After a long night at my frat house a few days back, I was walking out of the garage of the house when I encountered a raccoon. I hate raccoons in general, perhaps because my first cat was killed by one, and I had had never experienced any other encounter with one that changed my opinion of them much. So I decided to chase it briefly down the sidewalk until it scurried underneath a car. At this moment, it occurred to me that the only company I had at this early hour in the morning was in fact the raccoon, who was clearly terrified of me. All of a sudden, I felt bad. I was suddenly enveloped by an overwhelming sense of compassion for this most likely hungry creature. I then decided to get some food. Clearly, my stomach took control of my decision making abilities at this point, and the next thing I know I am at freebirds. After chowing down on a burrito, I left with the remaining half to go back to my dorm room and crash. On the way back, however, I ran into yet another raccoon. I am no master raccoon spotter, but from what I could tell, I can honestly say I think it was the same one, however unlikely this actually may be. I stood on the bike path for some time watching it, as it watched me. I believe there was a certain understanding between is two at that point; in many ways I saw myself in the hungry, perhaps disoriented raccoon wandering the streets of iv late at night in search of food and sex. Who knows what the raccoon thought—probably nothing short of “I want that dudes food”. But still. It was definitely a moment that has since changed my perspective on raccoons to a certain degree.
I know raccoons are smart. I want to work with them to find out just how smart they are, and see if they would like to work with me in creating art. Im thinking maybe I can somehow use food as a medium and allow the hungry raccoons to be the artists at work, eating whatever they find most aesthetically pleasing perhaps.
Octopus update: it’s a no-go. I have decided that it would be too annoying to have to work with the octopus only during the times the the reef is open.
Antz update: still considering working with them, but the ink idea failed.