Nearly a week after Critter Invasion 2010 , I am disappointed to report my traps are still empty. TrapperJohn has checked them vigilantly almost every day, and hopefully, he escaped back into The Wild (the critter, not Trapper John). I have come home to a giant bunny in the yard every night -- I accidentally paralyze him with the headlights -- but I don't think he's what was living inside my ceiling, unless rabbits have mutated considerably.
Aside from that, several people sent me links to the big CNN story in the following days about Trappers catching an 800 pound gator in Florida. That was one of the few things I'd ruled out. I rarely do this (if I did, I'd never get any work done), but I followed one of the links down the rabbit hole. For whatever reason, I never landed on the actual story -- just the comment threads.
I thought 800 pounds didn't seem that big for an alligator, but then I don't know what sort of trap they caught him in. If it was a mousetrap, 800 pounds would be a lot. The big news seemed to be that once caught, he was shot, and that seemed to provoke a lot of outrage. (Again, I don't know what the normal procedure is for dispatching an 800 pound gator, but I assume it's more complicated than what I used to do with the mice that ended up in the Iams bag, which was to relocate them to the park. I'm not a fan of the "humane" traps, because it seems to me that walking through a door that slams shut behind you, so you can be plunged into total darkness while you beat your brains out against the walls would drive an average mouse batshit crazy. I don't know about an 800 pound gator.)
My favorite comment, hands down was, "I agree with Itchey." (Unfortunately, I was never able to trace back to see what it was "Itchey" had said.)
Another commenter suggested that he hadn't seen any children traumatized by the gator-shoot, just a bunch of adults who could, as far as he was concerned, move to Canada if they didn't like gators.
Another reasonably pointed out that this is just what happens when we "two-legged critters" move into wild animal territory and leave them less habitat.
That reminded me of my favorite episode of Six Feet Under, Ecotone -- it's probably best remembered as "the one where Nate dies" -- but it isn't titled that, for obvious reasons. I also think of it as the one where I first heard the term ecotone, a transition zone between two environments, basically (where you get cougars, for example, mauling hapless joggers who pause to check their pulse). It also made me wish I had a job writing the imdb summaries, because of great lines like "Claire is accompanied the whole time by Ted, so she respects him despite the fact that he's Republican," (although I think Nate is sent to Saint Bridget and not Saint Bridger, but it's possible all this time, I could've been hearing it wrong.)
Anyway, that's where I live now. I've moved back to The Ecotone -- with bunnies in my yard and critters in my attic, which might or might not turn out to be Cougars.