You know what made me happy this week? A raccoon that reached for the stars. Because a raccoon’s reach should exceed her grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
You’ve probably already heard about this little over-achiever that climbed a skyscraper in St. Paul over two days while people held their breath that she’d get to the top. That’s her in the picture to the left, taking a nap on the 22nd floor.
Meanwhile, people lined up on the street below to take pictures and somebody set up a live video feed and I was on edge the entire time because I thought the little beast would plunge to her death. Nope, she made it to the top the next day, found some cat food in a cage and walked right in so they could take her someplace with fewer skyscrapers.
Those of you who’ve had to deal with raccoons in your trash may have been chanting, “Jump, jump,” but my trash problems are bears, so I was just rooting for her. And then after she was rescued, I read an interview with a raccoon researcher, and now I am 100% pro-raccoon.
• There’s not much research on raccoons because they figure out how to break out of their cages, so most researchers gave up and went after something less Wonder-Woman-ish.
• “They don’t plan things out. They don’t say, ‘If I climb this building, I will be stuck.’ They just do the thing and regret it later.’ (Researcher Suzanne MacDonald)
• “MacDonald said she’s not sure they possess intelligence in a critical thinking way so much as an “insatiable curiosity” that leads them often enough to success.”
In other words, if I’m reincarnated as an animal, it’s probably going to be as a raccoon because we already share many traits, including searching through the trash for things we might need (my own trash, not my neighbors).
The article is well worth reading just for the troubles researchers had with the raccoons not following the rules. Also check out the videos of the little optimist scaling the building; they’re terrifying except you know she makes it. (Link to video scored to the Mission Impossible theme here.)
That’s what made me happy this week; what did it for you?
Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to anybody here who qualifies!