March 18, 2009

The mystery of the furry skull in the barn.

DSC00032

50 comments:

m00se said...

That would be a cat...

thirdresponder said...

Really? Sorta looks like a possum to me.

thirdresponder said...

Although the behavior is cat-like: climbing. In a barn.

David said...

Raccoon.

The Drill SGT said...

look at the claws, not the pelt.

Raccoon

AllenS said...

I could be a shrunken head made by the Shuar tribe of the Amazon.

Kylos said...

Not a cat. Legs too short. I'm thinking thirdresponder has got it right.

traditionalguy said...

You have had a meetup with Pogo.

The Drill SGT said...

Not an Opossum. Every one I ever saw had naked pale flesh colored toes/claws

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's really Titus' pet racoon.

KLDAVIS said...

A Rare Cuscus?

garage mahal said...

Definitely a raccoon. Possums have white rat-like tails, and it's hard to get a glimpse of a possum during daylight. I almost tripped over one the other night emptying some trash. Ugly mofo's.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Looks racoon.

Since the misty eyed animal lovers messed up the fur markets, racoon hunters have largely retired.

This leaves hoards of racoons, many of which die an ugly death under the wheels of cars. The rest are property vandals.

Bring back the racoon coat - now!

The Drill SGT said...

I forgot about the tail, Garage. Matches my claw comment though. naked flesh colored tails as well.

garage mahal said...

Drill Sgt
Yea sort of pinkish flesh color, and they have opposable thumbs. The one I seen didn't even run away when I almost stepped on it, just sorta lumbered along. Weird animals, but they're good for gardens and I've heard they almost never get rabies for some reason.

AllenS said...

The picture is so dark, I can't really tell what it is. If everyone thinks that it's a possum, be careful, it might not be dead, but it simply could be playing possum.

traditionalguy said...

Davy Crocket's hat left over in the barn from childhood. This new man friend of the Professor mut be older than we thought.

peter hoh said...

I'm gonna say cat.

Original Mike said...

Racoon.

peter hoh said...

Can we move on to an argument about the proper name for that 12-tined implement in the center of the lower third of the photo?

amba said...

It's a big-ass rat, people.

LarsPorsena said...

If it's a rat ,that place is a stud farm for rats. That's the Secretariat of rats.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Opossum. Raccoons would have a bigger gradations of coloring from top to bottom (at least the 'coons in my area) and longer hair on the backs. The coloring is too grey to be a Raccoon.

Amy said...

Blogger peter hoh said...

Can we move on to an argument about the proper name for that 12-tined implement in the center of the lower third of the photo?

Back in the Hoosier state we used to call them manure forks. YMMV.

peter hoh said...

There's a long list of things this animal cannot be. Panda. Elephant. Bald Eagle. Rainbow trout.

Opossum is also on that list.

I'm sticking with cat. Raccoons don't usually let people get that close, unless they have been habituated and are used to receiving treats from people. If that were the case, this creature would be waiting for a handout, not turning away.

The problem is that the tail is moving faster than the shutter speed. Taking that into account, I don't think the tail is thick enough to be a raccoon tail.

YMMV, of course.

LordSomber said...

Chupacabra. But he's playing 'possum.

peter hoh said...

Amy, it's not unreasonable to call that a manure fork. I'm pretty sure that if you asked a dozen farmers, you'd get at least 6 different names for that fork.

I have a 10-tine version with a medium length, D handle. It's excellent for scooping mulch.

The Drill SGT said...

Out west, we called a straight handle 6-8 tine the manure fork.

the D handle 12 tine was a silage fork

peter hoh said...

Drill Sgt, I call it a silage fork, too. I bought mine from a company in Iowa. They call it an ensilage fork.

Tomato, tomahto.

Meade said...

I agree with Peter about the cat (ratty barn cat) and the fork. For the real strong forker who needs to really fork some forkable forkage, I would recommend a forkin' scoop fork from Piqua, Ohio. Them folk know their forks.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL Meade,

They may know forks but they can't count.

their 12 tine fork has 10 tines :)

Meade said...

Uh oh. SGT did the forkin' math.

peter hoh said...

More questions. Is that a D-handle fork or a straight handle? Is there some sort of peg on which it hangs or is the handle resting on the floor?

Michael Hasenstab said...

There was a beaver in the barn. Don't forget that part.

Original Mike said...

I'm sticking with cat. Raccoons don't usually let people get that close, unless they have been habituated and are used to receiving treats from people.

I get that close to racoons in the backyard of my near west side Madison backyard all the time. If I got any closer, they'd scat, but they are pretty fearless. In fact, they've hissed at me more than I've threatened them.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Mike

Look at the back claws. Those are climbing claws from a raccoon IMHO, not flat small cat claws

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Look at the back claws. Those are climbing claws from a raccoon IMHO, not flat small cat claws

Absolutely. NOT a cat.

Opossum

or Raccoon I've changed my mind seeing other species elsewhere are less striped than the ones in my yard raiding the garbage can.

But definitely NOT a cat.

howzerdo said...

I call it a pitch fork, although I have heard manure fork as well. Regardless, it would safer to store it tines down.

m00se said...

Sorry, kids. Used to have a pet racoon, and that ain't a racoon. Thats a blurry tabby.

Racoons have more defined markings and all black feet. And the tail is too smoothly curled for a racoon's.

Original Mike said...

Drill Sgt. - I'm agreeing with racoon. The italacized lead-in was a quote I was responding to. I should have stripped the first sentence out.

Joan said...

It's the same color as the raccoons I'm familiar with from Massachusetts woods, and the feet/legs are the right shape for a raccoon, too. The opossums I've seen have all been smaller, paler, and less furry, but that photo that DBQ linked to looks pretty close to Ann's photo.

I'm still going with raccoon. Definitely not a cat.

peter hoh said...

Okay, time for wagers. I say cat. If I'm wrong, I'll hang my head in shame. I'm open to ideas for tangible things that might be waged.

Keeping in mind what Sky Masterson's pop told him:
One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand there, you're going to wind up with an ear full of cider.

Alcuria said...

"Can we move on to an argument about the proper name for that 12-tined implement in the center of the lower third of the photo?"

That's not a manure fork, but an ensilage fork, used to pitch hay or corn silage.

BJM said...

I have to go with cat too, raccoons usually have black feet and prehensile toes ( no accounting for a mutant 'coon).

Barns/stables=cats, lots of cats.

My tabby's feet and legs are much the same color and shape. It looks as if the cat is in a prejump crouch, thus the foreshortening effect of the legs. This is a pose I've observed in my cats for years.

traditionalguy said...

I bet the price of one Cincinnati 5way chili at the diner of your choice that the Gray furry animal in the picture is a RACCOON, or it's a cat that has had foot replacement surgery.

BJM said...

Traditionalguy: Great hedge! You should be on Wall St.

peter hoh said...

Traditional Guy, mind if I borrow against that hedge?

David said...

Only Althouse knows for sure.

Tell us, Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

It's a cat.