What the hell is this animal we saw in my garage?

Today my friend asked me really loudly, “What the hell is that thing?” I was wondering if he ever saw a BBQ grill or an air compressor. Then I looked into the garage and saw this weird animal. It was about 10 inches long, super skinny, had a short stumpy tail, and was all black. It kind of sat there while we looked at it, then scampered away and came back, then ran away again. It wasn’t very afraid of us being 6 feet away.

He thought it looked like a mouse that was stretched out. I thought it looked like a baby ferret, that maybe escaped from a neighbors house.

This is in southern Vermont; we do have weasels, minks, otters, and fisher cats. But this animal must have been a baby since it was so little, right? Those animals get a lot bigger.

What animals have/are babies in September this far north?
Why was it in my garage at 3 in the afternoon?
What could it possibly be with the short tail? All the mammals around here have long tails. Even baby ferrets have long tails.
My friend has lived within a mile of here his entire life and has never seen anything like it. He was kind of freaked out.

Here’s my crappy rendition of what it looked like. Seriously, it was that long and stretched out.
link- http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v704/barrettscary/garageanimal.jpg

That sketch made my night! Have you ever considered becoming a sketch artist for the local police department? Thanks so much for the best link of the night!:smiley:

:eek: Aieee! El Chupacabra!

. . . or a cartoonist?

Ahh, thats a balloon animal. You might have a clown infestation.

Ten inches including the length of the tail, right? Short-tailed weasel, aka ermine, and very likely an adult if it was that big since they are very small, only 7.5" from snout to rump. This time of year they’re still wearing their dark coats. I saw one in winter colors on my road one night and thought I had to have been halucinating until I checked the fish and game webpage for this state. I had no idea how tiny they were.

Awww… they are adorable!

Dachshund with a cropped tail, maybe? I’ve seen black ones, and of course a dog that’s out roaming the streets can get covered with dirt.

Rat with a partly lopped-off tail?

They might be, but according to that last linked pic, I’m sure as hell keeping them as far away as possible from my carotid.

My first thought upon viewing the sketch. Definitely a balloon animal.

And keep in mind that these cute little things kill rabbits, which are several times their size.

An ermine in its summer coat does sound like the description, provided you didn’t see it at and angle which would show the white underside:


What ya got there is a weiner-rat.

You guys are good! Looks like an ermine. Probably makes sense he was in my garage since we’ve had huge flooding from the hurricane.

And stop making fun of my artwork. I have an MFA in painting!

I’m not making fun; that’s the best balloon animal painting I’ve EVER seen! :slight_smile:

Only when it comes to mammals and birds in northern New England. Flora is like “oh, look a tree. and a different tree. nice, a pretty purple flower, and those look like tiny daisies”…I can tell you if a tree has leaves or needles (and I can classify “pine tree” vs “not pine tree” too), but beyond that I’ve never had enough interest to try to figure them out.

Making fun of it? Hell, I have already emailed your creation to all of my friends! I got so much fun out of it I considered making it my background, that is until my wife vetoed that idea!:smiley: