Question of the Day

While watching a mindless few minutes of some “Holy Fuck Look At That Video!” show, it came to a part where an Uruguayan speedboater smashed into the officials’ boat at full speed, wrecking both and causing both to sink, but not really hurting anyone (Or so they say. They never actually admit to anyone dying on that show. They had a clip once of a bull rider getting drug around for about 14 hours by an incensed bull, until the rider was much more splotch than man, and the narrator said “And yet,he only suffered a few contusions and a broken ankle” or some such nonsense).

Anyway, the Uruguayan speedboat driver was named “Pepe Delgado.” Which killed my wife and I, because we really wish we’d have heard of this name a while back, because Afonso would make a FANTASTIC Pepe Delgado. So it’s become one of his new nicknames, along with “Deputy Dawg” and “Little Fucker.”

Pepe Delgado, aka Little fucker

And no, the question of the day has nothing to do with any of that.

Here’s what it’s about: What is the strangest thing to happen to you with an animal. Any animal. Or bird, insect, etc.

An example: When I was but a young lad we lived on top of an extremely steep hill. My first day of jr. high school, I had to walk most the way down that hill to get the bus. I got there just as everyone else had boarded. As I got near the bus, a Great Dane leapt out at me. I had never seen a dog, or literally anything, that big before. Its head was like a T-Rex. I panicked and turned and sprinted up the hill as fast as I could in terror.

But it was a really, really big, steep hill. So eventually my sprint turned into a slow walk. I mean, I was still making all the hand and head movements like I was sprinting, but I was in fact walking. Very slowly. With all the kids in the bus watching. I was persistent however, and just kept churning until I got home and got my mom to give me a ride.

The next day I made it to the bus stop earlier. And there were all the kids, petting and playing with the giant – and ridiculously friendly – dog. “Why were you afraid of him?” a kid asked.

Now your turn.




Filed under 07_wolfrum

59 responses to “Question of the Day

  1. Jersey

    My cat’s name is Klein Scheisson, “little shit” in german.

  2. Alix

    I live in Northern Virginia. One day, years ago, I’m looking out our big living-room window (in our former house – we just moved), preparing to go outside and walk to school, and there’s this THING. It’s six-thirty in the morning or thereabouts and kinda grey outside, and I can’t see well in dim light, so I had no clue what it was. It looked like a cross between a bear and a panther – the body was bearlike, but the tail and the way it walked was definitely feline.

    I refused to leave for school. Mom, who also saw the thing, called me in sick.

    The local crazy lady from across the street wandered out after the thing was gone calling for “her Sasha”, and asking all of us if we’d seen her large kitty.

    I still don’t know WHAT it was I saw, or whether or not the crazy lady really owned it, but I never saw it again, and I was always paranoid about walking to school after that.

  3. Jersey

    Alix, I have a pet Binturong that’s possibly what it was. Google it and see.

  4. SAP

    Well, there was the time I got into a wrestling match with four dogs who were trying to tear each other apart.

    Poor dogs. They never had a chance.

  5. I can’t think of any personal ones, but I remember my father trying to break up a fight between our fox terrier Max and a German Shepherd that lived in the neighborhood. Max had small dog syndrome and would take on all comers, but he was getting the worst of this battle. Daddy grabbed a garden hoe and waded into the fray, trying to separate the dogs. Instead, he hit Max in the head, knocking him unconscious and causing him to swallow his tongue. Daddy had to reach down Max’s throat and pull his tongue out before he suffocated — and then take him to the vet for stitches.

    No permanent damage — Max survived all his battles and lived to sixteen.

  6. Alix

    Jersey – Honestly, I don’t know. It was too dim for me to see clearly. I distinctly remember it being rather large, but it was across the street and, again, in dim light, so I don’t know.

    It was shortly after that, incidentally, that we started seeing local-news reports of a mountain lion (!!) in the area. Not saying that’s what Mom and I saw, but it’s interesting.

  7. I have two strange things. A few years back when I lived in LA I was watering plants from a watering can during a particulary hot Valley summer, and as I was pouring the water a hummingbird came up, hovered, and drank from the stream I was pouring.

    When i was about 10 or 11 I hatched a chicken egg in an incubator in my bathroom. I raised that little chick and it eventually became a full-size rooster and quite beautiful. I enjoyed holding him and kissing him on the back of the neck. One day I kissed him on the neck, and he turned his head and “kissed” me right on my lip. I still have a small scar on my upper lip from that lovely experience.

