Mating Season

My baby face Frankly, I'm in a foul mood during mating season. I feel testy all the time and want to bite something, preferably a virile raccoon. This mood swing comes upon me rather suddenly, usually in December. Before then you may notice me marking things more than usual, and I'll be attacking my teddy bears and shaking them for dear life.

Between the onset of mating season and the end of March I'm constantly looking for a female in heat or an enemy raccoon in my territory. I cover a lot of miles in the house, climb everything in sight and open anything that opens. Don't interrupt me, this is serious business; I'm in no mood for cuddling.

By January 1, since I never find my dream girl, I use my white teddy bears as surrogates. I turn them over rump side up, tuck a soft ball with a bell in it under my chin, grab hold of the teddy by the back of the neck with my teeth, hold on for dear life with my arms around the middle and go to it. Again, do NOT interrupt me, I'm busy. By March I'll stop by myself.

During mating season I'm not particularly hungry. Feed me bits of my favorite foods because my Dr. says I should eat something every day or it damages my kidneys and liver. I only have to eat a little bit each day.

The female raccoon acts somewhat differently. She comes into heat in January. When in heat she's extremely friendly to everyone. However, when her heat cycle ends, she turns suddenly viscious. This is the time in nature when she'd drive the male 'coon away from her den after three weeks of cohabitation. For a short time she'll try to drive humans away too. It's probable someone may get bitten for no apparent reason. Gradually she'll calm down as her hormonal level decreases, and she'll become your loving pet again.

Unfortunately, if she doesn't become pregnant in January, she may come in heat again in March or April and the cycle repeats itself. The second cycle is usually milder than the first.

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