Quirky World: Animal mayhem!

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Aug 18, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

Speaking outside the home in San Diego County and brandishing a broom in case the cat came her way, neighbour Karen Yarger told the TV station: “He’s just a ball of fury.” KGTV-TV reports that Cuppy has been a family pet for 14 years and, for the most part, is a well-behaved little chap, except when stray cats enter his territory.

Lesson to be learned: Always entertain the possibility that your cat may be crazy.

Man kills spider, burns down house

How much would you pay to kill a spider? For a Washington state man who tried to kill a spider using a makeshift blowtorch, it cost him US$60,000 worth of damages when his weapon of choice caused his house to go up in flames.

The trouble began when the man, in his 20s, spotted the creepy crawly in the laundry room of his Seattle rental home on the night of July 16 and tried to kill it using a lighter and a can of spray paint, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore.

Trying to escape the arachnophobe, the spider crawled into a hole in the wall, not realising its overzealous assassin would chase it to the ends of the earth with a makeshift blowtorch. At this point, hell apparently broke loose.

Realising his blunder, the man attempted to rectify the potentially tabloid-fodder-gone-viral situation by throwing water on the fire. But it was too late. The blaze ripped through the home, eventually causing US$40,000 worth of damage to the building and another US$20,000 of damage to its contents.

“There were giant clouds of smoke just pouring out of the windows,” neighbour Kaitlin Sharp told KIRO-TV. Both the man and his mother, with whom he shared the rental home, have been displaced, authorities said. The man was not facing criminal charges and the fire was considered accidental, Moore said.

“He has to live with the fact that he set fire to the house he was living in,” says Moore matter-of-factly, adding that it was unlikely that the incy wincy little spider survived the blaze.

Lesson to be learned: Spiders don’t burn down houses, people do.

Missing kitty mystery solved

When your cats go AWOL and you find one well-fed Burmese python wrapped around a freshly-killed kitty lurking near your house, there can only be one conclusion: You’ve been unknowingly feeding it.

“It’s the answer to so many questions,” says Pamela Dinola, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, who lost five of her seven cats. Dinola had suspected raccoons when her first cat disappeared in November. “But they kept disappearing over a matter of months.”

The mystery ended on Aug 8 when Dinola spotted the python wrapped around a neighbour’s cat. It took four police officers to tease the 55kg and 3.7m-long serpent out into the open, where it serenely posed for the press.

An officer familiar with snakes speculates that the python was probably let loose by a pet owner well before it reached its current size. Pythons are an introduced species and becoming a nuisance in Florida where they have no natural predators and feed on native wildlife, most notably in the Florida Everglades. Occasionally, they wander into human territory.

Meanwhile, police consider the case of the missing cats closed. “It’s more than speculative to say that the python has been (responsible). It’s more probable than not,” says Sabol, with such uncanny eloquence.

Lesson to be learned: Don’t live in Florida.

A rat story that will rat you out

Rats. Yes, some people keep them as pets, which under normal circumstances is fine since pet rats are usually docile. But for one pet rat owner in Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, his furry friends turned from pets into a plague.

Just how big was this plague? Animal control officers who responded to the man’s call for help – after he had been evicted for missing his rent payments – removed approximately 300 squeaking rats from the apartment on July 30.

Some of the rats were in cages but others roamed free and were living in holes in the walls and inside a mattress, said animal control officer Sheila Marquis, who said that unless they get spayed, the Dumbo and Fancy breed pet rats can easily launch a massive litter offensive against their owners. “It doesn’t take long. It can get out of hand quite quickly.”

Marquis said that the rats have been placed with animal rescue groups who will find them new homes. She also said no charges are expected because the owner reached out for help and the rodents appeared to be generally well-fed. But the stench left behind by the rodent horde should surely qualify as a crime against humanity, no?

Lesson to be learned: All things in moderation always.

Sources: Reuters

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