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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 11, 2011 11:20 PM. The previous post in this blog was Reader poll: Who's wackier, Weiner or Wu?. The next post in this blog is Prayer for the dying. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, June 11, 2011

That wasn't dogs

A friend down the street reports that she and her husband were awakened last night to a ruckus from one of their neighbors' yards. It sounded like some rowdy folks at a party were goofing around imitating dogs.

Turned out it wasn't human partygoers. It was the Irvington coyote. Indeed, it was two of said coyotes, real ones, and they were killing something.

Until now, we've heard of a lot of sightings, but only of a lone coyote in any one location. This was a duo, and it sounded as though they got something. The friends are still asking around the block about exactly what it was that they got.

Comments (20)

Kitty cat. Songbird justice.

Probably. But around here, raising chickens is the latest thing. Could have been a fowl meal.

I was up on Mt. Tabor a couple of weeks ago, and I saw the fur from some kind of violent end. It looked like a coyote had eaten a squirrel.
Maybe we can promote this. Add a webcam like the one at the watering hole in Botswana. That's my new favorite pastime: Watching an African watering hole live on the computer. Hey, it's better than summer reruns. They just had around 50 baboons show up for a drink. They've got lights up at night so you can check out the lions. Morning is spectacular. Most of the day it's quiet with all the animals still on alert, but playing or deep in thought. Love it.

You have to go big screen or just listen to it. The sounds are priceless. Some warthogs were drinking just now. They get a lot of respect from the baboons. Tough little bastards with lots of attitude.
I love how every animal gets a drink and then rotates out of the area. Bad things can happen at the watering hole.

I woke up to a kittie massacre at my back fence one night not too long ago. It changed my attitude about wildlife, especially when the kittie's Daddie came looking for her the next day.

I wanted the coyotes dead. I had two dogs that were a juicy target. The coyotes impersonated the little girls from next door. Not good.

From the moment I told you about this to the last time I checked, virtually nothing has shown up at the watering hole. I found this one, after I read about these and entered, "watering hole webcam". Maybe I threw in "live". There are others. Maybe the animals in Botswana are on strike.
In a way, I like the pace. It's real life, whereas the Discovery Channel is edited down to the most action-packed, gruesome moments. For example, the always brutal Shark Week.

Coyotes aren't the only kitty killers; a raccoon can do nasty work on a cat.
If the coyote pack gets large enough, for some reason they get distemper and that kills them off.

Somthing was trying to kill a cat in our neighborhood on Friday night (about 2:30 a.m.)...Really horrible sounds, much worse than caterwauling. Never heard who got hurt/went missing.

Possums will kill cats as well, though raccoons are far more likely to do that. I've had neighbors lose a cat to raccoons and I've had to kill a crazed and likely rabid possum who tried to attack my dog.

Sparks a memory of days long gone. A woman visitor was over who could not verbalize her actual desires. I was reluctant because she was a Reed grad and who wants to start down that path.

Suddenly two cats in the side yard started screeching and wailing and thrashing all around.

“What do you thing they are doing?” she said.

“Fighting,” I said.

This went on for a while until she had to go home. But it was too late to drive, she said.

I set her up on the couch (she was short) and retired upstairs.

By morning, arrangements were different.

One night, three years ago, I got a call at 2 AM. "We have your cat, Mixit. He was treed by a dog. He's injured. Can you come get him?"

Mixit had lost a leg. Even in my sleep-walking stupor, I was dumbfounded by the luxury of the Dove Lewis Animal Hosptial, which seemed fancier than the Mayo Clinic, notwithstanding the bums sleeping in doorways in the area.

The other day, I was tending to my rose garden, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mixit the three-legged black race-cat, shoot through the long grass in a sunlit blur. It was a good moment.

To posh Irvington and to posher Greenwich CT, predators are returning:

Once again, the introduction of wolves to Yellowstone has stabilized the coyote population there. But, given that huge, white dogs, widely distributed by Roman legions, have been employed for centuries to dissuade wolves from predation upon the flocks, perhaps the canine-loving people of Irvington might opt for Great Pyrenees to defend family, hearth, and cats? Here's one source for adoption:

Why stop at dogs? Here's an unsold piece I wrote back around Mother's Day to address this issue:

The Coyote Problem
Recently, a woman and her dog were chased by a coyote near Mt. Tabor, and it’s just not funny anymore. Fortunately for Portland, finding natural solutions to wild problems is one of my specialties, and that’s why I’m advocating for a trained cougar to chase the coyotes out of town.