  8. While it is rather urband legend-esque, a confused little blackbird once flew into my hair while I was walking to a BART station in San Francisco in the early morning. All I heard was a bizarre “flapping of wings” noise, and I turned around to see the bird fly off. It was odd.

  9. I’ve had lots of strange encounters with animals, but the hummingbirds have been on my mind a lot, so I’ll tell two hummer stories.

    A friend was sitting in his garden, and an immature hummer (they’re very curious and will check out just about anything), flew up to him and stuck its tongue up his nose, just to make sure there was no “nectar” in there.

    Another friend had a porch that was covered in hummingbird feeders. She taught me to sit very still underneath the feeder, lift my arm, and hold my finger where the “perch” was. If you could keep your arm still enough, the hummers would come and perch on your finger. The feeling of those tiny feet grasping my finger is still with me.

    Kona — our hummers here loved to play in the sprinkler, when I have it set to “mist”.

    Incredible little beings.

  10. I’ll tell two hummer stories

    Quite possible the last thing I ever expected PortlyDyke to say.


  11. possibly, not possible…

  12. Fritz

    My story is about something that has been happening every morning.

    There is a large Blue Jay that repeatedly flies into my picture window. He starts as soon as the sun comes up.

    I hear the bird screeching.


    He crashes into the window.


    He does it again.


    Sometimes, he does this until he knocks himself out and flops down on my deck.

    After a few minutes, I hear him rustling his feathers. He comes to and flies away.

    If I scare him away, he comes back as soon as I go inside.


    Crazy ass bird!

  13. christine

    This didn’t happen to me, but I watched it happen several times. Several years ago, my sister legally owned two dogs, but they resided at my parents house. One was a male whippet (a smaller version of a greyhound), named Trooper. The other was a female Boston Terrier, named Tess. Troop was around 6 years old and Tess about a year.

    Troop would be curled up snoozing, Tess would come along and grab his tail and drag him around in circles. Troop would let Tess do this often!!! It was very funny to watch. It never lasted very long when it did happen. After about 6 months of this happening, Troop decided that Tess was no longer a pup and told her in no uncertain terms not to do that again. His communication was to put his jaws around her head and pin her down. Never happened again.

    After a few more years, they’d start fighting with each other. Knock down drag out fights. They’d both get a shock when I’d grab them by the collars and force them apart. They never turned on me, as they both recognized me has being either the Alpha or very high up the pack order.

  14. christine

    tornado…. be back later…. I hope….

  15. Jersey

    When I was going to college in Pittsburgh there was a young couple who lived in an apt on my way walking to school and they had an extremely tame chipmunk that lived under their porch. Every morning I’d see them playing with that little chipmunk, petting it, feeding it out of thier hands. It was so adorable. It was wary of others but really trusted them.

  16. Doctor Jay

    We had a cat/dog door in the back door of our house, which is only about 10 feet from the bed in the master bedroom. We keep cat food by the back door. We started having trouble with racoons trying to come in for the cat food, despite blocking the door with heavy boxes.

    One night a VERY large racoon came inside, and started eating the the cat food. So I picked up the baseball bat I had stored by the bed for this purpose and turned on the light. “Time to leave,” quoth I.

    He turned for the door, but then stopped and turned toward me, quite calmly. “Are you sure?” he seemed to be saying, “Do I have to?”

    “Yes, you have to,” I said, hoping for the same tone of calm certainty that this creature 1/3 my size had established. So the animal relented and moved out the cat door very slowly, just to make sure I knew that he wasn’t, you know, scared of me or anything.

    Arrogant bastard. I put a new door in, with no cat door. (It’s ok, the cats we feed are feral, though they’ve been fixed.)

  17. evilchemistry

    I was heading back into Yellowstone one day and noticed a line of cars going out of the park. There was no line at the gate and I was like WTF. I turn my head back to the road in just enough time to stop the car in front of a bison. I put my heart back in my chest, took a picture and went on my way.

    Oh and my siberian husky did a forward somersault on the bed the other morning. That was strange.

