Monday, July 4, 2011

Near-Death Experience of a Cat

    Ok, so on a completely un-meth related topic, my cat almost got eaten by a coyote the night before last!!  When the doorbell rang it was 11pm so I was thinking that it was weird for anyone to stop by so late.  Then I heard someone say the words " cat.." and the first thought I had was that someone had accidentally run over my cat with their car.  I bolted to the front door just as my mom was running inside to get me.
     My cat was sitting where the coyotes had dropped him but he was freaking out and growling at everybody and not letting anyone get close to him.  The neighbor lady and her husband were pointing to the other side of the road (which was too dark to see anything) and she was saying that the coyotes were still there.  I just swooped up my cat quickly and he clung to me shaking and twitching and panting heavily.
    I spent the rest of that night freaking out and crying a lot and trying to soothe my sweet cat.  He was walking funny and had blood in his mouth (I never DID figure out what that blood was from) and he was breathing hard for hours.  He didn't want ANYONE to touch him (which is weird because he's normally a super-affectionate cat) and he crawled/wobbled away into the spare bedroom and went to the back of the closet to lay down.  I was terrified he was trying to be alone so that he could die.
    I had no idea what kind of damage the coyotes had done.  I only knew that they hadn't had him long.  Our Super Awesome Next Door Neighbor (who I learned that night is named Gayle) I think that she was in bed already when she heard the scuffling of some animals by her window and said she KNEW for some reason that it was coyotes chasing after a cat.  So basically, she bolted out of bed and ran outside (By then she said she'd heard my cat screech once so she knew for sure what was happening.) 
   When she opened her door she saw two coyotes - a large one and a smaller one - running away; the smaller coyote had my cat in its mouth.   Gayle actually chased after the coytes shouting and clapping her hands.  Thankfully this startled the coyotes and they dropped Frankie and ran to the other side of the road  (Just out of the visibility of the streetlight.). Then I guess they just waited over there and watched to see what Gayle would do.  She was afraid to leave my cat because she knew the coyotes would run back over and just grab him again.  Luckily she had made enough ruckus that her husband came outside and she had him stand guard between my cat and the coyotes while she went to ring our doorbell and see if he was ours. 
     For the entire night afterwards my cat was displaying signs of being in shock.  He's 11 & 1/2 years old and so I was worried because shock can often be fatal to cats.  Sometimes after surviving a traumatic and/or stressful experience the physical effects of shock that follow can end up killing the cat.  ( Read more about that here. )
    By the next morning though he was responding a little more to me and even faintly purring when I'd gently stroke him.  A trip to the vet and it turns out he escaped with only two small puncture wounds and a lot of soreness.  He's my little miracle.  After this I've decided that he's going to have to become an indoor cat from now on.  I don't know how he's going to like that - but this was too close of a call. 
   After doing some research I learned that May-August is the time of year when coyotes are rearing their pups.  So there is an increased and more desperate need to find food for both the adult coyotes as well as the quickly-growing pups.  I suspect that if it had only been one coyote, Frankie would've been able to hold his own and probably would've gotten away.  However it's probably likely that the second coyote surprised him and/or helped distract him while the other one got close enough to grab him. 
     Either way, I think he probably used up at least 2 or 3 of his 9 lives.   I'm just so grateful he survived.  I would've been heartbroken to have lost him. 
On that note I'd better sign off and get my ass to bed. 

      I've really got to start going to bed before there's light starting to show in the sky... (sigh)
Below are a couple of  videos involving cats vs coyotes.  The first one has a happy ending (for the cat) and in the second one I believe the cat is already dead. 
   In the first video you can see how the two coyotes are kind of working together in the way that one coyote is quite obviously trying to keep the cat distracted while the other approaches (albeit slowly) from behind. 
   The second video is just to demonstrate how easily a coyote can scale a wall.  That video took place in Scottsdale, AZ which surprised me because Scottsdale is a pretty urban area... and note the ease with which the coyote jumps the wall.

First video: (happy ending)

Second video (cat appears to be already dead)  :

(And by the way, for that last video I'd like to know who the freaking asshole is that just sits idly by and videotapes a coyote killing/taking away his or his neighbor's pet!!!!)

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