when she first laid her eyes upon them, but by her reply to me when I thanked her for taking them on. "Thank you for bringing them into my life." Please click to enlarge.

Jeffrey and I drove them out to her town, where Frank met us and directed us to her home. As soon as Theresa saw our little darlings, I knew they were home - at least for the next few months. They immediately settled in, climbed all over her in search of food with which she promptly obliged, and one showed its love and appreciation by pooping on her sleeve.

When they're mature enough, Theresa will eventually release them to a wildlife reserve, where they can roam free, but under the watchful eye of those who care. Food will always be available and they should have a good shot at a long, healthy, reasonably-normal raccoon life.

An introduction to the dog. Please click to enlarge.

I'm sad for the lost mother (who might have been the same one who most unceremoniously entered my home last spring), and for the little sibling who didn't make it, but so grateful for Lynn, Nicky, Sarah and Theresa for being there for these two lovely animals who now have a great chance of surviving and thriving. They're good people and I have the world of appreciation for their kindness.

Please, please consider the potentially sad consequences when taking an animal out of its environment. An overturned trash bin can easily be cleaned up. An orphaned litter of kits deserve better than what these two went through.

Here are a few more photos, and a video of the raccoon kits who have been named Sugar and Spike.

Spike grooms his bushy fur after finishing a bottle of formula. Please click to enlarge.

Raccoons are good climbers and like to sit up high. The tallest point in this room was the top of Frank's head. Please click to enlarge. (The image.. not Frank's head)

Right, just make yourself comfortable. Please click to enlarge.

Fasten your seatbelt. It's going to be a bumpy ride. Please click to enlarge.

Curious, playful, sweet and cuddly. And so are the raccoons! Please click to enlarge.

Below is a video which will give you an idea of just how small these little sweeties are. This was taken less than one week after Sugar and Spike came out from under my deck. They have clearly lost their fear of people and of dogs - both of which they're likely to encounter when they'll be released to the animal reserve in autumn. Notice how they follow every moving person or dog.

And here's a real quick one of Sugar climbing up my leg and under my camera's lens cap.


Christina, Sweden said...

love the story and beautiful photos of the little ones

Carolyn R. Parsons said...

What a great story. They are so sweet! I love how the little one chased the dog around(great dog btw)

Thank you for saving these sweeties. So many people wouldn't be bothered. They are so cute and well worth the effort.


Pat - Arkansas said...

Precious little creatures! If they were destined to be orphans, their mom could not have left them in a better place. Blessings upon you, Frank, Theresa and your wonderful, wonderful friends for helping you rescue these beautiful animals.

ds said...

Such a wonderful, heart-warming story. Around here, everyone is so worried about rabies that I doubt three such generous people as your friends (not to mention you, your son, Frank, and his sister) could even be located. The babies are adorable--thank you.

TheDaughterOfTyr said...

Oh they are just adorable, I'm so glad Frank and Theresa were able to help you out and give these little loves a home!


PS: The photo of Frank with a raccoon hat is just too cute for words.

Tink said...

What an amazing story! Those two were so lucky to have gotten guardian angels like you.

Maggie May said...

That is an amazing story and I really enjoyed the photos & hearing about those little kits.
Well done all of you for rescuing them!

Reb said...

What a great story. You are good people for rescuing those little kits. Frank looks good in a baby raccoon cap! They are very cute in the video and such good climbers!

UmmFarouq said...

Terrific story. They are precious, and I'm so happy they are in good hands. Many good hands. Thanks for sharing.

Tabor said...

I remember trying to help a baby rabbit survive when I was a little girl. Not as successful as you have been. NOw that they are not afraid of people, be glad they will be moved far from your home. It is surprising the damage they can do when left free in a kitchen!

Michele said...

Oh this is terrific... what a truly great story that had me beaming.
You make some really good points about the do's and don't of taking animals out of their natural habitat and I am glad that this family of raccoons will now be protected.
Great photos.

Zuzana said...

Oh my goodness, Hilary, this was my favorite post of yours to date! What a treat!
I love those little cuties and the fact that this story has such a happy ending; we all need those.;)
I love the chirping noises the little ones make and it was so much fun to see them all happy and running around and not being scared of humans nor the dog.;))
Beautiful Hilary, a feast for eyes, mind and soul.;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OMG that was fantastic. And there are the little guys, playing with everybody, and a dog??????
I doubt if anything is cuter than a baby racoon!