  18. nainam

    Well, I have been wanting to talk about this for a long time.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

    I was married 7 years ago to a man who had a perfectly beautiful part-Siamese male (neutered) cat. My husband warned me that the cat was not a “lap” cat and indeed would scratch and bite anyone who “messed” with him.

    Being a sort of non-believing person, I started picking up the cat and doing all sorts of fun things with him (bouncing him up and down, dancing with him, scratching his tummy while he was on my lap, etc.) Not ONCE did he ever even unsheath his claws while I did these things. He has never scratched me or bitten me.

    Indeed, now it is sort of a problem that the cat is all over me asking for attention—while his original owner, his savior (my husband) who rescued him from a shelter can’t get away with anything without getting scratched.

    I want to stress that the husband/original cat owner is about the nicest person in the world who would not hurt a fly.

    Is this a boy/girl thing or what? Anyhow, I think it’s very curious.

  19. William K. Wolfrum

    Oh, and I’d be remiss not to mention my experiences with a bat and a ratdog.

    But you may have heard those stories 😉


  20. My cat, Spatz, when he was a wee beastie, lost his eye in a fight with another cat. He was neutered in the same surgery.

  21. Stenz

    When my wife and I were first married, we lived in the 2nd floor of an old house. The house was the last remnant of any sort of residential aspect to the area and was surrounded by warehouses and a bottling plant. But, the house also had a lovely wooded buffer zone between us and them, and out of this zone would emerge, almost every day during the summer, a family of red foxes.

    We would sit on the roof above the landlords’ upholstery shop and watch while the foxes ate the bread we threw to them. We only stayed a year, but apparently the foxes came every year.

    It still remains one of our favorite memories.

  22. christine

    Tornados now to the east of me, nothing serious, thank goodness.

  23. anangryoldbroad

    I don’t know how odd this is,but I hand raised an orphaned baby raccoon when I was about 10. I had to teach him how to be a raccoon,sort of(most of it he already knew),and returned him to the wild when he was around 2. He did good,met a girl raccoon,had a baby or two and came back to see us sometimes. I’m guessing there’s probably decendants of his still in the area,since this place is still unused farmland.

    The little guy was one of the few really bright spots in my kidhood. Raccoons are interesting and smart animals,I never would have known that without being friends with one personally. They purr like cats sometimes,betcha didn’t know THAT,lol.

  24. I recall being on an outside toilet, looking down and seeing a very large weta(*) perched next to my knee, looking back up at me quite calmly. Okay, so it’s not strange*, but it was traumatic at the time.

    Did I mention it was large?

    (*) A NZ insect. Think of a cricket after the design team for “Mad Max” has gotten through with it.

  25. RayCeeYa

    My cat’s name is Klein Scheisson, “little shit” in german.

    My mom’s cat is named little shit, that’s little shit in english. 😉

  26. Kimmijo

    I was sitting in my friends’ apartment when a duck rapped on the sliding glass door. They regularly let it come inside to eat.

    I volunteered for two years at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, so I’ve had a kestrel in my hair and an opossum puke on me.

  27. Jewel

    Fritz, we have one of those birds! Not sure what kind it is, but like your blue jay, it flies straight into the kitchen window, repeatedly. WHAM WHAM WHAM, over and over, until there’s all sorts of blood and feathers and shit on the window, and still it keeps coming. Crazy…

  28. lucizoe

    I was walking one of my dogs on a trail near a creek, in the early spring. Apparently all the snakes in the woods and the water had just hatched out because when we stepped out into a sunny spot where the trail turned to gravel the ground started swishing as hundreds of tiny little snakes fled from their sunning spot.

    My parents have a woodshed under which a family of woodchucks set up camp for a few years. Every spring while working in the garden you could watch the babies sneaking out of the den and waddling around the ground nearby. One year there were five babies and they liked to stick together, all five of their little heads out their door at once, flies buzzing in a circle above them.

    As much as I dislike zoos generally, the ones which have really decent primate enclosures can be fascinating. Once a male mandrill decided my dad was a threat (he’s a tall guy with some crazy curly hair. Like a clown without make-up). Every time he came within sight the mandrill charged the glass and pounded it until he left the room.

    The weirdest thing, though, happened a long time ago. We were camping on the beach and an animal was circling our tent, making a noise like “hooo hooo hooo,” escalating in volume and increasing in speed over time. It was really really weird and I have no idea what it was.

