Bobcat kittens fall in love with firefighters

 

OREGON

Every town needs something to be proud of. Portland not only has its own television show, Portlandia, but also a toilet. A very special toilet: Portland, if the L.A. Times is to be believed, has revolutionized the public loo, creating a minimalist, solar-powered bathroom that boasts its own Facebook page. It supposedly solves the age-old problems of its kind, which, notes the Times, include "graffiti, trash-can fires, furtive needle activity, commercial lovemaking, emergency baths, laundries for the homeless" and more. "I'm convinced Portland is the only city in the U.S., and maybe the world, that celebrates the opening of bathrooms," said a city commissioner at a toilet dedication ceremony, where students also reportedly sang Skip to my Lou.

CANADA, CALIFORNIA AND COLORADO

It wouldn't be the West without a whimsical story about wildlife and humans snuggling up, would it? On Aug. 25, a crew fighting the Chips Fire, which has burned for more than a month in Northern California, stumbled across a bobcat kitten that had lost its way -- and its mother -- to the fire. The firefighters tried to walk away and let natural selection take over, but the baby cat, about the size of a domestic kitten, followed them, "curling up on (their) boots and snuggling into (their) chaps every time they paused," reports the Sacramento Bee. Firefighters turned the kitten over to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for treatment. Meanwhile, in Aspen, Colo., a couple of bears had to be chased away from the finish line of the third stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge as the riders climbed the mountains toward the resort town. Aspen police chalked up a whopping 292 bear-related calls in August, a record. While the Aspen bears didn't disrupt the bike race, the same can't be said for Canada's GranFondo Banff cycling event, which had to be rerouted due to bears feeding on the original course.

This edition of Heard around the West was guest-edited by Jonathan Thompson.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected]

 

High Country News Classifieds
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • FEATURES DIRECTOR - HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Features Director to join our editorial...
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...