Mental P Mama said...

This has to be the sweetest story ever. Sugar and Spike are such lucky babies to have found you all! And I wish everyone could read this important to let animals be...

Crabby McSlacker said...

What a heartwarming story! And the pictures could not be more adorable. I had no idea abandoned baby raccoons could be rehabilitated! So glad there are generous folks like Theresa willing to take that on.

Tricia said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks for all you did for these little pair, and for sharing it with us.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

(thanks for what you said about your son and all, and my wife wanted your racoon posts to show around her office at Cornell!) :)

ellen abbott said...

Thank you for caring so much. What a wonderful story and the pictures were great.

Leah J. Utas said...

Raccoons are so cute. They seem so intelligent and inquisitive.
Excellent, heartwarming story, and I love the raccoon hat pic.

the Bag Lady said...

I just knew this story would have a happy ending! :) So glad you found the kits in time, and that Frank's sister was willing to take them in!

Oh, and is that the new, politically correct 'coon(skin) cap, Frank? Or should we start calling you Davy? Frankie Crockett?

Sarcastic Bastard said...

The babies are adorable, and you are a sweetie to help them like you did.

Frank is also a sweetheart. I can tell by the way he holds the racoon in the video.

Blessings to you both,


Kat said...

What a great story!!!!
They are just about the cutest little things ever!!!!

Daryl said...

Oh this is far better of an outcome then I expected from what you said ... and I love love love how they are playing with the dog and interacting with humans ... you are truly a special person ... but then I knew that before this post

Frank Baron said...

A fine tale, well-told, Hil. That Theresa is a saint. Must come from good stock.

I'm just punched as pleased that you left out the part about the poop in my hair. That would have been embarrassing. :)

Merisi said...

I wonder what happened to the mother - what other animal would fight a racoon?

Back in Washington, we had our own racoon-in-residence. S/he liked to sleep on the roof, curled around the chimney, during daytime. In the evenings, she like to check through our garbage. Thank heaven the District has these huge heavy garbage can that cannot be toppled that easily - the closed and latched lid was no problem, s/he slipped easily in and out. It was quite a sight, opening the lid in the evening and having two eyes staring at you!

Good luck to Theresa with the little findlings!

SK Waller said...

A happy ending! Was Benny inside, going crazy?

Nancy said...

This was just the most wonderful story. I couldn't wait for the second installment. Watching them play with the dog, and having a bond with their most generous and big hearted humans so great. Life is so sweet sometimes. Just watching and reading this made my day. Thanks so much for sharing.

Hilary said...

• Welcome, Mitt and thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks kindly, Breeze. They sure are worth it. Theresa has two such sheepdogs.. very sweet critters. Thanks for stopping by and reading. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Pat. They're all good people who came together to help these two wee ones. I'm so glad everything worked out as it did. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, DS. Disease is always a risk, but a really small one. None of us even voiced it. Those babies couldn't just starve to death and they were too young to break skin with a bite (though their claws are pretty solid). Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Meagan. I'm glad it all worked out as best it could. That's my favourite photo in the bunch too. :)

• Thanks kindly, Tink. They had many of us pulling for them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Maggie. I'm glad you enjoyed the tale. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much, Reb. They're incredible climbers, aren't they? And cuter that can be described so I'm glad I had photos. Frank does look good in fur.. when it's alive. ;)

• Thanks kindly, UmmFarouq. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Tabor, I found that out last year when that mama came through my bedroom ceiling. I have great respect for the fact that they're still wild animals - just very sweet, lovable wild animals. ;) Thanks so much for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Michele. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and that it made you smile. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much for your super sweet words, Protege. I love their little sounds too. They kind of purr when they're content and we were rewarded with that sound from the female after her very first meal, less than an hour after she first emerged. They're so sweet. Their comfort with dogs would be a bad thing if they were going out into the wild after they're raised, but since they'll be in more of a sanctuary-type atmosphere, they should be fine with whichever dogs they'll encounter. Thanks so much for your regular visits. :)

• Thanks, Gary. They're awfully cute and you might be right. It's been a week now since I've last seen them and I miss the little sweeties. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, MPM. Those two little critters have evoked a lot of smiles in the past ten days. I'd say that we're the lucky ones. I agree - I do wish that people would stop worrying more about their trash than these creatures. Thanks for the very kind words and for reading along. :)

• So am I, Crabby. I wouldn't have had a clue what to do on my own. I have the world of appreciation for these women who do. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Thanks very much, Tricia. I didn't do much personally, but I'm happy to be able to share the story. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, Gary. I'm glad that Maude wants to share my post with her people. I hope they enjoy it. Do let me know, please. :)

• Welcome, Ellen and thanks so much for the kind words. Much appreciated.

