Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nature's bandits, and other ruminations from the sunnier side

Our little community is home to a number of peculiar creatures. An incomplete list would include:
A troll-like cat that stands guard at the front of his overly-accented garden,
A brother and sister cat (gray with white feet) who both seem to be suffering from some sort of skin ailment,
A black cat with a red harness that always picks fights (our theory is that it's because the other cats make fun of his harness),
Two cats that I never see that are mythically known to be the two softest cats in the world,
An orange cat named Marmalade,
A deformed black cat with a permanently bent-back paw named Extra, who is loved by all,
And, of course, a host of enormous, hulking raccoons that we sometimes mistake for cats in the dead of night.
The other evening while eating steaks in Ethan's backyard, a lumbering raccoon--easily 20 pounds or more--came scrambling over the fence and stared us down, preparing to rush at any moment. It was terrifying, but I remembered again what it is to feel alive.
This week, I came into collision with the idea of animal collectives two times: The first was when I found the fox and the hare, a lovely site all about collective nouns used to describe groups of animals. There are some beautiful images there, including some great lantern slides. Secondly, by strange coincidence, one of the categories at trivia night was groups of animals. Did you know that a group of cobras is [appropriately] called a quiver? A group of raccoons is called a gaze. I am not sure what our group of house cats is called, but it's probably got a name all its own.


w. leavitt said...

Klien has a few ideas about feline management. You might want to talk to her.

Jill said...

We were up the canyon roasting marshmellows once and a huge racoon came right down on to our picnic table and stole our entire bag of marshmellows... just ran away with the whole bag! Or course we just let him. Who want to mess with a racoon?