Scott Hollifield

Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. and a humor columnist. Contact him at

A recent column about the criminal misadventures of an Alabama man who claimed to harbor a meth-fueled attack squirrel inspired several readers to point me in the direction of other animal-related news stories they believe I should spotlight.

At least one of those stories was not suitable for a family newspaper, unless it was a Manson family newspaper, but I appreciate the feedback nonetheless.

Here are a few of the offbeat stories from the animal kingdom I am able to share. Thanks to readers Vickie, Dan and El-Bone61 for the heads up.

Feline contract killers or “hit cats.” In our nation’s capital, an organization called the Humane Rescue Alliance offers businesses and homeowners the “perfect new hire for wherever pests interfere with your inventory in the greater DC metropolitan area. These cats are not house pets. They’re strictly business. And their business is solving your business’ rodent problem.”

Notice the alliance passed up the obvious cutesy line the “purr-fect new hire.” That’s because these kitty-cats are stone-cold killers.

“These cats are not social enough to live indoors as pets,” the alliance says in an online Q&A, but they “are not a threat to humans…”

Unless, of course, the price is right and then they will put that no good, stool pigeon son of — at the bottom of the Potomac wearing concrete shoes, capiche?

No, no, I added that last part. The Humane Rescue Alliance is definitely not a front for the mob. And they certainly aren’t threatening any of my family members to make me say that.

The Humane Rescue Alliance (again, not the mob) calls the program Blue Collar Cats. And, while that sounds like Larry the Cable Guy’s failed Saturday morning animated kids’ show, those who have used it testify to its brutal effectiveness when it comes to ridding a place of rodents.

“I haven’t seen a sign of rats in weeks,” Eva R. said on the alliance’s website. “Rats used to cross my deck at night - I’d like to see them try that now!”

Eva R.’s rat problem seems to be solved, but should she now be worried about…

Meth-gators. The news service AFP reported that police in the town of Loretto, Tennessee, issued a warning after a suspect tried to dispose of methamphetamine down a toilet.

“Folks... please don’t flush your drugs m’kay,” the department said on its Facebook page.

And why not dispose of our illegal and highly addictive stimulants through the municipal sewer system when Johnny Law is at the door with a search warrant and a battering ram?

Because, Lorretto police said, those drugs may eventually end up in retention ponds, consumed by water fowl that frequent those ponds and “if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama.”

And the only thing worse than a North Alabama meth-gator is…

A plague of Sin City grasshoppers. USA Today reported on July 30 that meteorologists in southern Nevada picked up a huge green mass on radar. Instead of a thunderstorm, it turned out to be “a sprawling swarm of pallid-winged grasshoppers now plaguing the neon lights, streets and sidewalks of Las Vegas.”

The government said don’t worry, but isn’t that what the government always says?

“They don’t carry any diseases, they don’t bite, they’re not even one of the species that we consider a problem,” said Jeff Knight, an entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

But if (when) they do start spreading disease, biting gamblers and gumming up the slot machines, I suggest Las Vegas officials discretely hire a couple of hit cats and a meth-gator or two. Problem solved, capiche?

Or it might make it worse. But it’s Vegas so no one will notice, not even Vickie, Dan or El-Bone61.

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