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review:

long live the king

Chris Auman

King Kat #73 John Porcellino


King-Kat #73
John Porecellino
[Spit & a Half]

JP is back with another issue (#73!) of his King-Cat Comics and Stories. Hunkered down in South Beloit, IL when not on the road selling his wares, John has ample time to take note of the local nature scene.

In this issue, we get an update on unusual groundhog behavior, a story about the hunt for an elusive cuckoo bird (spoiler alert: it's not a cuckoo bird), the "King Cat Top 40" (which seems to be only 36 this time.) and my personal favorite, a “Spotlight On: Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel”. See, I always thought this particular small mammal was called a chipmunk. It's not. It's a thirteen lined ground squirrel, but feel free to call it by its other names, like grass whistler, flag squirrel, prairie striper or leopard spermophile (that means seed lover, but I agree, it sounds real dirty). Living in Chicago for so long, I had completely forgotten about this adorable little squirrel-type creature. I started seeing them again after moving to Wisconsin where they are in abundance.

There are wild animals in the big city too though. There’s plenty of fat squirrels, gross pigeons, wiley raccoons, a few rabbits and the occasional opposum and coyote if you can believe that. Once a cougar even made it into Chicago's north side Roscoe Village neighborhood only to be shot by a cop (after first shooting an air conditioning unit). Apparently the thirteen lined ground squirrel does not dig big cities. They prefer an easier lifestyle and I can now relate.

At any rate, I now love thirteen lined ground squirrels and think chipmunks suck. Thanks John!

READ: An interview with John Porcellino.

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