A lot goes on in the dark of night, no matter where one happens to live. Nocturnal animals of countless species wake up, yawn, stretch, and set off to do what it is they do just as soon as the dusk has morphed into darkness.
Most of the midnight predators in my in-town Atlanta neighborhood are of the bipedal type. They skulk around trendy nightlife venues, waiting for a drunk or clueless suburban visitor to stumble toward her car while talking on the ubiquitous smartphone that petty bipeds like to snatch and sell. Handguns are usually brandished in this process, sort of like a ritual dance seen more often in the avian species.
Some drive around in fin-tailed hoopties, sometimes with the lights off so as not to attract the security patrol with their hunting speeds. This biped prefers four-wheeled prey, especially Honda Civics and Jeep Cherokees, again to snatch and sell.
And, as was the case a month ago, every now and then one of them will “select a mate” without the consent or cooperation of the biped’s selection and have his way with her right there on the sidewalk.
Most of the time I am unaware of the nightly drama outside my four walls, hearing only the hoo, hoo, hoo of our Eastern Screech Owl neighbors in the backyard. The rest of the time I might hear the repeat of a handgun in the distance, but decide it was just a car backfiring. No sense in worrying about something I can’t control, right?
Wednesday morning three or four pet cats in our neighborhood were found mauled and eviscerated. At the same time, a neighbor reported having watched two vicious dogs roaming the neighborhood, chasing cats; she even got a picture of the scary delinquents. Case solved.
In less than two hours animal control had picked up the canine hoodlums and begun the search for their unfortunate owners who were going to be held responsible for their pets’ serial murders.
This morning a neighbor reported that she is 99.9% certain she saw a COYOTE at an intersection two blocks from my house. At the very same time I was reading that email a news story was on television, discussing the increased population of urban coyotes in Georgia! What?!?!?!?
This new evidence might be just what the dogs’ defense attorney will need to spring the pooches from custody, At the very least, the element of reasonable doubt has been introduced.
I have lived in Atlanta since 1993. I have seen foxes, opossums, lizards, snakes and roaches big enough to have their own zip codes. But a coyote?
As it turns out, it is not uncommon for coyotes to turn up in cities. They are timid by nature and run from humans, so they have changed over time from diurnal to nocturnal to reduce the likelihood of human encounters.
Neighbors who have outdoor cats who refuse to come in at night are very concerned.