• It's very cold and very dark, in an existential sort of way, in Minneapolis at this time of year.
To wit: Cianna Violet, 24, passes by a certain spot, near a Broadway Pizza location, as she commutes to work.
In November, she noticed a yellow traffic pylon with an extra something clinging to the top and pulled over to check it out.
It was a rat -- dead, frozen, sad.
Until Dec. 3, when Violet noticed something about the rat had changed. Sure enough, someone had dressed the chilly little rodent and even remembered accessories, like a tiny silver backpack and fur-trimmed boots.
The outfit is "100 percent seasonably appropriate," Violet told CityPages. "I'm sorry it had to die, but in death it has brought a reason to smile to hundreds." [CityPages, 12/4/2019]
• Meanwhile, it's warm and sunny in Las Vegas, and the pigeons are wearing cowboy hats. What?
On Dec. 9, KVVU reported that pigeons have been spotted with tiny red cowboy hats on their heads.
Mariah Hillman, who runs an animal rescue, at first thought the little headwear was cute, but then began to worry about how the hats had been affixed to the birds' heads.
"Did they glue them? ... Is it something that's going to impede their flight or attract predators?" she wondered.
Hillman and her agency have been handing out business cards and asking people who see the little urban cowbirds to "just feed them until I get here. I'm only 3 miles away and I'll come trap them." [KVVU, 12/9/2019]