Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricanes, animals & questions

Before hurricane Irene blew through, I thought Harry and Billy seemed a little anxious, seeming to stay closer to us than usual. But I don’t know how indoor cats typically react to big storms – if there’s any “typical” about it.

Outside, though, for a few hours before the heavy rain started, I saw no birds or squirrels, causing me to wonder whether they were somehow, somewhere hunkered down for safety, and to hope that was so.

As for wild animals, all I could do was wonder whether they can tell when a biggie’s coming – and if, so, what they can do about it. For instance, where do deer go in a hurricane?

Evidently, some wild animals didn’t survive the storm: a radio host the morning after mentioned seeing “animal carcasses” on his drive to work. Happier news came in Sunday’s Trenton Times with a reference to Atlantic County residents “with dogs, cats and luggage” heading for shelter at Trenton’s Sun National Bank Center.

Today's paper had “Views from the state,” including a photo of a deer wading through floodwaters and another pix of National Guard members moving cats and dogs to a shelter.

Three other survivors: a creepy-crawly that quickly moved out and away from under the umbrella stand when it was repositioned, and two sizeable centipedes or millipedes – thousand-leggers! – who had taken shelter in the furled up deck umbrella. They too went on their way.

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