First though, we have to analyze what’s causing the problem, and my working theory is that the coyotes are being drawn to the Rose City by the “Portlandia” show. Perhaps I should explain: The most famous picture of a coyote in town was taken by Dennis Maxwell of the Port of Portland showing a coyote snuggling calmly on the seat of a light rail car out by the airport. This turned into a song by the legendary band Sleater-Kinney called, “Light Rail Coyote” and the picture landed on the CD cover. Translation: Portland was an easy place for a coyote to become famous.

Fast forward to the present with Carrie Brownstein - formerly of Sleater-Kinney - heading into a second season of “Portlandia”. Is it no surprise that the coyote population is up as these wily beasts seek even more fame at our expense? A CD cover is fine, but it doesn’t compare to being on a national TV show.

The painful part is that we’ve seen all this before here in Oregon. Remember Keiko the Killer Whale? It started so innocently with the fancy setup at the coast, but then they caught Keiko hoarding salmon at the bottom of its pool – pretending it was eating them, while it stashed them for later. What we had was a freeloading killer whale with a movie star attitude, and before it was over, it had to be flown to another country. We don’t want to go through that again.

One concern is that Portland prides itself on being green. I’m surprised the red ink in city council budgets isn’t green to make it more earth-friendly. So how do we approach a problem like this without tampering with our hard-earned touchy-feely notions about the planet?

This reminds me of the dam by the Dalles where sea lions wait by the fish ladders and gorge themselves on hundreds of fish. Not wanting to disturb the naturalness of all this, we fire off firecrackers, and try everything short of offering the sea lions money to get lost. Meanwhile, I am on record as advocating for a device that can control the salinity levels in blood so we could bring in a Great White Shark to deal with these salmon-gorging beasts using nature’s way. Unfortunately, my solution was ignored and the problem persists.

Time to try again. This past Mother’s Day, the Oregon Zoo honored its cougar “Chinook” as Mother of the Year. Maybe that gesture could help build up the goodwill we will need to borrow her cub and begin training at once. If we could just have our own trained cougar prowling the streets, these coyotes would not stand a chance.

Bill McD,
But Chinook might quickly succumb to an SUV, as happened in Greenwich CT.

Meanwhile, Portland could suffer far worse than coyotes. Consider considerably less posh northeastern WA:

"A pack of dogs has killed about 100 animals in the past three months in northeastern Washington state while eluding law enforcement and volunteers."


"One resident managed to take some photographs of the pack, and it seems to include four or five large dogs. It's not clear if the dogs are wild or if some or all go home to owners during the day, Webb said. It's also not known what breed they are.

Deer Park resident Temma Davis told KXLY-TV that neighbors are worried about kids getting off school buses or riding their bikes.

'They're bloodthirsty,' Davis said of the dogs. 'It's like "Cujo,"' the Stephen King book and movie about a vicious killer dog."

"[S]ome or all go home to owners during the day?"

"A Canine Clockwork Orange?"

Really, people should keep their cats inside. Given the damage and destruction that cats have caused to native songbirds, I really see this as nature's justice returning full circle. (That said, I'm sympathetic towards the cat's owners. But if you don't want your cats to become a snack for a coyote, keep them inside. Not hard.)

Went to visit family out in way west pdx , and they live in the woods , with a turnaround in the front yard filled with loose chicken wire and a dozen chickens. In the center of this is a 5 ft high dog house , and the owner Lyle , a wolf hybrid , sits on top. Every nite the coyotes come up to the edge of the drive , looking for chicken dinner , but they NEVER go inside the chicken wire...

My cats are friends with the local raccoons. I've actually seen them curl up next to each other and groom themselves. When they meet outside, they touch noses the way two (friendly) cats do when they greet each other.

I have indoor cats and I feed a small colony of neutered ferals. I often see the ferals feeding on field mice and have never seen them kill a bird. The greater threat where I live is hawks-and giant racoons and possums-to the cat. I love to watch how the alpha cat will guide colony members to Juniper canopy for protection from predators.

I do have a bird killer, though, Felix, an indoor cat who gets out once in a while. He killed one native songbird (Meadowlark) and one starling.

I spay/neuter, keep cats I can keep indoors indoors, but I really think the birdos need to get off it. We have a master race of birds and plants we have to protect and kill everything else? No. We can work together to make things better for all, but imposing utopian standards is well, just- you know what it is.

Jonathan Franzen's book "Freedom" has a bird loving character who is not made to appear superior to cat owners. That certainy reflects the reality I know.

Re: "...but I really think the birdos [sic] need to get off it. We have a master race of birds and plants we have to protect and kill everything else? No."

The Western Meadowlark is OR's state bird, as well as MT's and NE's. It is in decline throughout its range.


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