I became very upset one day last week. I love watching the beautiful cardinals that come to my backyard feeder. I think of them as MY cardinals. Well, the dog started barking at the window and I turned around just in time to see a huge hawk swoop down from the tree, snatch a cardinal at the feeder and fly away with it. I felt so sad most of that day. Call me silly, but I hate witnessing this predator-prey aspect of nature. For goodness sake, I live in an URBAN area. We pretend things like that just don't happen.
The week before last, the dog was barking at the window and I thought it was just a squirrel - but when I ran to the window to shoo it away so she'd stop making so much noise, there, skulking between my house and my neighbor's house, was the biggest CAT-like animal I have ever seen. It was not an ordinary house cat, but something much larger and more sinister looking. The squirrels and birds started making a LOT of racket and then it ran away. I was pretty shaken and thought it may have been a bobcat or something. It was that big. I looked it up and saw that bobcats are spotted and have short tails. This cat-creature had a very lonnnng tail and was a pale tan color all over. This will make sense after you read the next paragraph. Besides, what would a bobcat be doing here, in the Chicago area?
After talking to a few neighbors who have dogs, I decided to call the village police to see if anyone else had reported seeing anything like it roaming around. I sure didn't want to run into it while I walked the dogs at night. They said no, are you sure it wasn't a fox? Sheesh, I know what a fox looks like and I was wearing my glasses. This was as big or bigger than my 48-lb dog. Apparently no one had reported anything but the police told me that there had been several COUGAR sightings in a nearby suburb, near a wooded area, and they were on alert. COUGARS??? In the Chicago area?? MY yard?? I remembered that a couple of years ago a cougar was killed by police right in the city proper so I know it's not impossible. Jeepers.
I hear there's also a coyote roaming about the neighborhood. My neighbor's dog walker said one approached him within several yards when he was walking her dog the other day, just a few blocks away. So now we have to be extra careful with our little dog. She doesn't understand why I've been keeping her on a leash and going out there with her every time she needs to pee. Brrr! Seems like 12 times a day . . . More when it's cold, of course.
Dog paw prints? No, I went out there first, before I let them out, right after it snowed, so they hadn't even run through the snow yet. Squirrel tracks? No, much bigger than a squirrel's foot.
You don't think it's BIGFOOT, do you??
So now I'm afraid to let either dog out alone and I spend a little time every day on COUGAR patrol, looking for suspicious tracks in the snow . . . I won't rest until the neighborhood canines (and I) are safe! Wonder why I'm not getting any quilting done, LOL?
You can tell she's on alert too. Ears perked, adrenaline pumped, ready to rumble . . . Bring it on, Cougar/Coyote!
The other dog is not quite as nervous. Tells me to relax, figures he can take a coyote any day. LOL, he's a typical male, did you guess? No drama for him. He's much more interested in the ordinary day-to-day stuff that goes on in the big backyard . . . . What's cooking, good looking?