Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Members of the Kingdom Animalia of Which I'm Not Particularly Fond

I hate mountain lions. Whether you call them pumas, panthers, or cougars, I still hate them. I don't like BYU very much either, and their mascot is the cougar. Perhaps it's more than just coincidence. Though I'm not rabid in this regard, I'm not fond of hunting as a sport. It was different when people needed to hunt in order to survive, and for some that remains the case, and so I give those people a pass. Anyway, since people who don't need to kill in order to sustain themselves are going to hunt whether I like it or not, I wish they would hunt mountain lions. Perhaps the mountain lions would win some of the battles and the hunters would win others, keeping the numbers of each to a more tolerable level. By the way, I read somewhere (if it was on the Internet, then it had to be true, right?) that mountain lions resemble the common household cat more closely in terms of DNA than they resemble any of the other large breeds of cats, which makes me think twice about having a cat as a pet.

I despise opossums almost as much as I hate mountain lions. If you ever have a chance to do so, examine an opossum really closely. I was responding to someone else's blog about this very subject. To me, it seems as though opossums ooze evil from every single pore of their ugly bodies. If God created all the animals that ever inhabited the Earth, Satan was helping Him when He came up with a few of them -- particularly mountain lions and opossums.

I hate ants. Grizzly bears need them so that they can have formic acid in their diets. I'm willing to start a charity to provide the world's population of grizzly bears with formic acid supplements if we can get rid of ants. I hate mosquitoes about as much as I hate ants. I know frogs like them, but there are other bugs frogs could eat. Somehow I just don't think all the frogs in the world would cease to exist if we were successful at eliminating mosquitoes from the planet.

Finally, I absolutely detest head lice. I probably wouldn't particularly care for body lice or pubic lice, either, but I've heard less about them. As far as I know, no one I've ever met has ever been infested with body lice or pubic lice. Head lice are quite another matter. When I was in elementary school, it seems like we'd have an outbreak of the stupid pediculus humanus capitis at least once each school year. My brother and I managed somehow never to contract the pesky little bugs in our hair, but just the thought of it must have taken years off my eventual life span. When I get really stressed out, I still sometimes think I have head lice. I used to beg my mother to wash my hair with that lice shampoo stuff when i was little because if someone even said the word lice , that's all it would take to convince me I had them.

The sad thing about lice is that, in theory, they could be eradicated just like smallpox was thought to be until it was learned that someone saved a testube full of the stuff. I'm somewhat of an expert on the subject of head lice because when second graders had to write insect reports, I wrote a most in-depth study on pediculus humanus capitis. Once a nit hatches and becomes a nymph, it has a limited number of hours (roughly five) to get to a human host and feed, or it will not survive. If everyone in the world would use lice shampoo simultaneously and for about three weeks do all the cleaning procedures that go along with ridding one's premises of lice, pediculus humanus capitis would cease to exist on the planet. The problem is that people barely eking out an existence in third-world countries, even if they had the lice shampoo in their possession, probably wouldn't see the importance of using it and doing everything else to rid the planet of lice.

If I ever become truly a lady of leisure, in addition to starting a charity to supply grizzly bears with formic acid supplements, I'll start a foundation that would provide everyone in the world with pediculicide shampoo and at the same time educate them as to the need to clean their domiciles thoroughly to rid the world of nasty head lice. We could have a World-Wide Lice-Out Month, just like the Protestants have Worldwide Communion Sunday and Jerry Lewis has his muscular dystrophy telethon. Don't both of those sound like great ideas?


  1. We had lice outbreaks at the group home regularly. Between school and new kids arriving, it was a nightmare. I can't even go into detail of all that is required because it would be a blog in itself, just know I share your hatred of them.
    We might have a mountain lion on our property. She has been heard growling at the worthless dogs, (they're worthlessness has nothing to do with the mountain lion) and her paw prints have been found, but she has not been seen so we don't know for sure what she is. We do know she's a big cat though. We'll see if she makes herself known again.

  2. If you want to see my StepDad get dramatic about something, ask him about the time my step sister, Kimberly had head lice. He'll tell you how he spent 3 weeks shampooing her head, changing her bed sheets and picking strings of lice eggs out of her hair. Ewwww!! I agree that they are a pain. Luckily, like you and your brother, my brother and I have escaped lice free for our entire lives, too.

    I also agree that opossums are ugly. Not sure what their point in life is. At least, as you pointed out about ants (which was interesting, by the way. I didn't know that!) they have a point.

  3. Becca, i know where you're coming from. My mom's best friend's son got lice, and it was a major ordeal getting rid of them. her husband was initially no help ecause he thought she ws just being OCD about it, but his friends who had been through it told him the truth, which is that if you don't go practically manic for close to a month and do all of that stuff religiously, you'll end up being a chronic lice household and practically have to have your house tented or move and buy all new clothing and furniture to get rid of the nasty creatures.

  4. We were visited by a large black cat, once. And I mean HUGE!

    What happened was that I was sat with our white Persian cat in the living room late one evening, with the curtains on the French windows open. My wife had already retired to bed.

    Suddenly, a large black shape bounded down the back garden path and flung itself at the class of the double doors! It did it a second time, then suddenly turned tail and ran back up the path, leaping over the fence into the car parking area beyond.

    At the same time as this happened, our little Persian cat screamed in fear (I think I joined in with my own scream!) and bounded up the stairs.

    My wife shouted out: "What was that noise?!" She then screamed: "Oh my God! That cat's gone mad! He has just started pi**ing on the bed!!"

    I shouted up the stairs, as I followed the cat: "Don't blame him! We have both had a bit of a fright!"

    A panther had been seen in the area a number of times, probably escaped from an illegal private collection.