• Thanks so much, Leah. They are indeed intelligent and curious.. and very comical. I'm going to watch enjoying them grow. Hopefully I can get to see them again soon. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Baggie, I wish we had been able to find the third one too, but at least these two have a great chance at a semi-normal life. I'm SO grateful for Theresa and the others who helped make it possible. And doesn't Frankie Crockett look so.. frontiersman-esque? ;) Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Welcome, SB and thanks very much for your very kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Please come back again soon. :)

• Thanks so much, Kat. They're incredibly cute, eh? :)

• Thanks so very much, Daryl. It's sweet of you to say so. Of course I had very little do to with it, and would have been lost without my wonderful, experienced neighbours, and Theresa. Not to mention Jeffrey's persistence and calm approach to the wee ones. I'm so grateful that it worked out for these two. Thanks always for your supportive words. :)

• Frank, she is indeed. So is her big brother. (and you say I fish!) ;) I figured that one poop reference was enough, and besides, I know how easily you get embarrassed (eyes rolling). ;)

• Merisi, we have a number of coyotes in the area. That's the only non-human kind of enemy I would think that could possibly harm them at that hour. There's also the possibility that she got hit by a car, but we've seen no evidence of that. There's also someone who lives in the area who absolutely, and proudly admits to having bludgeoned one to death with a shovel last year, so nothing would surprise me. Your Washington raccoon sounds like she was quite the resident comic whom you remember fondly. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Steph, Frank and Benny were at their own home (an hour away) at the time, but it would still be a safe bet to assume that Benny was going nuts, no matter what he was doing. ;) My cats sure were! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• L of L, thanks so much for your very sweet words. I'm glad this story made your day. Your comments, in return, made mine. :)

Nicole said...

what a wonderful story !!! The pictures are adorable !!! what sweet little guys :)

Levi said...

This is far too mushy of a post! Even the comments are gushing with love and joy.

And you have so many followers. Are you some sort of cult?

(thanks for your comment. I am rarely funny. I'll let you know by mind meld if I am ever funny enough to read) -- (it's obvious you're busy being a cult leader.)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I see that Frank and his sister, along with your friends and neighbors, are as kind and thoughtful as you yourself, Hilary.
Beautiful souls invite the company of others, that is true.
Lucky, lucky raccoons!

Thumbelina said...

That is just so adorable! Thank goodness for Theresa. They are beautiful little creatures. You are such good kind people. I am glad you rescued them but sad for the mum and the other kit.

Thank you for sharing this. It was such a joy to read and the photos are fantastic. I clicked to make bigger but I am hoping it had no effect on Frank's head. ;)

NJ said...

I'm so glad you were able to rescue two of the babies. One thing nice about raccoons can be raised outside of the wild but adapt back to life in the wild at a later date. They are so cute.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Hey, is Spike named after my cat Spike?
I spent half the afternoon trying to make a racoon, thanks to your inspiration, and YES, I blogged it!

Kate said...

What a wonderful story-- I'll have to return in the morning to show my kids-- great pictures and great hearts...

blunoz said...

Oh my gosh they are adorable! I'm so glad you were able to help them. Thanks very much for posting the videos, too - they're very cute to see in action.

Susan said...

I just read that we are your faithful cult followers! If that's so I couldn't find a better leader than you (and the people you surround yourself with) I just love how the story turned out and the video is priceless!

Seamus said...

A heartwarming story and wonderfully told. I'm glad you were able to save at least 2 of the kits. It is so gratifying to read a success like this.

Kerri Farley said...

Oh Hilary! What a wonderful story!
This has made my day!! So uplifting!

Shammickite said...

Hi Hilary: what a great story! Hooray to all of you for caring enough to save these little furry babies. I wasn't able to see the video, I need to download something ever since my computer had troubles a couple of weeks ago. Raccoons are certainly very interesting and intelligent animals. I had never seen a raccon before coming to Canada, and I was amazed by their dexterity and their intelligence. There are quite a few living in my neighbourhood, I hear them on my roof at night. And when OlderSon was on the roof cleaning the eavestroughs a couple of days ago, he reported that there was a HUGE raccon poop on the roof....!

