We recently learned that we aren't the only large family in the neighborhood after all...
A mother raccoon brought her *five* babies by for a visit! The kits were pretty cute. They cleaned up the cats' leftover food.
Sad to say, it was hard to get a good picture. I scared the mama by going out and surprising her, and she had her children take shelter in the climbing toy -- see them? Most of them stayed there for the photo, but one was having trouble obeying.
Mama was trying to figure out how to keep her babies safe and make an escape. I felt we had some things in common as I watched her herd her brood from one area to another, trying to keep them in line, while the kits ignorantly and playfully bumbled along. I wanted to reassure her that I meant her no harm, so I spoke to her a bit in a soothing tone, but I don't think it was that comforting.
If they visit again, maybe I'll ask her if she's ever been told she has her paws full. :)