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The Three-Legged Raccoon

Back in May 2008 I wrote about Jack, the raccoon who had begun visiting my yard. Many things happened after that blog. For one thing, Jack turned out to be Jackie! Shortly after I made that discovery Jackie showed up outside my door with her 4 babies.

I fell in love with this masked family, who had taken up residence under my deck. I was re-living the joy I had felt watching Grizzly Adams on TV!

The raccoon family quickly grew, as relatives and in-laws began visiting, too. One morning it was like a scene from “Raccoons Gone Wild” and I knew I was in trouble. The little critters took over my yard, cleaning their feet in my pond and tearing apart the pump and pond plants.

One day Mama showed up with her babies, and one of them was missing a back leg. I was heartbroken, because I thought the little one’s days were numbered.

Boy, was I wrong!

The raccoon visits slacked off a bit during the fall, but recently the little darlings began coming by on a regular basis. The other morning there were three in the yard, one of whom was eating the food I had put outside for a neighborhood kitty. Out of nowhere a creature came tearing down my hillside, pushed the feeding raccoon away and took over eating the cat food.

It was the three-legged baby!

This tenacious kid, who was now HUGE, had survived the terrible snow and ice storm we had here in Portland over the holidays. It had survived the predators in our woods. Heck, it hadn’t just survived – it had thrived!

Lately I have been struggling with knee problems. After limping around for over two months, I learned that my left leg is completely out of whack, and the left knee is turned inward toward the right. I am working with a physical therapist to change the structure of that leg.

It’s not easy. My funky knee has been perfectly happy all these years facing the wrong way. I’ve tried telling my knee it will be the laughingstock of knees everywhere if it doesn’t correct itself, but so far it seems immune to the threat of public humiliation.

Then I saw the three-legged raccoon, and I realized if that little one could survive in the wild with a missing leg surely I was capable of getting my knee back into shape.

Maybe that’s why the raccoons came to me – to teach me about perseverance.
Chris

6 Comments

Anonymous
posted on June 13, 2011 Reply

what state are you in? theres a 3 legged raccoon that shows up at my house in connecticut!

Chris Davis
posted on June 13, 2011 Reply

I’m in Oregon, although I haven’t seen the raccoons in awhile. They sure were cute!

Anonymous
posted on October 12, 2011 Reply

I live in CT and I too have a 3-legged raccoon that comes by with one of the parents (I think).
The leg is there however it looks to possibly be deformed or maybe an old injury. He cannot put weight on it and keeps it tucked underneath his abdomen. I feel so bad as he must hobble around but I make sure when I put a few cat crunchies outside that he or she gets their share.

Christine Davis
posted on October 12, 2011 Reply

Poor little raccoon. I’m sure her or she is very grateful for the crunchies you put out!

Abby
posted on October 13, 2018 Reply

The same thing over here in Ottawa Ontario Canada . My little Rocky and Ricky raccoons come by sometimes with the mom sometimes with eachother or alone. Last night I’m pretty sure it was Rocky was outside on the garage roof eating scraps from the dumpster and some cat food I leave out for them and when I went down to see him as usual to give him a little scratch on the head and a special cupcake I had made he was missing his or her not exactly sure yet but either way he was missing his front left paw. The bone was sticking out and it didnt appear fresh but it was the most heartbreaking sight to see that I immediately started to weep. So sad I tell you. He is such a fighter. He seemed to be in good health otherwise and was eating and moving about as usual but with a bit of a limp. He still let me give him a scratch and was really excited about the chocolate cupcake! He is not full grown yet but almost the same size as an adult now. He is so sweet him and his brother Ricky naturally were curious about me because each night I go out and feed the stray cats in my neighborhood and over time I ended up bonding with these 2 in particular. There are several raccoons in the area and I live in an apartment building so they eat front the big dumpster every night no matter what. I love them and I’ve felt so sad and off all day thinking about my little buddy. It brings me hope to see the way he was doing all the regular things he would normally do even snickering for food to his brother with no fear just like he usually would. I am thinking someone in the area must have some traps set in the backyard or something. I dont know why anyone would ever want to do this to these creatures. Theres no stopping them they are in every single back yard in Canada and United states basically. Sometimes they can be a pest from what I’ve read or heard on t.v but for the most part they have alot of personality and character. What’s the point of setting a trap to cut its paw off? Plain disgusting and shameful. I am deeply saddened by this crap and do not support it whatsoever. I hope that he survives and thrives like your little buddy. It is a big shock to see him show up like that . Poor babies .

Lighthearted Press ( C. Davis )
posted on October 19, 2019 Reply

Abby, it’s always a joy to connect with another raccoon lover! The raccoons come through my yard every year – always a mama and her babies. Sometimes there’s one baby, sometimes five. They’ll stay for a few months, or occasionally an entire year. I share your heartbreak over how they are treated. I’m certain they’re grateful for the food you leave them and also happy to be in the company of someone who doesn’t fear them.

I post lots of pictures on my personal Facebook page. If you’re on FB and want to share raccoon stories feel free to drop me a friend request. Here’s the page https://www.facebook.com/christine.davis

Hugs to you and those magical masked bandits!!

Much love,
Chris

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