Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Connecticut Christmas Menagerie

It seems like every time I visit my parents in Norwich, CT, my once-harmless hometown has some new menacing species harassing everyone’s pet cats or even dogs.

We worried about nothing of that sort when I was a kid, then came Lyme-carrying deer ticks, coyotes, a bear or two, and the recent plague of wild turkeys, plus a couple skunks, the animal my mother fears most. Recently, my parents casually mentioned keeping the cats indoors now to keep them away from the fisher cat across the road, a species of three-foot-long predator related to the marten that I’m not even sure I ever heard of before (Nybakken blames anti-hunting laws and environmentalists, usually a wise move). Here’s a fisher cat, just so you’ll be unfazed if you see this out the living room window.

And there really has been a program to reintroduce them, leading to recent pest complaints in New England, says Wiki. — though this is not quite as annoying as flying grizzly bears into my friend Holly’s mom’s neighborhood in Montana via government helicopter, which she was understandably perturbed about several years ago.

Indoors at the Seavey home, things remain fairly tranquil, though my parents’ dog Jaycie seems to be neurologically degenerating in some way that causes her to wander around until she reaches a corner and then stand staring into it.

The game-theoretical situation with the three cats is at its usual stand-off: Elder cat Meow avoids dark and lanky Pepper, but she enjoys giving objects to Pepper’s brother Salty and then watching him go berserk with them. Indeed, Salty particularly enjoys putting things in shoes, whereas Pepper enjoys dropping them into water. It is therefore crucial on any visit home to be careful when putting one’s shoes on or when raising the toilet lid.


Caren said...

I enjoyed reading that. Do you know that there is a minor league baseball team called the Fisher Cats? (I know ya probably don’t care.) They’re in New Hampshire and we saw them last year.

Todd Seavey said...

I do care, Caren — and now I know the East Coast has a pest-based team name to rival Santa Cruz’s Banana Slugs.

Christopher said...

I both love fisher cats (also related to the mink and weasel) AND agree with Scott that we need more hunting. I see practically as many deer as squirrels in NW Mass. Actually, more wolves would be a good solution as well. A very good solution.

Todd Seavey said...

You might be pleased to know that when Jonah Goldberg’s college, wee Goucher in Maryland, an overwhelmingly female and liberal school, discovered a couple years ago that its surrounding woods had some 200 deer but could sustain only about fifty according to the state, the school hired bowmen, over the objections of many student activists, to kill fifty deer and bring things closer to recommended levels.

I would like to think that phrases such as “Copy that — target acquired!” were whispered into headset mikes while hippies wept and that stenciled on some supplies at the time were the words Operation: Bambi Cull.