What do you see when you look at this picture? It looks like a fluffy house cat taking an evening nap under a porch light. It looks like such a peaceful summer night scene, doesn’t it? But if you’re thinking of how nice it’d be to just reach out and give it a quick scratch behind the ears, you’re about to change your mind.
It’s called a puss caterpillar and it’s anything but cute and cuddly. This deceptive little bug is native to Northern and Central America, where they have been known to fall out of trees onto gardeners.
The fake fur that gives it the cat-like appearance is actually a series of venomous spines with a sting that’s worse than a jellyfish or scorpion. The stinging can cause vomiting and convulsions in some people.
If you do have contact with this gnarly little caterpillar, seek immediate medical attention.