Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wily Coyotes

I live in the Capitol Hill area, near downtown Seattle. There has always been a presence of wild animals in the area, from feral cats to moles. A new species has popped up in the 'hood recently, however: coyotes.

I had heard about them for months, but finally caught my eye on one a week ago as it crossed a main street during rush hour traffic. It was the first time I had ever seen a coyote. Having been to New Mexico, California, Arizona and Texas, I never thought that the first time I'd see one of these wild beasts would be in my neighborhood, but life is strange sometimes.

There has been a rash of cats going missing, and on just the next street from mine a cat was found torn apart. Having three cats myself, I've made sure that they don't go out. Coyotes are wild animals and as soon as they see my cats they'll be thinking about dinner.

The coyotes have yet to attack humans, so there doesn't seem to be a strong effort to get them moved out or killed. I don't know how coyotes managed to get in Seattle. The whole thing is pretty bizarre.


Jonathan said...

We have seen them also on Capitol Hill.

At first I thought, like you, that they are out of place here. However I found this article saying that coyotes coexist well with humans in cities, and control many nuisance animals (such as Canada geese, by eating the eggs):

Chicago coyotes

Best to keep the cats inside at night though (which is hard if your cat doesn't always come in when called). Our cat is a older guy who always stays close to the house.

MOPowell said...

That is very interesting that they reside in cities. Is that a new phenomenon? I had never heard of it happening until this year.

My cat has been an outdoor cat for years, and it's difficult to get her to stay inside. I'm had to spray her with a water pistol when she goes and meows at the door.

Joannie said...

The coyotes have been around town for years, but I think their numbers are growing. They've also been seen killing cats and chickens on Beacon Hill, Wedgwood, and West Seattle. I haven't seen one here yet, but my 18-year-old cat (who also stayed close to the house) may have been a victim. (Torn apart, and then we saw signs about coyotes all over the neighborhood.)

Even if your cat is old and doesn't party, it's best to stay inside at night.

I always thought it would be cool to live in the country or in the woods, and now the wildlife has come to me. Not sure yet how I feel about that.