"Other Daughter" is one of the Perp's two adult daughters, one of whom lives across the street to the east of me and the other two houses down to the west. He calls one of the women his "Pretty Daughter" and the other his "Other Daughter."
Yes. In my none-too-humble opinion, Other Daughter is the pretty one. But enough said about that.
Other Daughter dearly loves cats. She has an orange tabby that likes to jump the wall into my backyard and use the desert landscaping as a gigantic litterbox, and so as you can imagine, the cat is not one of my favorite neighborhood characters. Hence, the top of the walls lined with carpet tack strips, which makes me look like the crazy one.
LOL! I learned, belatedly, that the reason I got this house so cheaply is that the former owners were afraid of the Perp (as many of the locals are -- they think he's some sort of Eastern European mafioso, when really he's just a refugee -- a very tough refugee -- from a murderously repressive regime). They were made uncomfortable at being sandwiched between his two rather unstable daughters. Despite an encounter with the man that resulted in $10,000 worth of vandalism to my house and an incident in which he threatened a judge and scared my lawyers to the point where they begged me to take a $40,000 hit on the shack and move somewhere else ASAP, I am not afraid of the Perp or any of his relatives. When I moved in here I had a German shepherd who was fully capable of ripping off a man's leg (and who attempted to do so when she caught the Perp's hapless son-in-law trying to enter the property), and of course I am armed to the teeth. Being a good Arizona girl. ;-)
Oh well. Back to Other Daughter, who (I'm sure to the Perp's dismay) has become a friend. I'm afraid I actually like Other Daughter, who is a sweet, decent, and much abused human being. So there she is, ambling up and down the alley with the cat.
Naturally, I go out and say hello and suggest she could come in for some coffee but we'd need to be careful the dogs didn't grab the cat.
She says she found a dead cat in the alley -- a large Maine coon cat -- that had been eviscerated and partly eaten. She surmised the cat was killed by one of the several coyotes who roam the neighborhood. And she reported that the coyote with the broken leg is alive and well. So she's keeping the tabbycat indoors except for brief supervised strolls.
Well, I knew she'd put a dead animal out on the curb, in a box, for the county to pick up. Unworthily, I clandestinely hoped it was her nuisance mostly stray puddy-tat. But no.
So she's all upset about the coyotes. She said she'd talked to the folks on the other side of Feeder Street N.S., who have this little curbside library that is kinda cool. Extremely cool. And they'd told her about the many coyote sightings in their part of the 'hood. I pointed out that if those folks, who also are animal sentimentalists, would stop leaving food outside, we wouldn't be having this problem.
She didn't get it, not for an instant. "But everybody does it!" she exclaimed -- in a positive way, as though this were a good thing.
Personally, I question whether a coyote killed the alleged coon cat. Pulling out the intestines and leaving a whole corpus of meat to be nabbed by any passing scavenger is not the coyote MO, especially not at this time of year, when the critters are whelping. After a coyote catches a cat, normally all that's left are the ears and the tail. That's about it. My guess is, the cat was caught by a stray dog, of which we have several.
However. Anything's possible. So that makes it a concern. A coon cat is as big as Ruby or Cassie and twice as mean.
During the whelping season, coyotes will come over a backyard wall (I've seen them: they can ghost right over six feet of cinderblock) and try to dispense with the resident dogs. Since canids predate on interlopers' pups, they quite reasonably assume your dog is likely to take out their den, and so they'll try to kill off the competition. Couple of years ago, the two guys who live over in the high-rent part of the 'hood with their pair of greyhounds were sitting in their house gazing out the window when they spotted a coyote coming over the wall.
It went after the greys, who -- amazingly, considering the greyhound's retiring nature -- rose to the occasion. A fight ensued, during which the coyote made its escape back over the wall. A few hours later, they learned the coyote was found dead in a front yard a few houses down the road.
Yeah. I do wish people would get a grip on their squishy sentimentality over wild animals and, dammit, NOT LEAVE FOOD OUTDOORS FOR THEM!
Should you number yourself among the sentimental, please!!!!! Try to absorb this message: A FED COYOTE IS A DEAD COYOTE!
When you leave food out for coyotes (or passing cats, or your own cat that you allow to roam free, or whatever you hope you're feeding), they lose their natural, protective fear of humans. It's good for coyotes to be afraid of humans: that fear keeps them safe.
A coyote that's no longer royally wary of humans becomes a potential threat to humans and to their pets. They will go after your cats and your small dogs. And they have been known to attack small children and even adult humans. No, they're not very dangerous to humans, but they certainly are capable of killing a dog or a child and of doing some serious damage to you. We don't need one more little kid, or one pet dog, or even one tame cat injured or killed by a coyote whose natural instincts have been interfered with by foolish human habits. When that happens, sooner or later the coyote will be trapped and killed.
Urban coyotes live with us. They're everywhere, all across the United States and into parts of Canada. They do a lot of good: they kill off roof rats, gophers, and other vermin, and at a distance they can be quite decorative. But let's not let them think they can rule the roost.
Coyote vs Dog: By Nickton (Chance encounter Uploaded by Mariomassone) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Main Coon Cat. By Tomitheos from *Maine_Coon.JPG derivative work: David Shankbone (Maine_Coon.JPG) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By J.W.C. Adam. (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Coyote, Life Study. By Ernest Thompson Seton, 1860-1946 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.