Too close for comfort

Baxter here, y’all. Last Monday was an exciting day. It was Victoria Day, so Matt and Julia and me were all home together. (I dunno who Victoria is. I don’t think she’s from Kentucky.)

The best part of the day was when Julia and I went for our afternoon walk. It was sunny and sniffy. We were walking across the field behind the driveshed. There was lump in the field. I always investigate the bumps, the longest grass, the tallest weeds (and usually pee on them too). I was going to check out the lump, but Julia called me back. I went. (I’m getting very good at not wearing my leash.)

I was almost beside Julia when I saw that she was looking at the lump too. I took another look, and I saw what she saw. The lump had ears, and eyes, and a nose.

I’ll show you what it looked like (sorta). Her head was low to the ground between her paws and her ears pointed straight up. (And her furs were grey and brown just like the dirt. That’s why we couldn’t see her at first.)

Baxter lying in the field

It was the doggie that Matt and Julia never let me meet: coyote!

I wasn’t going to miss my chance this time.

I heard Julia land on the dirt as she tried to tackle me, but I was speedy. The coyote was speedy too. She stayed just in front of me all the way across the field, down the hill and into the marsh. I’m not going to tell what happened in the marsh. Julia said she called me, but I didn’t hear her. I was just trying to meet coyote.

Eventually, I realized coyote didn’t want to meet me, and I remembered I’m supposed to stay close to Julia. But I couldn’t find Julia. I left the marsh, but she wasn’t in the field. I went back to the house, and the door opened when I got there. Matt and Julia were both there. Matt was holding my leash and wearing his tall boots and long pants even though it was really hot out, and he’d been wearing shorts before.

I gave them lots of smiles and wiggles, but I couldn’t help dancing too, so they saw that my legs and feets (and other parts too) had some black marsh mud on them. (Okay, there was lots of black mud.) They weren’t as happy as me. Julia grabbed my collar and gave me a couple of hard shakes. Then Matt took my collar and clipped me to my long line.

We could see the field behind the driveshed, and we saw my coyote come back. She climbed over the top of the hill and walked to the tree line. Matt went out to the field, but Julia stayed with me. She went and got the hose and washed off the mud. I usually don’t like the hose, but I was so hot from running that the water felt good. Plus I was still pretty excited.

I stayed outside for awhile to dry off, but I didn’t see the coyote anymore on Victoria Day. We’ve seen her pretty much everyday since then. But I haven’t gotten to introduce myself again.

Addition from Julia: We officially have coyotes. I was very excited a month ago when I first saw the coyote, as I hadn’t seen one on our property before. But now they (yes, we’re up to two coyotes) have become regulars, and it’s a little less exciting–Baxter’s opinion notwithstanding.

I’m a live and let live kind of woman, but I’m not sure the coyotes share my philosophy.

Their confidence and comfort grows quickly. So far they seem to be mostly curious. One followed–just followed, not stalked or hunted–Bax and I on our walk on Friday morning. When he got too close, I shouted at him, and he ran away.

Our biggest concern is Ralph. We can keep Baxter on leash, but we can’t lock Ralph up in the barn. She’s a pretty savvy girl, and she sticks very close to the barn, but the fact that a coyote was sitting on the driveway the other night–and that Ralph likes to hang out on the barn ramp in the middle of the night–isn’t a comfort. Plus, when two coyotes were cavorting in the field, her reaction was to roll on her back and ask for scratches (from us, not from the coyotes).

Ralph asking for belly scratches

Argh. I wish coyotes were vegetarians.

8 thoughts on “Too close for comfort

  1. Oh my…that is a conundrum! I guess it’s part of the risk a farm cat takes as part of having such a lovely life, but still…O_O Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes.

  2. Oh Baxter, they may seem nice, but you should keep your distance from coyotes. Most of them are not that friendly.

    Julia, We have a creek that runs about 1/2 mile from our house and I can hear the coyotes running up and down nightly. Two different neighbors (who are closer to the creek) have livestock. One has lost a lamb and one some baby bunnies. So Steve is going to help them thin the coyotes. I am fine with them if they keep their distance and leave our animals alone.

  3. We have coyotes here too. They pick off chickens, cats, and other small animals fairly regularly and well as helping to keep the deer population in check. I would strongly encourage you to scare and harass them each time you see them… run them off if they come back. If they start to get too comfortable, to lose their fear, they can be a real problem. Good luck… I hope they are really gone. (Be especially careful this time of year because they can have a den with pups and be more territorial…)

  4. We have coyotes around our farm too. Our old dog was lured out to them one night and they attacked her, luckily all she ended up with was with a gash on her hind end. We now tie up our dog every night so I doesn’t happen to her too. Yeah, coyotes are a bane to farmers and people who live in the country.

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