Al-Qaeda Mice?

Mice are simply a fact of life on a ranch. It’s not a matter of if you’ll have them–it’s a matter of how well you can keep them under control. Our secret weapon is a little firebrand Calico we like to call Sammie. She is our only indoor-outdoor cat–all the others are indoors only.

Apparently the mice in our area are members of the Al-Qaeda rodent division (wait, isn’t that redundant?). This is the only way I can explain the unspeakable torture that Sammie inflicts upon these creatures before finally killing them. I can only guess that she is extracting crucial intelligence data on impending terror attacks from them. I mean, she the feline answer to Jack Bauer.

She is extremely patient in her work. She’ll sit or lie in wait for long periods of time in an area where she suspects the enemy to be hiding. When one finally comes out of hiding, she pounces on it and picks it up with her mouth. The tooth punctures inflict mortal wounds upon the mouse.

However, as I mentioned, she doesn’t finish it off right away. She’ll then drop it back on the ground. The wounded mouse will struggle and try to escape. If it gets too far away, she’ll attack again and inflict more wounds.

After awhile, it may get a foot or two away, but then stop. The injuries are just too severe. Once the mouse stops moving, Sammie will go over and bat at it with her paw to wake it up. This cycle is repeated several times as she gleans more and more data to help prevent the next big mouse terrorist attack. After a several cycles of torture, the mouse finally succumbs to its injuries. Then it’s on to the next victim.

Thanks to the great patriot Sammie for protecting our freedom and way of life from the Al-Qaeda mice.

Boise: A Terrorist Target?

According to a recent study of 132 urban areas in the United States, Boise, Idaho is the 10th most vulnerable to a bio-terrorist attack. The study was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and headed up by University of Arizona mathematics professor Walter W. Piegorsch. Boise was the only city west of Texas to make the top 10 list. That’s right, cities like Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles are not considered highly vulnerable–at least according to this study.

The three factors considered in the study included social aspects, natural hazards, and the construction of the city. What’s important to realize is that this study measured the vulnerability of cities to attacks–not the probability.

Boise has three large dams upstream. 2 of them are earth-filled: Lucky Peak and Anderson Ranch; Arrowrock is concrete. With the Boise River running through the heart of the city, the failure of these dams (whether intentional or accidental) could devastate the downtown district of the city and many surrounding cities.

The metro area is largely surrounded by federal- and state-owned lands that are composed of mostly grasses and sagebrush that are quite vulnerable to wildfires during the summer months.

While most agree that a terrorist attack in Boise is not likely, local officials are rightly taking the report seriously. They plan on discussing the findings with the authors of study and the FBI.