Monday, June 15, 2009


My cat Neko is playing with a dead etruscan shrew.

1- how the fuck did an etruscan shrew get in my house????
2- are there more where that came from?
3- is she going to eat it?
4- it's dead. was it poisoned or chomped?
5- when do I take it away from her.



Green-Eyed Momster said...

I've never even heard of one before. I'm off to Google it!


Green-Eyed Momster said...

I didn't know you lived in Southern Asia! LOL...???



Thump Thump Eyes said...

Well, watch out if there are more, because I think they have a poisonous bite.....and i don't think they should be in the US WTF!

Maybe they're lost or something, they've come a long way to get to your place, must have wanted to see you (but not your cat) bummer that they met the cat first...

Richard said...

LOL, there are lots of types of shrews all over N.America. Yours is certainly not Etruscan, which refers to Etruria, a region roughly corresponding to Tuscany in W. Italy (not really S. Asia).

Yours has a longish tail and is likely the Masked or Smoky Shrew Sorex cinereus There are a couple of other members of the genus Sorex in your area, but they are much less common. They are kind of cute if you see them in good condition, though their fleshy snouts show more in summer and can be a bit of a turn off.

Shrews are voracious little buggers. The worst being the Short-tailed Shrew, Blarina brevicauda. This is the shrew with the poisonous bite that TTEyes was wondering about. The bite is not as bad as is a bee sting to a human.

Depending on what source you are reading the saliva contains a combination of a neurotoxin and a protease (protein breakdown enzyme). The first causes paralysis, whilst the second damages proteins (kinins) circulating in the blood. It causes low blood pressure &/or weakness. Often the prey is not killed, and B. brevicauda will store it towards a low prey day.

Short-tailed shrews occur over about 1/4 of N.America (see range map). The Smoky Shrew is much more widespread, perhaps covering 2/3rds of N. America.

Short-tailed Shrews weigh only an ounce, but must eat that weight in food every day, 365 days a year. They must eat every two hours, even in winter, and are at risk of starvation within four hours!

400 lb tigers typically eat 20 lbs of meat a day. Imagine if they ate like shrews! The environmentalists would see that as a great natural cure for overpopulation of the Indian Subcontinent. If I was the size of a mouse or frog, and saw a Short-tailed Shrew coming, I bet I'd be Incontinent.

Poodles said...


Fiery said...

Thank you very much Poodles!!!!! :))

Tracey- At first, thought it was a mouse, but got close and it had a furry long weird snout, so ... not a mouse. Checked moles and vole pictures, nup, not one of those. So I tried googling "shrew" images. The only one that looked like what my cat had was the Etruscan one. WEIRD!!!!!!!

Thump- their bites are nasty things, ugh! This one was quite dead. Probably died of fright at my 2 enormous cats playing with it. Boy did they have fun. Right disappointed they were when I put the wee dead thing in the trash.

Thanks heaps Poodles!!!!!!! :)) Hey! You still looking for Janet Evanovich? I've got lots in. Let me know which titles you're interested in. Price is 1/5th the cover price and I've got paperbacks as well as hard covers. :))

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Happy Birthday to you too Fiery, hope you're having a great one :)

Joe said...

A little birdie told me it was your birthday. Have a bitchin one!

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Happy Birthday! Yesterday?