Presenting: Rocky

This little man shown below is Farmer John's Pride and Joy, Rocky Raccoon. He was found as a palm-sized baby meandering lost about my stepfather's attic, and has become quite a part of the family with quite the extravagant homemade outdoor condo. When I first met him, he weighed about 8 lbs and was still devouring the nipples on bottles of blended puppy chow and soymilk. He was a little difficult to handle with his little raccoon talons, but still affectionate. John used a towel, a flannel shirt, and gloves. Really he just wanted to climb on top of someone's head, then down to their feet, then back up to their head. If he stumbled upon a pocket, he would inspect it for grapes (occasionally John filled his pockets with grapes, which Rocky loves).

A friend of mine has a neighbor who regularly raises raccoons and swears they ALL go feral at 6 months. We've had him now since March, and he is just as loving as ever, though not terribly domestic. He'll climb you, reach for you, nibble on you, and lick you until he's broken skin and you want him to go away, but he still wants to cuddle. His cuddling just isn't very comfortable for humans. He's got a Buddha belly weighing in around 22 lbs, and he will happily latch himself to your legs jeans with his sharp little talons. But boy, is he cute.

Here he is when I first met him, still living in the house playing on top of his cage, before he was old enough for me to be painfully allergic to.
And here he is this morning, willing to come out of his penthouse (the little hole to the left - which he often has to wiggle his fat belly to get through) and say hello to me now that I'm not covered in sick cooties. He wouldn't come out yesterday.

Addendum: The pet count on my mom's side of the family is now 1 dog, 4 cats, 1 raccoon, "about a dozen" chickens, and 3 goats. I have 1 rabbit and 4 fish. My dad is hoarding Max to himself out in the UP.

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