Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 45 - Scat Cat!

Well when you read this I'm either on my way to, having the, or recovering from my first colonoscopy.  So I felt the right thing to talk about today is feces, poop or scat.  I never knew that animal poop was called scat.  I thought scat was what you said when you told someone or an animal, "SCAT" to mean "get out of here."  So now I know.  We have plenty of that in our backyard.  Some we don't mind and others we do.  Our backyard is a Certified Wildlife Habitat so we get plenty of creatures.  The National Wildlife Federation certificate states, "This certificate recognizes the establishment and maintenance of an official wildlife habitat."

This is the right thing to do for us.  We plant flowers for the bees and butterflies.  We have bird baths for the birds (although the raccoon and our neighbor's cat drink from it too.)  We put out sunflower seeds for the birds but the squirrels, flying squirrels and raccoons like these just as well.  We put out one bowl of cat food out each night too.  Crazy right?  Well this isn't so crazy when I tell you.... as Paul Harvey would say....the rest of the story. Before I begin, click on the sound files below first.


Play sound 1
Sound 2

We heard this the other night and being the brave stupid fools that we are, grabbed the flashlight and went searching for the source of the sound.  In hindsight, we should have known better when we saw the reflection of two pair of eyes in the trees.  You know you are in danger when the raccoons leave the ground and run to hide in the trees.  At first I thought it might be a boar, that is the only animal sound that I had a point of reference to from experience.  We had heard our first nighthawk the night before so maybe it was a predatory nocturnal bird.  The clang of the fence links followed by a whimper told us it was obviously out for a drive thru dinner for meat. No bun, pass the salt and I'm out of here.

Now that we have verified the sound with these links on the internet, we have concluded that it was a bobcat.  Bigger than a house cat, smaller than a panther but a cat with a god awful sound.  In daylight, we followed the trail that the raccoons have made to our backyard and discovered scat that doesn't look like it came from the raccoons.  If I were to guess, it looks like it came from a swift fox.  But I know for sure it wasn't the bobcats as we had never heard this sound before.  It reminded me of the time the guy at the local garden store told us that people always come in and say, "How do I get rid of the fox in my yard?"  He asked the customer, "Well tell me about your yard, do you have a water hole or something like that?"  The customer replied, "We just put in a koi pond."  To which the attendant responded, "There's your problem. Get rid of the koi pond to get rid of the fox."  If we put out food to feed one type of animal, the predator of that animal will soon follow.

I'd like to get a picture of the bobcat but that will take some doing.  They are known to be in this area but not usually in our backyard. I'd love to add a photo of the bobcat to our collection.  You know I could invent a word that perfectly describes the hobby of making a scrapbook of our wildlife, Scatbooking. I imagine I would have to start taking some photos of their poop and learn to identify the scat of each animal.  Ahhhhh, maybe not, I'll just let my doctor take the photos today while I make this sound...click on the link below.

BJ in the surgery room

Last words are for fools who haven’t pooped enough    ~Karl Marx

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