Michelle H. said...

Absolutely AWESOME. I especially loved the photo with the kits on Frank's head. He looked right sporty in his raccoon topper.

What big hearts all of you have for rescuing them!

Missicat said...

What sweet little faces! Good to see the little kits so well taken care of.

Cheffie-Mom said...

It's so wonderful that you saved these cute little guys. I have a friend who saved Opossum babies-they were just as cute!

lime said...

how amazing! i am glad you were able to help the ones you did and there were those who could help you do so properly. what amazing pictures of them too!

photowannabe said...

I guess Frank is the real Davy Crocket with his coonskin hat. Loved the videos and their churring sounds. Great story with a happy ending.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh be still my beating heart. Those critters are beyond ADORABLE. What a heart warming tale. Or tail. Either one.

Dr. J said...

LOL! Great photos! What a thrill for a young man! One of my best friends had a pet raccoon. When it got older, it felt my friend was the pet, and became very aggressive! Well, it was back in the wild for that ornery critter:-)

Jillian and / or Marley said...

this is adorable!!! i'm so jealous.

ps. check out of blog! :)

Snowbrush said...

Your photos are precious, and your story warms my heart.

Jo said...

Those are just about the cutest things I have ever seen in my life!Did you notice how their "hands" appear almost human? Amazing!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Nikina. I find them hard to resist too. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Welcome, POD. Just sit down and have some Kool-Aid. ;)

• KC, thanks so much for the very kind words. I think we're all pretty lucky to have that rare opportunity to get close to what is essentially wild critters. But such cute wild critters. :) Thanks, friend. :)

• Thumbelina, trust me, we don't want Frank's head any bigger than it already is! ;) I'm sad for the Mom and sibling too, but really glad these two had that survival instinct. Thanks so much for your always kind words. :)

• Thanks, NJ. They'll be going back to a semi-wild environment so that they'll be a bit safer than they might be if they were just freed elsewhere. For now we get to enjoy them while they grow. Thanks for the visit. :)

• That raccoon is adorable, Gary. I'm glad these little critter inspired you to create yet another whimsical creature. I'm sorry to say that Spike was not named after your cat. I'd have told you for sure if he was. He was originally Spice.. as in Sugar & Spice but it was too girly for him, so it was changed to Spike. ;)

• Welcome, Kate and thanks very much for the visit. I hope your kids liked the pics too. :)

• Thanks very much, Kevin/Blunoz. I'm glad you enjoyed these sweeties. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Susan. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Your kind words are always appreciated. Just don't drink POD's kool-aid! ;)

• Thanks very much, Seamus. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the tale. Good to see you here. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, Kerri. I'm glad to hear it. :)

• Thanks very much, Shammie. Yup, that's the downside of raccoons... the poop. Great big ones! Make sure your roof is really secure. They can tear into a small opening quite easily, though I imagine that most have had their young by now. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Yeah, doesn't he, Michelle? Thanks very much for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Missicat. They at least as cute as kittens, eh? ;)

• Cheffie, opossum babies are cute too. I once had one have a sleep outside on my dining room window ledge. He might have been faking, I suppose. But he was cute. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Lime. I'm glad they were able to seek us out - just sad for the circumstances. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Sue, this wouldn't be a good time to tell you that he had one of those hats back in the day, would it? I love their sounds too. When they're content, they sort of purr. So sweet. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, MamaGeek. I'm glad you liked it. I sure won't argue with you about how cute they are. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• You're right, Dr. J. Once they hit their adolescence, they become much more difficult to live with. That will probably be when a trip to the animal reserve occurs. They'll sure be missed though. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Welcome and thanks, J&M. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Welcome, Snowbrush and thanks very kindly. I'm glad the story touched you. Thanks for the visit and please return soon. :)

• Thanks, Jo. I have indeed noticed their hands many times. When they first appeared, they were cold, and those icy little hands would curl around our fingers for warmth. That was so precious. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

Redbush said...

How absolutely priceless! Those kits have such good people looking after them! Love how they seemed to get used to the big sheepdog! Lucky little guys! Unbelievably humorous, and beautiful!

Indrani said...

