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The Partners and I were ready for our evening walk. Leashes on. Pockets loaded up with poo-bags and dog treats. I opened the front wood door and saw a face looking in, a cat face. This was a black and white cat, a spitting image of our Ladybug, except this cat had all 4 legs and Bug is one leg short. When the cat saw me it took off east along the side of the house. It was then I noticed another movement. This cat had a friend. At this point they were at the back of the property so I didn’t get a good look at visitor cat #2 as they hopped the fence and took off.

On the way back from our walk we stopped to chat with one of our neighbours. He had a story to tell about a visitor too. The previous night, sometime after 11, he was out walking his two dogs and on the way back saw a coyote out in front of our houses. This doesn’t really surprise me. Another of our neighbours works shifts and has seen coyotes on our street at night in the past. I also saw one a couple years ago trotting toward me on Lake Promenade while I was out with the Newfs. It turned north up Twenty Fifth but by the time I got to the corner the coyote had disappeared. Another time the dogs and I were followed out of the filtration plant grounds by a curious young coyote.

Coyotes are not the only wildlife around here. This has been a banner year for bunnies and many mornings we see them when we’re out and about with the Partners. George mostly ignores them, but Ruby wants to give chase.

We’ve had possums around in the past, but I haven’t seen one in a couple years. We’re at the northern end of their range. Once a possum showed up on our back deck, hissing at the dogs. What a strange critter.

Back before they tore down Nick’s place to the south of us, there was a groundhog living on that property. I don’t know where it’s gone since the construction, but the whole network of holes has long been destroyed now. I imagine Mr. Groundhog has found a more hospitable yard to take up residence in.

I haven’t seen any deer right here in the neighbourhood but a few years ago I saw 4 of them feeding at the edge of the woods on the old arsenal lands near the foot of Dixie Rd. I don’t know if they are still around – there has been some construction activity right where I saw the deer – but the forest itself has been more or less undisturbed. I like to imagine they are still there.

Add to this various hawks and owls, and a host of resident and migratory songbirds. And over in Sam Smith Park there is a very active beaver family working on taking down any trees that dare to grow out on the yacht club peninsula. You can see the lodge extending out into the harbour on the north side of the peninsula.


  1. We’re pretty suburban, but loaded with bunnies, and I’m convinced there was a coyote out in the night the time a couple years ago when Torvald went bughouse and attached himself to me like the tree-hugger from Alien, resulting in a week of antibiotics and a classic schlager cut. Fox lives on the shed of the run down house down the block. At least he did last winter.

    • We haven’t seen foxes but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some around. We have two huge parks with some forest and there is a rail corridor and a ravine with a creek so there is plenty of habitat. We lost a cat over the winter. He was an old guy who came to us at 14 and was always an outdoor cat. We had a heated shelter for him on the front porch which he loved. One night he went out and failed to report back for breakfast the next day. While I’d like to think he hopped a freight and went off to seek his fortune, I suspect coyotes.

      • Salvelinas Fontinalis

        If a cat still has his claws he will be pretty safe from coyotes, especially if he has been around for a couple of years and learned that he is fairly safe up a tree. Cats learn that at a fairly young age. I think owls get way more cats than coyotes.

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