  29. Jewel

    I have another one: my late cat had Stockholm Syndrome, I swear. When he was a wee kitten, my little brother (who was about 8 at the time and didn’t know any better) would torture the poor little thing mercilessly, despite my best attempts to protect him. Not serious abuse, but he certainly treated the cat quite roughly, and kitty definitely didn’t like it. As he got older, though, the cat got more and more attached to my brother, to the point where he would be quite depressed and listless if bro was away and would perk right up and purr like an outboard motor when bro returned. It was bizarre. By the time bro was old enough to realize that cats need to be treated a bit more gently than inanimate toys, kitty was permanenty and deeply attached to him. When bro grew up and moved out of the house, kitty got very sad and sickly and died shortly thereafter.

  30. Fritz, about the Blue Jay:
    Please consider placing a decorative sticker or ornament on your window to keep the birds from crashing into it.

    The biology/chemistry building I have classes in this summer has large plate windows on the 2nd floor. You can see bird carcases in various states on the ledge below the window, a large crack in the glass, and impact “smudges” on the glass. Last week we actually saw it happen and the poor bird was still alive enough to crawl to the ledge and fall to the ground. It was very sad for me to watch. I find it kind of twisted that the biology department wouldn’t take steps to prevent it.

  31. boatboy_srq

    Two items here.

    I had a friend with several cats, indluding one black male – named Satan. Sweetest little guy I ever met.

    I grew up with a female Lhasa. She was without the best dog I’ve ever encountered: smart, caring and possessing this innate sense for who in the house felt under the weather. Our neighbors had a male Airedale: he was feisty, and we were all wary of him as he’d charged a couple of us early on, though over time he got pretty friendly. I was taking Sara (our Lhasa) for a walk one evening, when Angus (the Airedale) came loping across the yard right to the back door – and they met, nose to nose. They stood very still for a moment. Then – I don’t know precisely what it was Sara communicated exactly, but I’m convinced it was fresh – she wriggled all over and touched his nose with hers. All four of his paws left the ground at once, and off he went – and she went bounding after! I never thought I could be dragged so far so fast by anything that small: it was like a scene from a Pepe LePew cartoon with a human drawn in for effect. After that, he accompanied uson walks – always deferring to the little lady. His people moved away, and Sara stayed with us until she was 24.

  32. pidomon

    Not sure this counts as strange but (yes everyone can scroll down now LOL)
    Our first dog Meggie in the first house we had growing up had the old wooden screen doors coming in from the garage to the kitchen.
    Every night without fail we would sit down to dinner and hear a knock on the door.
    I’d walk over and say “There’s no none here” (except Meggie looking at me like I was a freaking idiot) and go back to the table.
    Even after all that she still followed me to the bus stop every day and met me when I got off the bus.
    I really miss her (and it’s been 35 years but dang she was a great freind)

  33. Thanks for asking. I blogged about this a while back and am lazy, so I’ll just reproduce the post here except for the photo, which is the best part. (I don’t know how to do that…) You can see the photo here:

    Oh, and Molly has since died. 😦 😦

    Nineteen ninety-three was a year of change in our cat population. First I found JJ along the side of the road and brought her home “temporarily.” Then, Semmi, the most majestic-looking cat I ever hope to own, was murdered with a small-caliber gun, and in my grief, the next weekend I followed a “free kittens” sign to my most-beloved cat, Molly.

    She had been with us only a few months and was still in her kittenhood, probably technically a cat-teen, when we discovered her amazing talent: like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Molly could defy gravity and fight foes in mid-air. Like a Honey Nut Cheerios mini-beach ball.

    Back in the old days, toys sometimes actually came in cereal boxes and we didn’t have to send away for them. The beach ball was one such toy. The kids were casually batting it around when Molly went into hyperdrive and leapt to the attack. Leapt, as in gravity-defying heights.

    So the game was on. For some weeks, several times a day, the kids would post themselves at either end of the hall and bat the ball back and forth; Molly, between them, would leap and twist and contort in her efforts to attack the ball, and she would play this game until she was exhausted. We took a number of photos — this is the best — and some video (which is somewhere in this house…). After a few weeks, she lost interest in the beach ball, as teenagers do. They grow up, find new interests, and move on.

    The old TV has been replaced twice over, the nasty carpet ripped out years ago, the son now property of the USMC, but Molly and I are still here keeping each other company, both a little too sluggish and creaky to chase after inflatable balls, but still here. And so are the memories.

