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Posts Tagged ‘bobcat’

Last spring started the beginning of my “we-will-survive-the-zombie-apocolypse” plan.   We went to the feed store and brought home 6 chickens.  Originally we only wanted  4, but then we were afraid that some of them would be roosters, so we bought 2 more.

The original bunch of ladies

Then mid winter, I decided it would be a great idea to let the ladies out to free range.  Bobby the Bobcat thought it was a great idea too.   Poor Henrietta.  We saw him drag her into the forest.

Marshall:  Wow! That was very nature documentaryish

Me:  I was thinking of the theme song from “Lion King”

Mike:  Hakuna Matatata, means no worries.  Wait?  Why are you thinking of that song?

Me:  No, I was thinking the Elton John song, “The Ciiiircle of Liiiiife” but Hakuna Matata works well too.

McKayla:  Aren’t you going to go rescue her?!?

Me:  No way.  I’m not taking a chicken away from a hungry bobcat and I am definitely not taking a chicken to the vet.

bobcat

Once Bobby got a taste for our ladies, he was unstoppable.  The next day Mike came running in screaming that the bobcat was inside the chicken coop.  Awesome, just awesome.  There went Pooper McPooperson.

We had a bit of a reprieve because Dave chased the bobcat around the yard with a look of menace in his eyes.  Whatever he did worked, and the bobcat was scared into hiding.  Yet when Dave went to China, Bobby came back for some more.  My cousin was spending the week.

Him:  Um, cousin, are your chickens supposed to be out?

Me:  No.

Him:  Oh man!  Bobby is back!  Marshall bring me your baseball bat!  We’re going to protect these chickens!

Somehow Bob had scared the ladies out of the coop and was picking them off one by one.  There went Ducky and Big Momma.  Poor, Poor big Momma.

Now we’re just down to two.  And though we’re not supposed to have favorites, I am a little upset that Mrs. Noisy was the one that made it.  I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s part rooster.

We're the queens of the roost

We’ve bobcat proofed the coop and bought 18 baby peeps.  I don’t know what it is about peeps that makes them so darn adorable.  It makes me sort of forget how disgusting adult chickens are.

Aren't we a little bit adorable

I’ve already started naming them.  Collette, Francesca, Henrietta the second, Katherine, Elizabeth, Genevieve, Victoria…

Nate:  Those are girly names.

Me:  These are girls.  And they’re the only baby girls I’m going to get to have.  If my ovaries can’t overact, I’m going to have 18 babies chickies.

Jake:  How are we going to know who is who, they all look the same?

Me: Maybe we could tag them.  We could write their names on the tags.

Dave:  You’ll be hard pressed to write Genevieve on a small tag.

Me:  Maybe I could crochet them little bonnets.  How tolerant do you think they’ll be of Harry Potter sweaters with their initials on them?

Turns out I wasn’t the first one to think of it.

A CHICKEN SWEATER?!? That sounds AWESOME!

 

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Last week Mike came running inside and said, “I SAW A TIGER!!! A TIGER”

Me:  You saw a tiger and left your brothers outside in the driveway?

Mike (running to the door and screaming)  Nate, Jake hurry come here!  There’s a TIGER out there!!!!

Dave:  We don’t live in the jungle.  There are no tigers here.

Mike:  Really, I saw a tiger.  It was as tall as my waist and it was orange with black stripes.

We assured him we believed that he did see something, but it most assuredly was not a tiger, possibly a golden retriever or maybe a plain old cat.

Mike:  IT WAS NOT A CAT, IT WAS A TIGER.

He spent the rest of the day mumbling about how he couldn’t believe we didn’t believe him about the tiger.

****

Yesterday, Marshall was sitting on the front porch reading a book.  He was all by himself.  Amazingly, sitting very quietly.  He came running inside, quietly.

HURRY COME QUICKLY!!!  (don’t you love how well my kids use adverbs)  BUT BE QUIET!

A BOB CAT JUST CROSSED THE DRIVEWAY!

We all ran outside, but there was no evidence of a bobcat.

Me:  What did it look like?

Marshall:  It was tan and about twice the size of Frank.

Me:  Wow!

Mike:  WHAT?!? Why do you believe Marshall but not me?

Me:  Because Marshall had more believable observations.  He chose an animal that lives on this continent.

****

Last night Dave and I dropped Mckayla and a friend off at the movies and made a short trip to Home Depot, aka where we deposit Dave’s paycheck to build a tree houset.  I received a phone call from home.

