Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feral Visitor


I had just opened the front door to get a bit of fresh country air when a large male feral cat came strolling by. He was doing what a cat does- stalking patiently, eyes ever so attentive to the ground in front of him hoping to find something to snack on. So I decided to sit back and watch. There are lots of pine voles in this area as evident by the many sandy mounds scattered over our 11.75 acres of property.


Three crows flying overhead spotted the feline and swooped down landing in a nearby oak tree, and then did what crows do best- mob. They began to squawk loudly diving upon the cat forcing him to take cover in our barn and stayed inside until the crows lost interest and flew away. He then began to slowly stalk the hayfield where it borders the forest.

Through my binoculars I watched as the big fellow would stop, sit and scan the area in front of him and then after several minutes move on. Eventually he ended up at the far end of the hayfield near my neighbor's house. By the way he began to tense up I knew he had spotted something. He then jumped into the air and came down hard, and as he turned his head I could tell he had something in his maw. He then slowly trotted towards the woods to eat its catch in privacy. I immediately grabbed my camera and ran towards the area where the cat had entered the thick brush hoping to get a glimpse of what it had captured. When I arrived I began looking for tracks, but was not successful since the ground where it had walked was covered with leaves and pine straw. I searched a while longer and then decided to go back and exam the scene of the crime hoping to find some type of "sign" that might indicate what it had captured.

It wasn't long before everything was explained. I found a fresh vole mound and not far from it was a large vole-sized hole. The rodent must've been peering from this hole when the cat spotted it and then pounced.

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