Stranger Fruit



is a marmot – essentially a giant squirrel – which eats grass, leaves, flowers, fruit, grasshoppers, and bird eggs. Apparently, they are overrunning Prosser (Wa), and people are worried about their pets: “Can you imagine what they’d do to cats?” asked resident Dick Bain.

Yes, Dick, I can. They’d do absolutely nothing to cats, they’re rodents. Even a capybara at 70 to 170 pounds wouldn’t take out a cat. Scheesh! Then again. there is one imaginary rodent that can take out any cat.



  1. #1 Sean Storrs
    May 31, 2006

    This reminds me of the killer rabbit scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “Run away! Run away!” Plus, it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for some development person in Hollywood to look at the report from AP and get the idea for “ Revenge of the Rodents, a Sci-Fi Original Movie…” 🙂

  2. #2 Dr. Free-Ride
    May 31, 2006

    Surely a marmot could hurt a cat by dropping on it from a sufficient height. (Choking is another option.)

  3. #3 outeast
    June 1, 2006

    ‘There’s more than one way to kill a cat than choking it with marmots’, you mean, Janat?

  4. #4 BigDumbChimp
    June 1, 2006

    When I used to live in WY I would make frequent climbing trips up into the Tetons. I can’t remember a single time when I had to stay over night on a climb or preparing for one where those damn marmots wouldn’t try to break into my tent and ransack the place home invasion style.

    Here is a small list of equipment I’ve lost to those over sized mountain gangster rats:

    One Teva sandal
    Two 9mm ropes
    multiple slings
    multiple food bags
    One copy of Hell’s Angels by Hunter S Thompson
    One Ice Axe Leash
    One Tent Fly (Un-patchable)
    One Tent (Patched)


  5. #5 John Lynch
    June 1, 2006

    > One copy of Hell’s Angels by Hunter S Thompson

    For some reason, the thought of marmots with Thompson amuses me greatly!

  6. #6 ArtK
    June 1, 2006

    It’s amazing how people can be afraid of an animal. DFW here in Calfornia is, apparently, terrified of ferrets. There are only two states where they are illegal and we’re one of them. DFW keeps citing unfounded “research” which talks about roving bands of chicken-killing feral ferrets (just to keep the alliteration alive.) The truth is, domesticated ferrets have a life-expectancy of about 3 days in the wild.

    Dr. Free-Ride: I now have an image of a marmot running up a wall and somersaulting to land on a cat — all in slow motion as the camera pans around the cat. “Crouching Marmot, Hidden Rodent.”

  7. #7 Jim Lippard
    June 1, 2006

    Robert Sullivan’s book _Rats_ says that rats can kill cats. And rat-vs-dog fights were common in NYC until the ASPCA got them banned (of course, that would be multiple rats vs. one dog).

  8. #8 John Lynch
    June 1, 2006

    I think rats have a slightly different “personality” to marmots. Kind of city-boy versus country-boy thing. Maybe I’m wrong 🙂

  9. #9 theRidger
    June 4, 2006

    If a cat were to attack a marmot, I wouldn’t want to bet on the outcome. But few cats would be that desperately hungry.

  10. #10 Scott Little
    June 4, 2006

    When I lived in Western Massachussetts, afamily of these guys lived under the house. One day we had the cats outside (very much indoor cats) on leashes just enjoying the sun. One of the marmots, half again as large as the cats, came around the corner and was very close to one of the cats. We thought, uh-oh, but decided to just see what happened. The marmot and the cat came nose to nose, sniffed each other slowly and carefully, then the marmot went on his merry way (over to the compoost pile I believe).

    Obviously those pesky Marmots are nothing but danger for our cats!!

  11. #11 Sean Storrs
    June 5, 2006

    Apparently, Washington State has nothing on India right now. You could say that ravenous rodents are rampaging in Rajpur< \a>.

  12. #12 Sean Storrs
    June 8, 2006

    This is my last rodent-related post, I promise. My aunt and I are particularly fond of word play and, to her, the initial AP story is a case of “masterful media manipulation of the ‘murderous, menacing, marauding’ marmots.”

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