The Family Raccoon


This is our long-time friend Ratty Raccoon (so named because he doesn’t have a tail — probably lost in a fight), acting cute. For some time I would get him to take dry cat food from my hand. He would pat his paws on the ground groping around, as if he couldn’t see until he got to my hand.

I read that a raccoon’s brain is “…highly specialized to interpret tactile impressions,” so it seemed like he was seeing with his paws.

I eventually quit doing this, as it doesn’t seem right to get wild animals dependent upon food from humanoids.

But once in a while now, I’ll get him to take peanuts from my hand, marveling at his dexterity.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

5 Responses to The Family Raccoon

  1. wow..very cute,yes.

    but I am surprised he has not made a home/brought his friends in the attic of one of your buildings, or some such…Have no personal knowledge, but had many tell me that racoons are tenacious about doing this. And darn hard to “get rid of”…..tending to want to expand their racoon families. With your seeming long term friendship with this critter, maybe what I’ve been told is not correct?….Or, is he possibly an “outcast” from racoon society (so to speak) due to his damaged tail (or?), and very glad of your friendship? (really I know very little about these critters…grin)

  2. Not to mention Distemper. Racoons are best to be avoided and should be strongly discouraged from visiting your homestead. Been there, done, done that.

  3. There are many generations of our furry friends who thrive at Universal and Warner Bros. Studios.
    On night shoots Papa and Mama raccoons emerge from backlot movie sets to sniff out our Craft Service tables (film crew snack tables) and do a bums rush smash & grab.
    Amazing seeing coons working in tandem dragging boxes of hot pizza to their happily awaiting kids.

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