    (RIP Molly…)

  34. RedSonja

    Oh lord. Where to start? Especially since tonight I spent the evening with my new zoo coworkers, and heard some GREAT stories!!!

    KarateMonkey wanted me to tell this one…. I was working at an emergency/critical care vet hospital on the overnight, and we were rounding on all our cases. One of them was a cat who was constipated, and we had given him an enema. As we were talking about the case next to him, he climbed into his litter box, began to strain, let out an ENORMOUS yowl as he passed some ginormous stool — and fell over DEAD.

    We got him back, but KarateMonkey loves the story of the cat who shat himself to death.

  35. Here in Costa Rica the climate is very temperate – houses have no heating, air conditioning or insulation; basically, there’s no need to seal a building to the extent that they do in harsher climates.

    It is therefore not uncommon for a cat to find its way into the crawlspace under the roof of a house.

    When my husband was a boy, a cat got into the crawlspace and then managed to step on a loose ceiling tile and fall *through* the ceiling…right into the fish tank.

  36. RedSonja

    And this didn’t happen to me, but is too damn funny not to share.

    One of the techs I work with used to work at a hospital that also did medical research. Some of their subjects were baboons. The night before procedures, they would take the baboons up from the basement (where they lived) to the 10th floor, where all the scanners were.

    One day, they go to take up two baboons. Each of the guys working thought the other one had locked down the elevator, so that it wouldn’t run. So they wheel the one baboon’s cage into the elevator, turn around to grab the other one, and — there are the elevator doors, sliding closed….

    OH SHIT!!! One of them runs up the stairs to head off the elevator, while the other one stays in the basement in case the elevator returns. As the first guy makes it up to the first floor, he spins around the corner into the hallway the elevator opens onto, just in time to see a (VERY CONFUSED!) woman looking into the elevator, pointing. He says “Ma’am, are you okay?” She replies “Monkey — in the elevator!”

    In the meantime, the other guy is in the basement, watching the elevator’s locator light bounce all over the hospital – 2, 7, 4, 9, 3… Since the baboons had ridden the elevators so many times before, they knew that the buttons were meant to be pushed. A LOT.

    It took about an hour to catch up with the elevator-riding baboon.

  37. Reba

    I can’t think of anything particularly strange that happened, but my dog impressed the hell out of me when she got out last summer. I was chasing her down in my car (because she’s a husky and can totally outrun me on my best day and she likes it when I drive her “pace car” until she tires out). When she slowed down, I got out of the car to open a door for her but instead she leapt into the air, executed a flying somersault (8.2 from the Russian judge) and came to her feet with a rabbit in her mouth. I’ve had a lot of dogs chase them, but that was the first time I’d ever seen one caught. Some guy started yelling at me but the guy on whose lawn this had happened shut him up by thanking Bear for protecting his garden. Please don’t feel too bad for the rabbit, there are 57,432 where that came from; we’re surrounded by fields.

    Oh, and it took me another fifteen minutes of chasing her down on foot to get her to drop the rabbit and come home. Then my husband had to go to my friend’s house and get the dead rabbit off her lawn.

  38. lucizoe

    Reba, that was awesome. I bet she was pleased with herself.

  39. pilotweed

    ok, I have a couple…

    When I was about 14, a friend of mine and I were out in the woods far behind my house(I grew up on a farm). We smoked some pot and then just sat around lounging on some old growth type trees that had fallen over years ago. I heard a branch snap, looked over at my friend and here was a deer coming at me. I didn’t move, and it came over, stood in front of me and tried to sniff my shirt. It then sauntered off with me and my equally astonished friend just staring. Deer are notoriously scent aware. We were shocked it came up to me and then didn’t bolt after it smelled me.

    The next was when I was about 12. My dad hunted raccoon with dogs. Usually this is done at night as raccoon are nocturnal. I was with my dad one night hunting with a kid who was the same age as me and the son of one of my dads friends. The dogs started barking like they found the trail of a raccoon. It kept getting closer and closer(the barking), until it was nearly next to me and this kid. Next thing we know, there is a 50 pound raccoon chasing after us! We were in a corn field, and began running down the rows. At the last second we both drove for opposite rows to avoid being run over by the huge raccoon and powerful “coon hounds”. To this day mt dad laughs about how I nearly got eaten alive by dogs and raccoon. Just for the record….I think hunting this way is barbaric and I despise it.