Marshall:  Mom, there’s a bobcat sitting in front of the bunny hutch.

Me:  WHAT?!

Marshall:  There’s a bobcat sitting in front of the bunny hutch.  What should we do?

Me:  Okay, first make sure everyone is inside and then go get my camera and take a picture.

Marshall:  Everyone is inside and we already took a ton of pictures.  We wanted to make sure you guys believed us this time.

Me:  This is why I leave you in charge!  Good job.  We’re almost home.

When we got home we drove around the backside of our circle drive to sneak up on the bobcat.  If you have ever heard my van, you will know that sneak is really a rather generous word.  It squeaks and hums and clicks and is generally noisy all around.  I have decide to be optimistic about my noisy van.  I figure it gives all the bicyclist and pedestrians ample warning that there is a car behind them.   So as we circled the driveway, we expected to find nothing on our front lawn but a scared bunny.

What we were shocked to see a rather large cat at the bunny hutch.

bobcat

Just pretend we have a nicely mowed and weedless lawn.

This bobcat was fearless!  It didn’t even budge when we got out of the car.  When Dave was about 5 feet away from him, he finally decided to saunter off to the tree line and then just hung out at the edge of the grass until we went inside.

I’m sure that when the bobcat found our house he did a little happy dance and thought “Yes!  This house has trapped all these chickens and a bunny for me to eat! Heck Yes!”

bobcat stalking

As the bobcat circled the rabbit hutch the chickens were all along their fence noisily clucking away and craning their necks to get a better view of the bunny slaughter.  Personally, if I was a chicken I would have been absolutely quiet and hid inside my house.  Alas, chickens are incredibly dumb and ours exceedingly excel at being terribly stupid.

Let me tell you something about my bunny.  She thinks she’s vicious.  When we introduced her to Frank, I was sure that we’d have to watch Frank carefully.  I was holding onto Frank for dear life, the bunny’s dear life.  What I didn’t anticipate was the bunny reaching out and taking a swipe at the cat.  Dave jokes that the bunny told Frank, “I smell dead bunny on your breath.  I shall avenge my kin!”  Which may be true because the wild rabbits all come and hang out by the hutch.  I imagine long conversations taking place concerning our cat.

Like the chickens, if I was a bunny, I’d run up the ladder and hide in the top, windowless portion of the hut and pretend I didn’t exist while a bobcat stalked my home.  Alas, our bunny has a bravery verging on stupidity.  She decided to put herself right on the fence and taunt the bobcat.  They were nose and nose for awhile.  I really wish we would have gotten a good picture of our small 5 pound bunny taunting a full grown bobcat.

ready to pounce

Imagine here a small bunny shaking his little bunny tail saying, “neener, neener, neener!  You can’t get me I’m in this well built chicken coop!”

I’m sure the bobcat has been casing this joint for awhile.  Him and the bunny have probably been playing this game for quite some time.  What the bunny probably didn’t know was that the bobcat can dig.  A few times we needed to go out and scare the bobcat away from the hutch in order to stop the digging.  Eventually the bobcat decided to settle in and watch the bunny show.

bobcat patience

I called animal control who put me in touch with Fish and Wildlife who informed me that they don’t do anything for bobcats because they aren’t dangerous.

Me:  But he’s not afraid of us and I have small children.

Him:  They are completely safe to humans.

Me:  Not to bunnies though.

Him:  Yeah, probably not to a bunny.

We finally convinced the bobcat to go away.  It involved duct taping Nathaniel to a tree with a steak and hiding Marshall behind a bush with a taser gun.

I kid.

I think he finally was annoyed with our paparazzi-like behavior and the constant shouting at him to stop digging by the rabbit.  I’m really hoping that he went off to kill the most annoying chirping squirrel in the world who lives in my front yard.

bobcat

While he was off, Dave and Marshall went out and retrieved the bunny.  We then went to Petsmart and dropped a small fortune on a indoor bunny cage.

Dave: Tomorrow we should make sure the chickens are safe.

Me:  Whatever, I don’t really care if he gets a chicken, just as long as he takes all the evidence and leaves nothing behind.  He can leave feathers, but I don’t want to deal with any blood.

Dave:  Should we leave him a little note offering up Pooper McPooperson first?

Me:  On second thought, maybe we should bobcat proof the coop. 

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