An interesting animal I had
Chase accompanying me on the couch
I’ve had a number of pets over the years (mostly lizards, frogs, and fish), but the most “interesting” animal I’ve ever kept is one of the cats that has been living in my apartment since this time last year. Born in 2000, Chase the cat was born to a feral mother but taken in by a large family who were friends of the woman who was later to become my wife. In 2005, when I came into the picture and visited the family now and then, I would find Chase and pet him for a little while, although it seemed Chase was a little neurotic. Eventually the family got a poodle, and the poodle decided it liked to play with Chase (I don’t think I need to tell you how Chase felt, being swatted at by a big black dog), and something had to change. So my wife and I took Chase in, but he’s definitely a strange cat . I’m the only person he is affectionate towards, so if his food bowl is empty while my wife is home he won’t let her know, but the moment I walk in the door he runs to his food bowl and starts crying. If you ever meet me, you’re likely to see little white hairs all over my clothes despite my best attempts to remove them, as well; Chase sheds nearly constantly, to the point where I wonder why he’s not bald by now. Chase also enjoys foods I didn’t think any cat liked; he’ll eat watermelon, grapes, and duct tape (although I’ve prevented this whenever he’s tried). He also licks windowsills for fun and likes to stand in front of the AC at night, but to prevent myself from going into a long post about my cat’s strange behavior Chase is definitely the most interesting animals I’ve ever had.
An interesting animal I ate
Do all the spiders I’ve probably eaten in my sleep count? My family was not especially interested in exotic dishes, so meat usually equaled chicken, turkey, or beef (sometimes fish). I did try escargot once, but the most interesting animal I’ve ever eaten will probably be a mystery to me (it was likely found inside a hot dog casing).
An interesting animal in the Museum
Just one? At the moment I would pick Amphicyon, one of the “bear dogs” of the Oligocene-Miocene (many being found in North America). I have another picture, which is unfortunately on another computer, of the skeleton caught in the light of a fading winter day, the light glinting off the teeth of the specimen pictured below. As some others have mentioned in previous comment threads, there’s little doubt that skeletal remains of this animal gives a few children nightmares.
The crushing jaws of Amphicyon.
An interesting thing I did with or to an animal
Two summers ago I went to Ocean City, Maryland with Tracey to go shark tagging. Although I was seasick for most of the trip, I did catch a juvenile Dusky Shark that I helped to tag and release. Hopefully I’ll have some more interesting animal encounters in the future that are a bit less traumatic for the creature.
An interesting animal in its natural habitat
I actually haven’t seen that many exciting animals in their “natural habitat.” Growing up in suburbia, squirrels, chickadees, white-tailed deer, and the occasional opossum or raccoon were the most I could hope for. Even now, most of the wildlife I photograph is confined to zoos, but I definitely want to see as many of the big cats as possible in the wild. Actually, one of my goals is to get to the Okovango Delta in Botswana, either to study or to merely photograph and observe, as I’m very much interested in how populations of animals there differ from populations elsewhere in Africa. Maybe someday…