Friday, November 4, 2011


Gizmodo, discussing the naked mole-rat, expresses a common sentiment:

From General interwebs

This creature can live 30 years. Are you terrified? Me too.

I have to admit to an enthusiastic double standard about scary critters: mammals are okay.* I can know that hippos are filthy, vicious murderers, but they don't make my skin crawl like spindly-legged creeping insects. I can instinctively recoil at the thought of cephalopods or the milky-eyed, needle-toothed abominations of the deep ocean, which are generally tiny and live well outside my world, but this guy?

From General interwebs

That's a jaguar. A giant cat. House cats are arguably the most successful predators on the planet--our friends only because we're too big to be food. And this cat can grow to over 300 pounds.

They live in North America. They're strong enough to drag cows up into trees. They're ambush predators that can stalk in absolute silence before attacking with blinding speed, usually exploiting the victim's blind spots. And while they're capable of causing severe head and neck injuries with a paw swipe; or biting through your throat; or paralyzing you with a severing bite from behind to the cervical vertebrae; their preferred method for killing mammals is to use their impossibly strong jaw muscles to drive their teeth through their dinner's skull. This critter will sneak up and bite you in the brain.

It is death on mittens.

But it's a mammal. So who's-a-kitty-you-are-yes-you-are.

It's possible my threat assessment is less than ideal.

[* - Also my general rule for food.]


  1. Yeah, that mole-thingy is pretty hideous. Doesn't help that I think we found one, more-or-less-alive, behind the piano last year.

    Oddly enough, just as I was finishing reading this post, chuckling at the thought of talking to a Xavier the Xaguar the way Tam talks to Bobbi's cat, when The Princess plopped herself in my lap and started grooming me--or tasting me, I'm never quite sure...

    (Especially as she and Sparowbane just got pedicures and "flea spotted"; Sparrowbane went first, so he got Princess's beloved window seat while she was being serviced. Meanwhile, Ratbane is hiding out in the bedroom, curled up on my sweatshirt, sleeping the sleep of the just, which is ironic, when you consider that he was responsible for said mole-thingy, not to mention various and sundry eviscerated rodents left laying around for us to step on in the dark...)

  2. Ahh... The joys of cohabiting with vicious predators.

    It's a great luxury to deal mostly with the LOLs and scritches, when we're talking about critters that are silent death to ninety percent of the living things in our territory.