Raccoons are cool critters. I know a lot of people think of them as garbage divers and dangerous, but that's only in places where humans have stolen their native environments. The raccoon is one of those astoundingly adaptive animals and yeah, if you're going to take his home, he's going to find a way to live off of you. Fair's fair.
These guys are uniquely North American, probably one of the reasons I love them, and they've been around since woolly mammoths, at least. While they're closely related to weasels and even more closely related to bears, they get their very own genus, Procyon. 'Cause they're cool like that. They have clever, hypersensitive paws, good for getting crayfish out of creeks or eggs out of nests, and there have been studies done where raccoons have used their clever paws to open locks.
We had an old raccoon living in our backyard for many years. We'd only see him in the early morning or evening, of course. During the day, he slept behind the wood pile in a little cavern he'd made for himself out of sticks. But he delighted in tormenting the neighbor's dogs and would even use their roof as his bathroom, just to make the dogs nuts.
Anyway...why raccoons suddenly? I do like them. They're super cool. But there will be one in an upcoming story too - so watch for that in the next Brandywine omnibus. ;)