Beware the Fisher Cat
Something evil is lurking in the woods of Connecticut these days, something ancient and almost forgotten.
Okay, so maybe they aren’t all that bad, but it is true that the fisher cat is back in full force in Connecticut.
Adults weigh between 2 to 7 kilograms (4–15 lb) and are between 65 to 125 centimeters (26–49 in) in length. Males are about twice the size of females, with the smallest females having been recorded being as small as 1.4 kilograms (3.1 lb), hardly larger than most other martens, and males at as much as 9 kilograms (20 lb), by far the largest size recorded for the genus. Their coats are darkish brown, with a black tail and legs; some individuals have a cream-colored patch on the chest. All four feet have five toes with retractable claws. Because they can rotate their hind paws 180 degrees, they can grasp limbs and climb down trees head first.
A circular patch of hair on the central pad of their hind paws marks plantar glands that give off a distinctive odor, which is believed to be used for communication during reproduction. Fishers are also known for one of their calls, which is often said to sound like a child screaming, and can be mistaken for someone in dire need of help.
Their numbers drastically declined about a hundred years ago in Connecticut as they were hunted for their brown to black furs.
The fisher cat gets a bad rap because they seem to just love the taste of cats, and when a domestic cat goes missing within a hundred miles of a fisher sighting, it seems the fisher is always to blame.
The really “damned” scary part of the fisher is the reports of their screams while making sweet fisher cat love. I was recently told it sounded “exactly like a women being murdered.” After taking a step back and wondering how this person knew exactly what a women being murdered sounded like, I went to YouTube to check it out for myself. If indeed this is a fisher cat then it does sounds a bit creepy. I could see how the fisher could be mistaken for an unearthly tormented specter wandering the woods late at night. However it should be noted the there is no proof that these screams are coming from a fisher. For all we know it could be a rabbit being eaten by a fox, or a chipmunk being savaged by a chupacabra.
(If you have been keeping up on your weird CT news, you will know the fisher isn’t the only mammal being accused of murder when romance is in the air: (Passionate Screams Mistaken, Assault Ensues))
You can read more about the fisher cat and it growing numbers in Connecticut in this article from the Hartford Advocate.