Many years ago, three-ish older daughter was in the backyard of a home we had recently purchased and fenced in. With two small children, we figured a fenced in yard was a safe place for them to play.
I had just let the dog out with our three-year old and she said to me "Look. Kitty." She knew what a kitty looked like since we had 5 year old Mandy a Siamese mix. Well this "kitty" was about 3 times the size of the petite Siamese in our house. At this point, Max, the dog, let out a ferocious growl as my little girl made a bee-line for the "kitty." This was NOT a cat, this was the largest raccoon I ever saw. I scooped her up in my arms, made a lunge for the dog's collar and dragged them both screaming/yipping into the house. Fortunately, Max scared the raccoon off the fence and I explained to my little one that this was a raccoon and raccoons were "bad." She was never to try to play with a raccoon and should run into the house if she saw one again.
Later, an elderly neighbor - hey he was over 80 - came over to ask if she was OK. I said she was fine, she wanted to play with the "kitty" and I wouldn't let her. He explained he had a friendly trap he set out and when he caught raccoons would take them to Hines Park and let them out there. I was greatly relieved to never see another raccoon the size of that one again. And I always think of what those sharp claws could do to a small child.
Yesterday, after cleaning out all the window tracks in my house, I happened to look out the master bath window and saw this HUGE animal. This was by far the LARGEST and most unusual cat I have ever seen. It was a bi-color - black and white - cat. The cat's whole head except the lower jaw was black. There was not even a speck of white around the nose. The body and tail were all white except for a black band around its middle. I called DH to see, which he did, but unfortunately, did not get my camera fast enough to capture its picture.
I am used to runty cats as our Mandy was. My little three-year-old in this story is now 28 and is owned by two beautiful runty cats, Luna & Tonks. The beautiful bi-color of yesterday was almost the size of raccoon we saw so many years ago.