"After watching a horror movie at a theater, Scot came home and entered his house. His cat is there, looking very anxious. From inside the house comes a ghastly shrieking howl; part-animal, part-banshee. This is followed by a loud crash of breaking glass as the sliding glass door in the back of his house shatters. Alex, the cat, freaks out and runs full bore into an unbroken part of the glass door and bounces off. He disappears into the shadows.
What the hell happened? It’s elementary, my dear Watson. When Scot is out, he leaves a window open a cat’s width for Alex to come into the house. The window is several feet off the ground. While at the movies, a raccoon entered through the window, scarfed cat food, and maybe was casing out the rest of the house when Scot walked in. The coon, scared by the sudden appearance of Scot, bolted for what looked like the outdoors but he was unfamiliar with the concept of glass. His thick skull smashed through the glass door and he escaped. No blood was found. Maybe the animal went to a local emergency room with a concussion. Alex, terrified by both raccoon and window crash, did exactly the same thing as the raccoon, only he was too small to break a window. He was found the next day; uninjured, but a little reluctant to come home. No raccoon was actually ever spotted in this incident, but a previous raccoon invasion made one these bandits the most likely suspect. "
An interesting aside is there is a family of birds, the nightjars, or caprimulgidae, who are (falsely) reputed to suck the milk of goats. Their name comes from the bird's habit of flying over herds of goats with their mouths open to feed on stirred-up insects. But I digress.
The existence or a "real" chupacabra has never been verified. They usually prove to be hideous-looking canids who, because of disease (often mange) or genetics, are lacking hair.
They remind me of nude mice, which are often used in medical research, because, in addition to being hairless, nude mice lack a thymus, a feature important in the study of cancer and the immune system. I propose that nude mice be renamed as "chupamousra." But I digress (again).
So, how can I be certain that the intruder was a raccoon and not a chupacabra? I never actually saw the animal and there was no blood to test, and although the incriminating paw prints strongly suggest it was actually a raccoon, it is possible, that it was BOTH. There are a few instances (see video below) of a reported chups that later on were proven to be hairless raccoons. I suppose, although I strongly doubt it, that it could have even been a small coyote, or even a "chupacoyote," (Yes, I made up that word too.) since there have been numerous documented cases of wild coyotes right here in West Seattle.
One further digression I'd like to make--my last, I promise--is that I often see fears expressed and propagated by the local news that getting bit by a raccoon in Washington state could lead to a series of painful rabies vaccinations. It is my hope that the local medical establishment realizes that rabies, according to the Washington State Department of Health, for reasons I don't understand, is not endemic to the local raccoon population, although it has been found in bats.
Anyhow, one of the puzzling aspects of the "hideous yowling destructo-animal incident" is the paradoxical behavior of my cat. What was Alex thinking when he tried to bash his brains out on the adjacent window pane? I can think of several possibilities: 1) Ego. That is, "This stupid raccoon thinks he can breakout at will, well I can too." Alex apparently was unaware of Newton's Laws of Motion, i.e., F=MA. He might have had the acceleration, but probably not the mass of the putative raccoon, thus not enough force to break the window; 2) Anger. Maybe, he thought, particularly since this bastard ate all his food, that with this human backing him up, he could kick the raccoon's ass; 3) My favored interpretation, confusion and stupidity. Although Alex was a very intelligent cat, he was just a cat--and cats can definitely be stupid. He seemed to recover fully from the ordeal--and so did I--although it cosy me about $400 to repair the window. Alas, ten years after adopting me, Alex disappeared, I'm almost certain that he's in cat heaven now. Unfortunately, supposedly cats don't go to heaven--but that's hard to prove. Below are a couple of pictures of Alex, chupacabra ass-kicker. Come to think of it, he was a pretty big cat!
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