You can't imagine how cute these half-wild little mickey mouse faced little bears can be. They are very intelligent, they remember me after I gave them food a few times; they recognize me in the dark and come up to me for more oatmeal cookies. I have known them from hearsay only, as they were called "washing bears" in my European culture. Yes, they love water; they drink first, and then they wash their feet and hands in the water. They swim as well in ponds and try to catch fish in shallow water. They use their hands as we, humans, do. I love their faces with the white stripes, their round little ears and their Pinocchio noses. They eat practically anything that we humans do. I give them oatmeal cookies, dry cat food, grapes, sometimes fried eggs or turkey nuggets. 4 years ago a half blind matron raccoon came up to me one night, stopped very close to me and looked into my plastic bags on the ground; she had her 2 grown up pups with her, and I gave her a piece of banana bread. Since then I am friends with raccoons, at least with those who are human friendly and don't run away from me. The half blind matron raccoon had one kid afterwards, then next year she had 4 pups, and she brought them up to me in October, and I fed the whole family at certain spots when I met them. I am writing now, because the two daughter kits, who are adults now (I call one Nunuke [tiny one] and the other Ariadne], so these two girl raccoons keep walking together, and just this morning at 3 a.m. they came up to me beside my door and I gave them oatmeal cookies that I always carry with me. Half a year ago I started to give them water too, which is useful for them in this dry, warm summer. Unfortunately, people think raccoons bite, but this is false - they approach us in the hope of getting food; they never attacked or bit me in 4 years. I have to put their food and water to out-of-the way spots, away a bit from human traffic and dog walkers. But many selfish people hate even to be aware that at a corner they consider their "propedy", even at night, I should feed raccoons, and they chase me away as soon as they discover this. So I put out the water bowls at 10 p.m. and pick them up and take them home at 3 a.m. And so the selfish people see no clue that I was feeding my raccoon friends at that spot, even at spots of junk dump, which people consider their "propedy," but they never use it or even set foot in it. Feeding critters is a constant fight with selfish people who consider the world is theirs and the original owners, the critters have no right in it. I find much joy in having squirrels and raccoons for friends. Some good people feed raccoons in their backyards, they told me so in Superstore where they buy dry cat food for them. There is a book in this library about "Critters in the Urban Jungle," which says that "Wildlife is shrinking, because there are too many people on this planet," and it says that "Feeding critters in the city is like spitting into the wind." Yes, all this is true. I fight a daily war, constantly changing tactics, against selfish people. And I love my animal friends. They give me much joy.
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