Saturday, February 28, 2009

Then There Were Two

It has rained all day. I have been out wandering this mountain anyway. Eventually the clumps of daffodils got counted while I was looking for tufts of fur, signs of a scuffle, bits of entrails or suspicious foot prints, any sign I might find as a clue. I found nothing. I heard nothing.

Tomorrow everything will be covered in snow and the temperatures are headed into the teens. If I missed some clue, it will have to wait even longer now before I might spot it.

Something was out there last night. The Spots were going nuts and wouldn't come inside. I finally gave up and went to bed thinking it was the other cat I had seen around in the last two weeks.

This morning two wet cats bolted in when I got up and opened the door. Just two.

I counted 265 clumps of daffodils coming up while crisscrossing the paths of the ridge top garden. Last year on February 26th before the big snow storm I had counted 245 clumps of daffodils. Spring looks to be on schedule.

Sadly there was one less Spot this morning. Collar, the black and white female spotlet has vanished without a trace. Chances of her return, I think are slim to none.

I'm not even hungry for cake.

Oh My God! Collar is back as of 9pm. I spent the whole day calling her. Sound travels in these hills and I did not hear a single meow, a rustle or catch any glimpse of her and I roamed almost two thirds of this eleven acres and a bit of the surrounding land. Good grief!!

Now we are three again.


Anonymous said...

Oh, NO. That's horrible news. I am so sorry. Even though I was a biology major and am a confirmed believer in natural selection, the cruelty of nature is still hard to accept. Your description of the beast doesn't sound entirely like a normal house cat; do you have any clue what it might be?


Christopher C. NC said...

Bev, She's back! I can't believe it. She must have gotten scared and hid all day. This will be an ongoing concern though.

The other cat I saw could not have been a Bobcat or a Lynx. It was too small for a cougar. It sat on the driveway in the dark about 100 feet from me and then took off. Unless some small wild cats like ocelot have moved here, it must have been a domestic cat which we see plenty of.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a relief!! I was sad all night. I am a dog person, not a cat person, but is it possible to get your guys inside before dark and keep them there?

I assume it was not either a coyote or a fox - don't want to insult your intelligence, but the pointy ears thing made me wonder.

Well, who knows, maybe you'll wind up with FOUR cats before long! (:


lola said...

OMG, Christopher. I know you were devastated. Only 2 spots. I'm so glad Collar came home. She must have been scared out of her wits.
What is the animal they say sounds like a woman screaming? Maybe it was one of those.
Hopefully they will stay very close to you now. I'm sure they have learned that you are their protector & provider. I'm really glad there are 3.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Christopher, I'm new here. Just thought your blog looked interesting--all those hills and valleys. Peaceful. I'm glad your kitty came home. I could just feel the sadness in the earlier part of your post. I'm a cat person too and totally understand the sometimes neurotic devotion to our furry friends.

Frances said...

Christopher C.!!!!! You are making us crazy with these alarming pronouncements. I know you were worried and heart sick, and we share that with you, believe me. We are so relieved she is back and unharmed. The drama going on there on the mountain is too much. Maybe the spot family needs to learn to be indoor cats for awhile, whether they like it or not.

Christopher C. NC said...

That was my thought this morning Bev. Next it will be four cats.

I stopped feeding them outside weeks ago and have been keeping them in at night. Maybe a little food in the outside bowl at night?The cold snowy weather has helped until recently.

Lola, people swear there are still cougars/panthers/catamounts in these mountains that sound like women screaming. I think the owls can come close to that sound. I've heard it. I don't think there has been a proven sighting or finding of a cougar in a long long time. Most definitely there are Bobcats up here.

Hi Grace. Frances might disagree, but usually it is fairly peaceful up here and soon there will be 10,000 daffodils blooming.

Frances, I don't know if I could cope with three cats cooped up in a cozy cabin, especially during the kitten phase. I do think I can convince them to stay in at night though when the coyotes and owls are out hunting. Yes I was pretty heartsick thinking Collar was gone. The little stinker wouldn't come when I called. She didn't even come out when mama Spot, Crawford and I counted the daffodil clumps.

Anonymous said...

I'd feel better if you got a good identifying look at it before attracting it with food! (:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad you had a happy ending. I hope they learn when not to go out.

lola said...

Christopher, I hope that it's not the Panther situation. I was on a mtn at night at a house, heard the scream, eerie. I asked, "what is that" they replied, "panther". The driveway was one way, twisting, only room for 1 vehicle.
Those pointed ears sounds like Bobcat. Do keep the spots safe. You never know who or what has dropped off Lord knows what. Some do become wild creatures after a spell.

deb said...

Christopher, Didn't I tell you about my neighbor spotting a black panther up your way? It happened in Sept. when they were seeding an area near their deer stand. I'm not exactly sure where it is but near Spring Creek and Max Patch. Anyway, I completely trust his word, he's a strait up guy.

Here's a link to one spotted in KY.

And some accounts from near here:

chuck b. said...

No way in hell I'd let the cats out up there. No way! Of course, they don't appear even remotely interested in the Great Outdoors, and I don't live there, so that makes it easy for me to talk.