I feel touched by the efforts you took to present the story with perfect pictures. :) Delighted to read there were others to help out too.

Andrea said...

Hilary, what a story!! I loved it...and the photos were simply amazing! I'm so glad you all saved them. :)

SandyCarlson said...

What a beautiful story. You roll with some very kind people. I didn't know they needed to be burped! Looks like they really enjoyed the TLC.

Susan English Mason said...

Just stopped by to drink some Kool-Aid. Take me to your liter.

Susan English Mason said...

Just stopped by to say Happy Mother's Day!

Emma Cowley said...

My gosh, those kits are so cute! We don't get raccoons in the U.K, but I always gathered that in the states they were often regarded as a bit of a nuisance (much like how pigeons and foxes are seen over here).

It is nice to see that this is not always the case and that you went to so much trouble to help them out. Love the videos and pictures!


Hilary said...

• Thanks very much for the kind comments, Redbrush. I'm glad you enjoyed the wee critters. :)

• Thank you for the very kind words, Indrani. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Andrea. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about the creatres. :)

• Thank you for the kind words, Sandy. I hadn't any idea about the burping either. Live and learn. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Funny one, Pouty. You made me laugh. :) And thanks very much for the good wishes. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. :)

• Welcome, Emma and thanks very much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the happy ending to this story, and the video is wonderful. They are so cute. You are such a kind and gentle person, Hilary. I am proud to know you. :)

Hilary said...

And I, you, Sandra. Thanks very kindly, my friend. :)

Dianne said...

I think all of you are the most wonderful people on the planet!

Clowncar said...

sweet story, happy ending. yay!

my redneck texas cousin had a baby raccoon that lived in his apartment. very cute, until he got old enough to take a swipe at said cousin's face. once they get older, they can get dangerous fast!

Hilary said...

* Thanks, Dianne. You're too sweet. Thanks for the kind words.

* Thank, Clowncar. Yes, from what I understand, once they reach their adolescence, they can get a bit nasty. Hopefully they'll be ready to survive on their own by then. Thanks for stopping by. :)

CrazyCris said...

I guess I should have checked the date when I read Part One... but am glad I didn't have to wait to find out what happened to your "guests"! ;o)

Great photos and such goofy videos! Lovely!

Looks like these two little fellas lucked out when their mom set up her nest under your porch!

Anonymous said...

What a story! Such love for these beautiful orphans!

Thanks also for the great photos. I can feel the love emanating from Theresa and Frank. They have such a special gift for animals. God bless them.

Linda Pendleton said...

Oh, what a beautiful story...what beautiful people and beautiful animals that found each other. They are so cute.

Joanna Lee said...

Wow! Really moving story! I lived with the little creators in Connecticut!

They are so smart! We bought a trashcan with a locking lid and it figured out how to open it!

We had to lock the can with chains and a lock! Believe it or not, he tried to open it...his little paws working on the lock!

He was definitely an alpha sister was scared of him...he stood up to her! She had a distinct feeling that he was not only NOT afraid of her...he knew he could overcome her!

He and I had a more mutual respect type of relationship. I enjoyed watching him try to figure things out. When he walked by, we would stare at each other for a little bit, then he would go on to his next business. He just seemed to know more than most animals.

I have since become quite the fan!

So your story touches me heart. Now I know what to do, if that ever happens to me!

Thank you for sharing!

Hilary said...

• Thanks kindly, Cris. I think we all lucked out in a way. They've brought a lot of enjoyment our way. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• You're so right about that, NW. I'm very lucky to have such fine people in my life. And those babies are a joy to know. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Linda. We were very lucky to find them when we did, and to have the network of people-in-the-know who could help. Thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• Thanks so much for your very kind words, Beatriz. I think you're so right about how you get to know them, and they you, by watching and observing. They're incredibly smart, resourceful and funny. I'm glad you have a good connection with your locals. Your sister might too, as she gets to know them better. Thanks for the visit. :)

Spiritual Journey said...

It's so heart-wrenching to know that the raccoon mom and a kit died. The saving grace of this whole experience is some were saved. Thanks for sharing such a touching story.

Hilary said...

Thanks for stopping by, SJ. I'm sad too about the mom and babe. Nature can indeed be cruel. But I'm grateful for these two healthy little kits. Hopefully they'll continue to thrive and make it out there after they're released. Thanks very much for the visit. :)