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So, I got a trap to capture the feral cats an irresponsible neighbor feeds* so I can have them spayed/neutered and returned to the ‘hood, which is the way such situations are handled in my county (i.e., at taxpayer expense and with no enforcement of existing regulations). This dude showed up for the Fancy Feast instead, and now the fucker won’t leave my trap!

At first, I was thinking, “Oh, poor thing! Maybe his tail is caught or something,” but he has turned around inside the trap multiple times and does not seem to be injured. Several times, he’s faced the open end of the trap with freedom just inches from his pointy little snout and humans completely out of sight (but watching from the window). He hisses and bares his teeth when approached, but he doesn’t seem inclined to leave. Somehow, this is a metaphor for my entire life.

*I’ve got no problem with people feeding feral cats if they also take responsibility for the resulting colony, including the obligation to trap, neuter and release the cats so the population doesn’t get out of control. The neighbor in question does not, so I have to take on the expense and time involved instead. This makes her a terrible neighbor, IMO.

Update: Now he’s moved to the end of the trap and is sort of using it as a sun porch:

He’s never going to leave, is he?

UPDATE 2: He skedaddled!

Some Pigs! (Open Thread)

Some feral swine I encountered while out photographing wildlife several months back:

They are surprisingly cute when they aren’t charging at you through razor-sharp scrub palms. Open thread!

Cold Friday (Open Thread)

My dogs are quietly outraged because I haven’t taken them for a walk in several days. Every time I put on shoes or pull on a sweater, they rush to the door in anticipation. But it’s been too damn cold for walks, and they know it too: When we let them out in the yard, they’re banging on the door to come back inside within five minutes.

Other critters in the state are handling the cold snap in their accustomed ways. Here’s a herd of manatees swarming the entrance to Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida, which is one of the best places on the planet, IMO:

The water flowing from the springs is around 72 degrees year-round. In the summer, that feels heart-stoppingly cold. But on a cold day like this, jumping into the springs feels like sliding into a warm bath. That warmth is what the manatees are after.

Next week, it’ll warm up, and the manatees will venture out of the canals in search of more plentiful vegetation. And I’ll start walking my dogs again.

Open thread!

Floriduh Iguana! Wait, What?

Beware the falling iguanas in South Florida.

When temperatures dip into the 30s and 40s, people from West Palm Beach to Miami know to be on the lookout for reptiles stunned — but not necessarily killed — by the cold. They can come back to life again when it warms up.

Iguanas, which can be as long as six feet, are not native to South Florida. They have proliferated in the subtropical heat, causing headaches for wildlife managers — and occasionally popping up in toilets. It took a prolonged cold spell to significantly reduce their population in 2010. (The same cold snap also resulted in the deaths of many invasive Burmese pythons.)

Iguanas climb up trees to roost at night, said Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami.

“When the temperature goes down, they literally shut down, and they can no longer hold on to the trees,” he said. “Which is why you get this phenomenon in South Florida that it’s raining iguanas.” (Including on windshields.)

The larger the iguana, the greater its chance of survival, Mr. Magill added.

“Even if they look dead as a doornail — they’re gray and stiff — as soon as it starts to heat up and they get hit by the sun rays, it’s this rejuvenation,” he said. “The ones that survive that cold streak are basically passing on that gene.”

And they have a plan!

He suspects that, within a couple of decades, iguanas will creep north because they will be able to withstand colder climates.

More at the link.

Stay frosty, unless you’re experiencing bombogenesis, then stay toasty! And beware of falling iguanas!

Open thread!

Also, no iguanas were harmed in the writing of this post.

Pet Rescue Bleg: Columbus, OH Area

Pogonip put up a comment yesterday about a cat hoarding tragedy in the Columbus, OH area. Apparently someone in Gahanna, OH had collected, for lack of a better term, 166 cats.

GAHANNA, OH (WCMH) –Wednesday, more than 160 cats were taken out of a Gahanna home.

“We did remove 111 alive cats, 55 deceased unfortunately,” said Kerry Shaw with Columbus Humane, formerly called the Capital Area Humane Society.

Columbus Humane said it’s one of the worst cases of animal hoarding it has ever seen.

“The cats were in deplorable conditions and some have serious health risks right now, serious health conditions,” said Shaw.

Unfortunately, this has overwhelmed the Columbus Humane Society’s capabilities right now.

Columbus Humane, which operates a shelter at 3015 Scioto Darby Executive Court on the Far West Side, was so overwhelmed with the cats from Gahanna that they had to shut down operations to the public Wednesday, Shaw said.

Veterinarians were examining the 111 live cats to evaluate their health, gather evidence and determine their future, Shaw said.

Pogonip was hoping that any of you all in the area might be able to help out. Specifically:

Hello, I remember from reading this site before that readers would organize to help pets all across the country.

I lived in Columbus, Ohio for years and still keep up with their news. Earlier this week, in suburban Gahanna, one hundred eleven cats were rescued from a collector. The local shelter is so overwhelmed they’ve had to stop accepting turn-ins. They can use all the help they can get. Details and updates can be found at and

So if you live in the area and were considering adopting,  from the Columbus Humane Society, now might be a good time to consider doing so from the Columbus Human Society to ease their sudden overcrowding problem.

Open thread!

Late Evening Open Thread: Floriduh Man – Smarter than the Average Bear?

The Palm Beach Post has the details!

A Florida man found a strange visitor inside his garage Monday afternoon.

Brad Tamm, of Seminole County, was working from his home office and had to put his conference call on hold because a large bear made its way into his garage, according to WKMG.

The hungry bear had opened the fridge, even though there were trash cans lining the street, WKMG reported.

“So he was in there and then he stood up on his hind legs and his head, I swear, his head, he was taller than me when I was inside of the office,” Tamm told WKMG.

Tamm thought that the bear would take off running when he made some noise, but that wasn’t the case.

 “Surprising. I really thought just a little bit of noise or just seeing me stand up, I think he would take off. But they are so conditioned to be around people and humans,” Tamm explained to WKMG.

Eventually the animal slowly made his way out, but not before Tamm got a video as proof.

WKMG Orlando has video!


Stay frosty and remember these rules regarding human-ursine interactions!


Late Evening Open Thread: The Baby Pandaing!

Apparently the Peoples Republic of China has decided to subvert our way of life with weaponized cuteness.

On Friday, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda rolled out 36 panda cubs for no other purpose than public enjoyment.

 “Instead of introducing the pandas one by one, the center opted for making one huge good news blast by debuting all of the babies to the public at once,” writes People.

These are 36 out of 42 total pandas bred at the Research Center this year, its most productive panda year yet. Baby pandas appear to be good at lining up in rows and meowing, not so much motor skills, which means that if you were in charge of one, it would need you to carry it around everywhere. “For 2 months after birth, baby pandas basically only feed on milk, sleep, and poo,” we learn from As America’s beloved baby Fiona the Hippo verges on her disillusioned rebel teen phase and (I hate to say this but) sexual maturity, that’s a comforting thought.

Open thread!