We have a family of raccoons living with us. They moved in under the back deck one cold winter night several years ago and since have multiplied. We have the mom and dad and their 5 babies, which we had the pleasure of watching grow up.
Sometimes in the summer, in the morning, they would bring them to play on the deck. Unfortunately, they dug in all my plant containers, removing decorative rocks and if I put the rocks back they'd dig them all out again. They had to inspect under all the cushions and chairs, quite often sitting on them to play with each other. As idyllic as this sounds, we would just hope for a breeze to blow the raccoon odor away from us.
I tried scrubbing the deck with everything I could think of and worried that we would be blessed with the smell forever but winter came and it disappeared. My daughter had developed a desire for water, pond, fountain things in large containers and we realized it was the water that was so interesting to them. Anything you put on the deck they had to investigate.
Gas got spilled on a sweatshirt and we hung it out on the handrail hoping nature would fix the problem. For a few days, it remained untouched, then curiosity got the better of them and they began pulling it down and playing with it. I'd replace it the next day on the handrail and they'd pull it down again.
The one question they raised that we couldn't answer is why an axe forgotten in other parts of the yard was hauled under the deck and into their little nest area.
My son figures they heard the coyotes howling as they often do at night and figured they needed some self defense and they've proven to be so smart, I begin to wonder.
While looking up raccoons on Google I came across this wonderful website on keeping them as pets. It's illegal in our country but not in all countries.
Here is one of my raccoon pictures