Saturday, August 3, 2013

Unauthorized visitor on the deck - feline alarm system engaged!

I know it is amazing and hardly believable, but even with 9 cats and 2 dogs, we do get the occasional unauthorized visitors in the farm yard.  Of course, they are usually visiting when the cats and the dogs are inside for the night. 

Let me rephrase that.  There are 3 cats that prefer to be outside in the summertime.  Angel, Honey-cat and Miss Kitty.  Miss Kitty though is probably already curled up in her favorite spot in the cat shed, so technically she is inside too.  Honey-cat is probably out doing perimeter check because this is the time of the evening that she does that.  If Angel is anywhere nearby, she is not considered a threat.  She is the smallest cat of the entire crew, probably barely weighs 5 pounds and looks like a skinny barn cat (without the barn).

The cats inside still monitor the yard from the various windows.  Chevy was laying on the cat carriers the look out across the west deck through the French doors.  ALARM SIGNAL!!!!  Low growling is heard as I worked here at the computer.  OK, that means there is an unauthorized cat or other furry creature on my deck and Chevy is sounding the alarm and warning said unauthorized animal of impending doom.

As I sneak out of the office and around the chair, I flip on the switch to light up the west side of the house.  There is a big raccoon who has decided that coming up on the deck for a free meal of cat food is worth the risk.  It seems very undeterred by the light coming on like he is used to motion sensor lights.  I sneak back to the office doorway.  I have started keeping my 0.22 short rifle loaded and within reach for just such occasions.  I usually just get to shoot into the windbreak and hope that scares the varmit off enough to stay away.  However, I have managed to shoot an opossum dead on the deck last summer.  The few feral cats that show up scatter as soon as they see me or as soon as the light turns on. 

So there I am rifle in hand and as I approach the French doors I have not only Chevy watching this raccoon but now Shuey is right there on the other side of the door from it just as poofed as he can be.  The cats are good about getting out of the way and not charging out the door.  But as soon as I reach for the door, the raccoon looks up at me and decides maybe it is time for him to exit stage left.  By the time I get outside and get the door closed, I have lost the raccoon in the darkness.  No sound, no movement on the edge of the lighted area.  So I fire a warning shot off into the windbreak directly west and yell out into the night, "you are not authorized to be on my deck eating the cat food."  I am sure the raccoon heeded both warnings with serious regard.

See even the night life here can get exciting.