Attack of the Killer Porcupine

The other night, we had an emergency at work: the main Content Management Server has spontaneously rebooted, corrupting the database that contains about 90 of the University’s websites. Jeff and I rushed in at about 9:00pm and worked diligently, with only occasional breaks to watch Futurama, until 4:00am. Nearly hallucinatory with fatigue, we then stumbled out to the parking garage where our cars were, only to discover this guarding them:


“What on earth? Is that a possum? Or a racoon?”

“I think it’s a…holy cats…a porcupine!”

We continued to watch the critter, who was apparently dazed, as he alternately walked in counterclockwise circles, lay down on the curb to rest, and tried to climb the support columns. He seemed utterly indifferent to our presence, and was drooling prodigiously, which made us think he was probably pretty sick. We flagged down a passing campus security officer who was similarly bemused, but who eventually contacted his Sergent. “Leave it alone” was the Sergent’s advice, even though we’d expressed concern that it might be rabid.

After about 20 minutes of this, Jeff and I decided to go ahead and head out. We left the campus security office sitting in his golf cart, watching the critter wander around, still not doing anything about capturing it or getting it out of harms way.

I was rather miffed that they didn’t seem to be taking the rabies threat seriously, but was gratified to see three police cars racing toward the parking garage as we left. I like to imagine that the call went out on the radio shortly after our departure: “Aww, it’s cute. Come here, little guy. Want a bite of my sandwich? Hey, what are you doing? AARAAGAH! Officer down! Officer down! [static]” and that all those cars found on their arrival was the golf cart and an abandoned sandwich.

P.S. Thanks to Jeff and Fazia for the photo.