  40. lucizoe

    Ah, I’m remembering more now. My parents’ house has two chimneys, neither of them are currently functional, nor are they covered or blocked. As a result, every so often a rodent or bird will find its way down the chimney to flop around in the stove and scare the crap out of everyone until it’s let into the house, it’s path to the outside determined via pillow piles and makeshift barricades. Once a squirrel misinterpreted the path and wound up deeper in the house. In my closet, in fact, on the top shelf, chattering loudly. Poor thing was terrified.

    Meanwhile the dogs were locked upstairs, which is probably just as well. The only time my dog was confronted with a mole – when we tipped it out of the birdseed tub, where it was happily feasting – she let it wander outside right between her legs. It even paused for a second right under her belly while she looked at us, confused by our behavior, oblivious to the prey nonchalantly strolling below. She’s really very smart, usually.

  41. I had a pet goat named Caligula when I was a tween. I raised him from infancy, he lived in our house until winter was over. We lived in a small rural town, but we were about a mile from a Cumberland Farms market, so during the summer, we would walk down the Cumby’s to get a soda or an ice cream – and Caligula would come with me, as obedient as a service dog.

    My basset hound and I were out for a walk once, and he ran way ahead of me and came charging back – and I realized there was something in his mouth. It was a mouse tail hanging out – when he got to me, he was so proud of himself, he put the mouse down – and the mouse ran off. (I told my BIL, who has a lot of hound experience, that story, and he said it must have been very embarrassing for the mouse to share that story later on “guys, you’ll never believe what caught me today!”)

    I also have a bat story that I’ve repeated several times, but I’m really the one who comes off as odd in that, the bat seems perfectly normal.

    Our younger cat, Madouc, has a rubber ball that she plays with. She carries it in her mouth to the top of the stairs, drops it, and chases it. She can do this for an hour or more. I swear to FSM, one time it bounced into a pocketbook, and she reached in with her two front paws and picked it up.

    My dog is afraid of one of the cats in our neighborhood, and if that cat is out when we’re out for a walk, he crosses the street.

    And our older cat, Caz, comes with me and the hound when we go for a walk. I wish someone would get a picture of it because it is so damn cute.

  42. mamajane

    We live in the woods, and see deer, coyote, raccoons, and various small varmints on a daily basis. We have bald eagles nesting in one of our doug firs. There’s been a lot of new construction on the island these last couple of years, and the coyotes are getting rather bold, often appearing out in the open, in broad day light. Last summer, on a Saturday afternoon, as we were getting into the car for an outing, a pair of them walked right up into our front yard, stopped, and looked at us, very nonchalantly, as if to say “why yes, we do live here, and we may just eat your cats and chickens, but what exactly are you going to do about it? ” They then calmly walked away. We, of course, were shared shitless, stunned into silence until we were half way down the road, when Hubby-poo and I both let out a big gasp.

  43. Fritz

    I forgot about the ladybug invasion of 2005.

    I woke up one morning and found a large, dark mass clinging to one of the beams of my livingroom ceiling.

    As I got closer, I could tell it was a swarm of insects. I immediately thought “BEES!”

    But, as I got near, I saw that it was a swarm of ladybugs. Thousands of them. They were all bunched together and moving very slowly. There were hundreds of others flying around the room.

    I learned the following about ladybugs:

    1) They release a stinky smell when handled.
    2) Thousands of ladybugs smell very bad.
    3) Ladybugs can bite!
    4) Ladybugs will dive into a torchiere and smell like burnt popcorn when they burn — they pop, too.

    I had to put on rubber gloves and scoop the ladybugs into a Ziplock container. They flew everywhere and I continued to find ladybugs in the house for months. I bet I could still find a couple right now.

  44. William K. Wolfrum

    Please don’t feel too bad for the rabbit, there are 57,432 where that came from; we’re surrounded by fields.

    lol…Well, they do breed like rabbits for a reason.

    I had a pet goat named Caligula when I was a tween

    Fantastic name.


  45. pilotweed


    Are you sure it wasn’t Asian Beetles? They are eerily similar to ladybugs, they stink and bite. Just a thought. We have been dealing with these in MN for a few years now.

