The raccoons are mating. They are running about the neighborhood (and those fat little buggers can run fast when the mood strikes them), chasing one another up and down trees, screeching and squabbling, and generally making a spectacle of themselves. The night echoes with their racket. This sets the neighborhood dogs to barking, and the noise intensifies. In mating season, raccoons are worse than cats! I'm glad I don't have to sleep at night. The horny little beasts being nocturnal, themselves, I can get some rest after they've worn themselves out copulating 'till dawn. Listening to them makes me nostalgic for the Sunset Strip on a Friday night, though. That's the only other place I know of where sex is this noisy.