My Idiosyncrasies and How My Parents Adjust to Them
||I'm the perfect pet...
I. Changing me from a nocturnal animal into a diurnal one.
You'll never catch me getting skin cancer! I know animals and people should
sleep during the day and party all night long. Unfortunately, my surrogate
parents come from Puritan stock; they're up at the crack of dawn and want
to sleep shortly after the sun goes down. Worse yet, they want me to do
the same, and I have to admit, they've been successful in changing my habits.
They've put me on a schedule:
The schedule rarely varies. If my parents go on vacation, the housekeeper
keeps the schedule. The advantage of this is I know what to expect and what's
expected of me.
6 A.M. My day begins at with being awakened with a hug and a treat.
8 A.M. - 11 A. M. Weekdays, the housekeeper attends to my room, weekends
it's Ma's job.
11 A.M. - 4 P.M. I roam the house looking for cupboards left open or closets
to get into. In a worst case scenario, I nap until someone comes home.
4 P.M. - 6 P.M. This is playtime with my parents.
6 P.M. At precisely six my inner alarm system reminds me this is the dinner
hour. I go to my surrogate mother and demand dinner. After eating, I nap. By the time I
wake up, my parents are in bed so I usually stay in my room and play
with toys until I turn in for the night.
II. Calming me during mating season.
I get pretty intense during mating season. My parents leave the lights
on at night to calm me down. I already told you how I feel about sunlight;
well incandescent light isn't much better. If the lights are on, I want
to den up in my bed.
This past year my doctor decided I should not go into mating season
at all because of my advanced age and because I had the equivalent of a
small stroke . He prescribed estrogen, I'm ashamed to admit. I was given
a small dose in pill form every other day for 2 weeks. Well, I certainly
lost my interest in sex. It's never come back yet. I understand this treatment
is often given to farm stud stock when the farmer wants his beast to "think
grass, not ass", as the quaint saying goes. It certainly worked on me!
III. Eccentric behaviors
I'm not neurotic! I'll bite the first person that says I am. Eccentric?
Maybe, but not neurotic.
Some coons like to pace, especially during mating season. It's hypnotic;
besides, we've got the urge to search for a mate. If you want to stop us
DON'T lock us up in a confined place. Let us roam freely throughout the
house. Giving us an illusion of freedom usually eliminates the "caged animal
I get up in the morning, yawn, stretch, do a bit of pelt maintenance, and
wet the bed. This ensures that my bed is changed daily - sheets, mattress
pad, blanket and bedspread. I don't look upon this behavior as neurotic,
but my mother says I'm regressing to when I was a baby and my real mom
took care of cleaning up after me. Well, so be it! At least I get clean
bed linens every day which is more than you can say you do. Actually, my
surrogate mother is afraid to let me sleep in a wet bed for fear of my
getting a bacterial infection so my bed is changed daily.
C. Strategic turd placement
Ninety eight percent of the time I put my turds in the litter box where
ma says they belong. Two percent of the time I use them to make a statement.
1) I may use them as an insult. As the late, great Ayatollah Khomeini
said, "Don't shit on a person's grave unless you mean it as an insult."
I've never shat on anyone's grave. The best I've been able to do is shit
on my surrogate mother's bed when I've been particularly irritated that
she's late coming home. After all, what's the point of putting me on a
schedule if she's not going to keep it. Consider yourself insulted if your
adult pet leaves his turds on something important to you like your bed
or dining room table.
2) I may use them to mark my territory. You put up fences; I put up
turds. The idea's the same: both say, private property, don't trespass.
Occasionally you'll find a pile at the outside doors and/or on top of the
highest piece of furniture in the house and/or in front of the fireplace.
These are places I expect another raccoon to find them. If it's a lady
coon, it'll tell her I'm there and to come in; if it's a male it'll tell
him to stay out or be ready to fight. My parents never day a word to me
about these transgressions; they simply remove them, much to my dismay.
D. Disruptive behavior
My natural instinct is to bite when I'm angry, disappointed or "uptight".
As a pet coon I know I'm not supposed to bite, so I've developed other,
less lethal, ways to act out. My parents may tell me "no" if they catch
me doing one of these, but I'm never punished. Usually they look the other
way because they know I have to have some outlet for my frustration. My
disruptive behaviors include:
These are all activities I've learned my parents don't like, but are harmless,
so I do them to annoy them. These are particularly gratifying if my parents
are watching. Frequently they even bribe me to stop.
1. digging up house plants
2. nipping the buttons off clothing taken from clothes baskets
3. relocating clothing and urinating on it if I'm really pissed
4. overturning water bowls
5. emptying the bookcase
6. unplugging the phone from the jack and/or leaving it off the hook
7. stripping a bed of the bed linen
It's probably dawned on you by now that my parents' basic adjustment
to my idiosyncrasies is to clean up after me and give me another hug.
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