  46. Reba

    My old cat, Boromir, decided to walk off into the sunset a little over a year ago. He was barn cat stock and had lived the cat version of a biker’s life so when it was time to shuffle off the mortal coil he was going to do it without any help from us, thankyouverymuch. I figured that he was leaving when he was nice to everyone for almost a solid week. Damned fine cat, but not the friendliest.

    Well, apparently he stopped on his way to the fields and had a little conversation with one of the town strays. “Kid,” he said, “keep your eye out for my old lady. She’ll let you live your life on your own terms but she’ll feed ya good and let you sleep on the bed and pet you when you’re in the mood instead of when she is. If you run into her, be really nice, make sure she knows you want to go home with her and you’ll be set for life.”

    Why do I say this? Because last summer this young stray came with me for part of my walk every night. Nice cat, big, long haired, handsome. One night, the weather changed suddenly and in a matter of minutes, we were drenched. Cat (who some neighborhood kids had named Jack) looked up at me and very clearly informed me that it would be a damned fine idea if I would take him home so he could have a choice about going out in the rain. So I did. Damned if he doesn’t do everything that Boromir did. Well, except for killing racoons. And being really, really affectionate. Boromir chose well.

    And Maurinsky? Jack adopted Bear instantly and insists on coming on our walks every night, just like his predecessor.

  47. Fritz


    Thanks! I looked up the difference between the typical ladybug and the Asian lady beetle:

    How can I tell a multi-colored Asian lady beetle apart from the ladybugs (or lady beetles) most of us are familiar with in Michigan?

    This can be a little confusing because multi-colored Asian lady beetles are highly variable. While they all have the same shape they do not all share the same coloration and pattern of black dot marks. The color of their wing covers range from pumpkin-orange to mustard-yellow and even jet-black. They may have no black spots or as many as 20 of the ebony polka dots.

    Based on this description, I have to conclude that the insects in my house are, in fact, Asian lady beetles. They have the various colors listed, orange, yellow, and a dark brown in addition to the typical red with white and black spots.

    So, we’ve got them in California, too.

  48. Reba

    Fritz, those beetles also mark your house so others know hang out there. (Is that the bug equivalent of chalk horsing?) And, while you may not have this issue depending on where you live in CA, they go dormant in the winter, appearing dead, but revive in the spring – or so I’m told by the local farmers. They are capable of getting back out of your vaccuum cleaner, so if you’re going to suck them up, make sure you dispose of the bag right away. I have an abiding hatred of this invasive beetle, which was brought over to fight aphids – which it does – but has no natural predators here. They prefer the south side of houses and like light paint/siding better than dark.

  49. pilotweed

    Glad to be of assistance. What is shocking about these things is they are living year round in MN. They are really a nuisance. It used to be that exotic species couldn’t live here year round due to the cold winter temperatures. That is changing. My father used to think that global warming and climate change were a scam. Being a farmer he now sees many different things regarding climate change. His biggest rant to unbelievers in his community is “explain to me why here in MN we are having Arkansas winters?”

    Needless to say he has apologized to me for voting for Bush and actively tries to change minds in rural MN.

  50. sundry

    We used to have a cat – a sweet petite black cat named Black Susan. She was an inside cat.

    My daughter brought home a starving, scrawny yellow dog and begged to keep him. She was forever rescuing animals (still is). This dog was in really bad shape. I didn’t think he was going to make it. I told her that if he lived he could stay (but warned her that he would prolly die). To my great surprise, he not only lived, he THRIVED. *sigh* Soon he became a rather large, not very smart yellow dog named Stupid (we still have him).

    Winter came, and Stupid needed to be brought inside for the night. I was very concerned about how the dog was going to react to the cat, and vice versa. Silly me.

    We put stupid in the laundry room, which is unheated, so I left the door open so heat would circulate in there. Susan sauntered over and lay down about 15 ft. from the door of that room, narrowed her eyes and glared at the doorway. Stupid came to the doorway just as if he had been called. He looked at Susan happily, curiously. The two animals locked eyes and Stupid seemed to slowly shrink. Susan eventually moved closer and closer, never taking her eyes off of the dog. Stupid sank into the floor, I swear he was whimpering softly by the time it was over.

    After about a half hour Susan stood up and sashayed away. Stupid eventually crept further back into the laundry room. There were no inter-species problems. Stupid understood that Susan was the boss.

    As time went on the two animals became the best of friends. When Susan got sick and eventually died in 2004, Stupid was despondent (as was the entire family).

  51. My dogs hunt mice and rats who occassionally get into the house, which is amusing considering one is a 13 year old cockapoo and the other is a 3 year old Chihuahua. Both are fine dogs (If you treat a small dog like a dog and not a toy, they act like one. Who knew?), but seeing them suddenly go from snoozing on your feet on the couch to chasing a rodent into the other one’s jaws is very surprising. They’ve started bringing in small rabbits from the back acreage on my parent’s new house, and their neighbors next door, who have a good sized farm, are quite happy to hear this.

    On the lighter side of animal stories, my cousin had a finch fly into his mouth once. He was mowing a large field on a ride-on mower, and the finches were flying around him to scoop up the insects he was kicking up. One bird miscalculated its flight path and pop! Neither boy no bird were harmed, although they were both quite startled.

  52. donnah

    Years ago, my grandpa in West Virginia had a mixed breed dog, half German Shepherd and half wolf. He was a very peculiar color of reddish brown, like Georgia clay. He had yellow eyes, which made him even eerier. Most everyone was afraid of him.

    He was a scary-looking dog, but we kids knew he wouldn’t hurt us, and we played with him. He had a rather unpleasant habit of chasing down and killing small animals like squirrels, but he just couldn’t help it.

    One day he came home with a small copperhead snake hanging from his lower lip. It was dead, but had bitten Red and the venom had spread into his lip. My grandpa pulled the snake off and rinsed Red’s mouth with milk.

    Red survived the snakebite, but the nerves in his lower lip were dead. It hung down all of the time, showing his lower teeth, and reduced his fiercesomeness by about 97%. He had that comical look for the rest of his life.

  53. oddjob

    When I was eleven or twelve my family was taking a leisurely after dinner stroll along a bluff above the beach in New Jersey one evening during summer vacation. Down on the beach, many many feet away from us was a family with a dog and they all were playing fetch with a tennis ball (or some such), throwing it into the surf so the dog could retrieve it. I was still afraid of dogs at that point, but remember thinking what they all were doing looked like fun.

    Within moments of my reverie the dog snatched the latest toss out of the surf, charged out of the water, left the family charging at full speed towards the bluff. He ran up onto the bluff, turned left and ran at full speed straight for us.

    Not only did the dog run straight for us, he ran straight for me and dropped the ball at my feet, backed away into a play stance, and waited for me to pick up the ball and throw it………

  54. "Fair and Balanced" Dave

    We have two dogs: one with a Type A personality and one with a Type B personality.

    Try to guess which is which


  55. amish451

    I was 18, (that, was a very long time ago) washing my Black ’53 Studebaker on the driveway. I had just sprayed the rinse when, a very large Crow landed on the roof of my car directly in front of me and said, “HELLO”! Holy Shit, he spoke! That got my attention, I had a hose in my hand so I could explain why my Levi’s were wet ….about that time a neighbor kid called the crow by name, and the crow flew to his outstretched arm. Sure a pet, and I had been told crows can mimic, I just never expected it to be so in my face.

  56. oddjob

    I had to put on rubber gloves and scoop the ladybugs into a Ziplock container. They flew everywhere and I continued to find ladybugs in the house for months. I bet I could still find a couple right now.

    Apparently the quantities aren’t the same or something, but I’ve read before that in their native Japan when they decide to spend the winter with someone it’s regarded as a good omen. Years ago the USDA tried to establish these in this country to help control an exotic pest, but they didn’t take. IIRC, no one really knows when they arrived and established themselves.

  57. oddjob

    he became a rather large, not very smart yellow dog named Stupid


  58. my animal experiences have been cool and natural, for weirdness i have never been able to match my dealings with humans.

  59. Lisa

    Last year I was sitting on the couch reading, the dog curled up at my feet. We both hear a tiny scritch, scritch sound coming from the vicinity of the doggy door. Curious we get up and stroll over. Outside is a tiny little mouse jumping up and tapping the flap trying to come in the house. The dog just looked at the mouse, then me, and then the mouse. The mouse tried several more times, realized he couldn’t make and just turned around and scurried off. We never saw the wee beastie again.

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