Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Groundhogs and Neutria Rats!

     Everyone knows the legend of Punxutawney Phil the weather forecaster. Tomorrow (Feb 2nd) this fat cuddly groundhog will come out of his burrow looking for his shadow just like he has been doing for the last 118 years.

   The real question is ... do you know the legend of Rocky the Neutria Rat? Well ... not exactly a legend but every February when I see new photos of Phil I am reminded of my dear friend Rocky! Notice the resemblance?

 

      I don't know if I've ever mentioned that my X husband was Cajun. Yep ... a Coonass. Don't worry, that was not meant as a derogatory remark, Brad like most Cajuns considers being called a Coonass a badge of honor or something.

     Living in a Cajun family for 17 years you can bet that I've got lot's of Bayou Country Stories to tell but for now back to Rocky. When Brad and I first met, I worked in a bar in the neighborhood where he and I both lived (New Iberia Louisiana). He had a pet raccoon named Hope, she was a beauty and I loved to stop by and visit with her.  Brad promised to try and catch me a baby raccoon of my own in the spring time, I was so excited.

     Imagine my surprise when he walks in that spring not with a baby raccoon but instead with a baby Neutria Rat! Ewwww ... you say? Nah ... he looked like a beaver had giant orange teeth, feet like a duck and a tail like a rat ... not exactly the raccoon I had hoped for but what the heck, it was love at first sight.

     My roommate Joe, built Rocky huge cage, he was so small that I had to feed him with a bottle. Later he ate tons and tons of veggies. Did that Coonass know the way to this Florida Girls heart or what? Giving me the Neutria was like an open invitation for him to stop by and see me any time he wanted to.

     I didn't really mind ... I was always an adventurous soul and he did exposed me to all things outdoors. We went hunting and fishing and trolling for shrimp ... we went frogging and camping, we went crabbing and canoeing and most of all we would go water-skiing. We were some water-skiing fools.

     Rocky went everywhere with us and was always a conversation starter, especially when we were water-skiing. It was one thing when he was little but even when he was full grown I would put him on my shoulder when I would ski and he would find his way up to the top of my head ... once I would fall in Rocky would circle around and around until I was ready to get back up and he'd swim right back on my shoulder. Those web feet were made for swimming, everybody loved Rocky!

     I could not put my hands on any photos of Rocky tonight, the ones above were borrowed from The Heartland Farms Website I hope they don't mind.

     For all of my friends in New England ... heres hoping old Punxsutawney does not see his shadow tomorrow, you've had more than your fare share of winter this year. I'll be staying tuned to your journals to find out what happens when all of that snow starts melting. Eeeek!!!!

     BTW ... sunny and near 80 degrees here in beautiful South Florida today!

                                        *** Coy ***  

    

19 comments:

ryanagi said...

Neutria rat...that is a new critter on me! I've never heard of them before. Cool!

babyshark28 said...

no snow here to speak of, and it already feels like spring.  bulbs are starting to come up.  maybe the groundhog wont see his shadow...no more winter.  that's how it works, right?  
of course, it's been such a bland winter that we don't even have a snow cap to give us all water in the hot days of summer.  that's right, drought.   a little worried about that right now....
anyway, enjoy the weather in Florida. :D

judypearllove said...

VERY INTERESTING I'M HOPING FOR A EARLY SPRING COME VISIT NEW ENTRY DURING MY DAYS OFF THIS WEEK

geminiwilder said...

wow, rocky must have been a neat little guy.  i never had such an adventurous pet!  well, once we had some ducks...they were neat.  thanks for the 'spring wishes'...no drought here.  i drove over the little river yesterday and noticed it's overflowing its banks already.  we had a HEATWAVE monday and tuesday, coy, it was THIRTY-FIVE!!  i threw off my jacket and shimmied in the sunshine!!!    w00t!!   :)   Phinney

sunnyside46 said...

a dognose day here,wet and cold. Hopes for spring,
Marti
http://journals.aol.com/sunnyside46/MidlifeMusings/

nanmm11 said...

lol lol Coy, you never cease to amaze and entertain with such colorful and true stories. I think you should start your own collection of short stories and publish them. As for our groundhog, I think he's buried and we won't be seeing him anytime soon. Our weather station has just informed us that they are watching another storm system coming this week-end!!! Old man winter is sure hanging out with us alot this year. thanks for the warming stories. Keep em comin. Bye,yall!!

nellemclaughlin said...

I had a white rat for a pet at one time, and a squirrel monkey when I was a teen. We always had dogs also and I once had a rabbit that lived outside. NO doubt I would have warmed up to the little guy too! Nelle

dababysback said...

Today. ground hogs day, it my daughters third birthday! I love ground hogs day.

And I had never heard of that rat before. Thanks for sharing.
http://journals.aol.com/dababysback/ReadAllaboutit/
shannon

jeanno43 said...

Well, that was certainly a different pet.  Thank you for telling us about him.  I have heard lots about Cajun cooking and how good it is.

dcmeyer420 said...

Nutria rats are delicacies in New Orleans, LA. I remember being served one in a stew. Don't worry, I did not eat any of it. Now, I'm doubly glad I did not try it or I will be feeling so guilty after reading about Rocky.    

sanforized6 said...

That was a "Rocky" story. Find those pictures, gotta see the "real" Rocky. Phil saw his shadow. Six more weeks! Ugh! rich

mutualaide said...

Well, who couldn't love a pet with a face like that?  Oh gosh...I'll be Rocky was just a blast!  Thanks for a great story.

plieck30 said...

Cute story about Rocky. Paula

suzypwr said...

Rocky sounds adorable! I don't think I ever knew anyone who had a pet neutria before, lol.
xoxo

judithheartsong said...

great entry. You make me smile. judi

deabvt said...

Yeaaa! Rocky!
Great story.
V

brimasta1 said...

Go Rocky!
http://journals.aol.com/brimasta1/BecomingaFirefighter/

Brian

sunflowerkat321 said...

I LOVED this story.  I'm imagining a girl whizzing by on skis with a rodent on her head.  That's NOT something you see every day....
:)

luvmort said...

Hmm...all I can think of is, we have got to get better mouse traps! LOL! I can't imagine having a Neutria Rat as a pet. The name almost sounds like some sort of new-fangled spa treatment, in some sort of twisted alternate universe. I am loving the whiskers, though. Umm...whatever happened to Rocky?