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Woman With Mouse Sewn Into Dress Isn't the Only NYer With Animal Problems

By Nicole Levy | November 15, 2016 5:28pm | Updated on November 16, 2016 2:47pm
 What do a California King snake, rat and alligator all have in common? They've appeared in surprising places, shocking unsuspecting New Yorkers.
What do a California King snake, rat and alligator all have in common? They've appeared in surprising places, shocking unsuspecting New Yorkers.
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Kenneth Rosenthal; Facebook/Rosemary Thomas; Twitter/NYPDpaws

You may live in the city, but you'll never escape the animal kingdom.

That's what a 24-year-old Manhattan woman wearing a new black dress from Zara learned when she discovered a dead mouse sewn into the lining at her Midtown office, according to a new lawsuit. 

We empathize with Cailey Fiesel, who described herself as "paralyzed with fear" upon spotting a tiny mouse leg jutting out of her dress seam — but we can't say her experience is wholly exceptional.

"Most people don’t realize there is an unseen, mysterious world all around us ... the world of bizarre little animals that live alongside us right in our homes," humorist Jack Handey observed in 2003. "They inhabit our clothing, our furniture, our piles of old rags, our pans of dripping rainwater—even our bodies themselves."

We've collected a few close encounters with wild critters — that happened where New Yorkers least expected them — below:

The Harlem Woman and the Rat's Head in Her Popeye's Chicken

Rosemary Thomas said she found the fried and battered head in a meal her family ordered at a Harlem Popeyes restaurant in September, posting pictures of it to her Facebook page.

rat head

Rat head or organ meat from a chicken? You decide. (Credit: Facebook/Rosemary Thomas)

"This is clearly a rat and they have the nerve to have a 5 rating by the department of health," she wrote in a post. "My daughter is traumatized. I had to take her to urgent care last night, [she] vomited with diarrhea all day."

Thomas hired a lawyer to take up her case against the fast food establishment, but Popeye's representatives told DNAinfo they were confident the object of her disgust was not a rat head, but chicken organ meat. 

The Police Officers and the Three-Foot Alligator in an Otherwise Empty Home

NYPD officers responding to a call about the potential burglary of a Staten Island home in August found no residents inside — except for a three-foot alligator in the first-floor bathroom's dry bath tub.

The reptile was taken to Animal Care & Control in Manhattan, which would provide no comment on its condition. It was destined for relocation outside the city, where it is illegal to keep alligators as pets.

The Staten Island Man and the Four-Foot Snake in His Toilet Bowl

In the midst of his morning bathroom routine on a weekday in 2012, Graniteville resident Allen Shepard spotted something out of the corner of his eye in his toilet bowl.

That unidentified object was a four-foot-long California King snake.


Can you imagine finding this in your porcelain throne? (Credit: Kenneth Rosenthal)

A braver man than any among us, Shepard attempted to extract the reptile from the bowl with a broom handle. He abandoned the effort when the snake began snapping at him, abdicating responsibility to his building's superintendent. She, in turn, summoned a plumber.

The nonvenomous snake was likely a lost pet, according to one veterinarian specializing in exotic animals, but its owner never came forward to claim it.

The Mets Players and the Raccoon in Their Weight Room 

Sometimes critters want to bulk up, too.

Mets players working out before a game in Spring 2015 caught a voyeur among their midst: a baby raccoon that put up no resistance to its removal from the clubhouse weight room at Citi Field.

The Mets caged their four-legged visitor and released it back into its natural habitat, a "non-populated area of Queens," without any problems.