When we found out that an entire division of this year’s contest was named “Cat-E- Gory,” we feared the worst. As rodents, we are not terribly fond of felines. Fortunately, these contenders are cats in name only. I am MC Marmot and this is March Mammal Madness! The tiny antlion, fresh off its wildcard victory, encountered not just the sea lion but also the perils of home field advantage. It was transported to San Francisco’s Pier 39, a favorite hangout of sea lions. While the antlion tried to figure out a battle strategy, the huge sea lion rolled over…and rolled right over the antlion, smooshing it right out of the competition. The sea lion advances! It was fish versus fish as the small spotted cat shark took on the stonecat. The cat shark was peacefully resting between two rocks at the bottom of a river. The stonecat, looking for a safe place in these unfamiliar waters, tried to usurp the cat shark’s space. The stonecat’s venomous spine was no use against the cat shark’s tough skin. A chomp from the cat shark gave it the victory. The cat shark wins! Hey MC, guess what? I’m still in Canada, and it’s still cold! The panther chameleon was in Madagascar a minute ago, defending its territory, when it was instantly transported here due to March Mammal Magic! [zing!] He tried to move out of the open and into safety, but his movements attracted the keen eyes of a tiger owl. With a whoosh, the owl grabbed the chameleon with its talons. The chameleon is dinner, and the tiger owl is the winner! The nocturnal cat snake was taking an afternoon nap at the base of a tree, when a group of lion-tailed macaques came by to get some jackfruit and figs to eat. One macaque saw the snake and sounded the alarm. Like many a teenager, however, the snake ignored the alarm and continued to sleep. But the macaque was relentless and kept yelling. Finally, as the sun was setting, the snake began to move. The macaque prepared for battle! But the snake slithered away in search of some tiny geckos to eat. The macaque outlasts the cat snakes and is the winner! Hi MC! Okay, in the Australian rainforest, a catbird was getting ready to go to sleep for the night. So it called out a loud “GOOD NIGHT” to everybody else and settled down. [Waltons: “Better quiet down now and get some sleep.” “Good night, everybody.” “Night, mama.” “G’night, Ben.” “Night, everyone.”] [catbird screaming] However, all that noise had alerted a tiger quoll. The quoll crept down the tree and then tackled the catbird right off of its perch! With a big chomp and a big burst of feathers, the catbird is now more. The tiger quoll wins! Did you know that a Bearcat can weigh up to 20 kilograms? That’s over 90 stoats! Keep this fact in mind. In the Borneo forest, our leopard frog hopped along the ground, finding tasty morsels to eat. Suddenly, the branch on which the bearcat was sitting snapped and she fell to the ground! The bearcat was not hurt, but the leopard frog, which the bearcat landed on, was flattened. The bearcat wins! Up in Ministik Lake Game Bird Sanctuary in Alberta, a group of baby mice stirred in their cozy nest in a burrow. But their day was about to be ruined! First the tiger salamander appeared, looking for lunch. Then the Fisher cat burst in! Its claws impaled the salamander, sending it flying out of the competition, and it then devoured the baby mice. We are very sorry to report this carnage. But then, events took a strange turn. After eating the mice, the fisher was still hungry. It smelled a deer carcass nearby. But it was a trap! Literally! A box trap! The fisher cat wins, but is currently being transported to the Calgary Zoo. We will have more on this developing situation. The last battle of the night was most highly anticipated. The dandelion has acquired a huge fandom since its participation was announced. Would it pull off a stunning upset? Our contenders met on the field of battle. The nimravid approached the field, but its eyes were not on the dandelion, but on a nearby carcass. However, the carcass was being guarded by a hyaenodon.. The nimravid was no match for the hyaenodon. In its fury, it took out its frustration on the nearby dandelion, biting down on it. The dandelion’s only defense was the airy seeds of its puffball, which caused the nimravid to sneeze violently. That only resulted in complete dandelion decapitation. The nimravid relaxed and rolled over, crushing the dandelion and its Cinderella dreams into the dirt. The nimravid wins! And so, another evening of battle comes to an end. There was carnage. There were traps. There was an indecent amount of rodent death and smushing. We shall be back tomorrow to recap the first round of the Tag Team Division. I am MC Marmot, and this has been March Mammal Madness.