Waging one of its most desperate campaigns, the LAPD has called in backup in the form of a contingent of four-legged creatures -- wild cats -- to battle an invasion of rodents.
The department, with the aid of the Feral Cat Caretakers' Coalition, has moved five animals each into the Wilshire, Foothill and Southeast stations' grounds.
"Everybody is happy with the program," said Thom Brennan, commanding officer of the LAPD's Facilities Management Division. (Except maybe the rodents.)
Additional felines, in fact, have been recruited for two more problem areas, Parker Center and Central Division headquarters.
Brennan said the feral cat coalition had helped the department "get [each] colony established and form boundaries." The furry security guards "walk around the property" but "tend not to wander more than 50 to 75 feet from the domicile," he said.
They don't even have to kill the rodents. The rodents get the picture and stay away, Brennan said.
He added that an additional benefit of the program is that it gets feral cats "out of the [animal] shelter and puts them to work."
Of course, the animals aren't expected to do all the work. Officers and other personnel at the facilities have been reminded "not to leave food lying around."
Guide to Adventurous Dining: The mystery dishes on today's column menu (see accompanying) include:
-- A mixture of . . . something (from Lela Rodriguez of Arcadia).
-- A limb of unknown origin (from David Chan of L.A.).
-- And a pickle that is unlikely to fall apart (also from Chan).
Unclear on the Concept: Attempting to return a rental car to Rhode Island's Providence Airport, Janine and David Slucter of Claremont couldn't help but wonder if a ground traffic controller was needed on the premises (see photo).
Unclear on the Concept (Part II): Here's a new twist -- if a clueless one -- on those scam e-mails from overseas.
After Marjorie Templeton of West L.A. advertised her garage sale in The Times, she received an e-mail that began:
"I am interested in immediate purchase of your GARAGE SALE item. After several consideration over the advert placed on the website, my client has really shown interest in it and would really want to issue the payment in form of Cashiers Check. . . ."
miscelLAny: The Long Beach Press-Telegram notes that it received an e-mail from the city hinting that residents might see more of one public official than they desired. The e-mail's headline:
"Mayor Bob Foster to Demonstrate Next-Generation 'High Efficiency' Toilets, Encourage the Public to Utilize Rebates."
Shortly afterward, the city sent out a corrected press release with a headline omitting any mention of a toilet demonstration by Foster.
Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, and at email@example.com