Friday, December 11, 2009

Coyotes: Nervous and Numerous

There is now a blog of "The Canyon," which is a geological feature of the campus of Reed College -- or rather a geological featurette, given its diminutive size.

The word from the canyon's blog is that coyotes have been sited there of late, and while noting that coyotes pose no threat to humans, it grimly observes that

[C]oyotes will prey upon free-roaming cats and unleashed small dogs.
Being neither, I was right not to be alarmed upon seeing a nervous-looking coyote last week at the golf course where I run, and now I realize I should not have been surprised (at seeing it, not necessarily at its nervousness), as coyotes are apparently feeding on free-range cats and dogs from one end of east Portland to the other. We are overrun.

The canyon blog goes on to list ways to reduce what it calls "human-coyote conflict," and I have helpfully annotated the list:
* If you see a coyote, shout and make noise, wave your arms.[I would think this would only call attention to the coyote, which is sure to increase its nervousness, if not disrupt its feast of unleashed cat. Rude.]
* Never deliberately feed a coyote or other wild mammal.[Meaning, presumably, always keep your small dogs and cats on leashes. I don't have the small-turd tolerance necessary to keep a small dog, but have you ever tried to keep a cat on a leash? I'd rather cede a few cats to coyotes than subject them to the indignity of the leash, and I think they'd agree.]
* Never deliberately approach a coyote and teach children to respect all wildlife from a distance.[Indeed. Do one of these or the other, but not both. I choose the first, never deliberately approach a coyote, but I will expect the children to learn how to approach wild animals just as I did, by reading the blogs of geological featurettes.]
* Keep house pets indoors and allow only controlled access to the outdoors (fenced yards and leashes).[Now the cats and dogs have to stay indoors, within a fenced yard, and leashed? We might as well just euthanize them all now.]
* Always keep pets in at night when coyotes are most active. (While coyotes are most active between dusk and dawn, they can be seen at any time of the day.)[I don't know about the small dogs and their small turds, but oh, the cats, being nocturnal by nature, are not going to like this one. Their late-night squalling and mad-dashing is going to make us all want to let them out to face the coyotes.]
* Cats and dogs need to be on a leash or indoors at all times in Multnomah County, and in the canyon. [Yea yea, and I need to save all my money for a rainy day, spend all my money to help the economy rebound, convert to the metric system, learn CPR, try not to unnecessarily impregnate the octo-mom, and avoid soy milk if I don't want gigantic man-boobs. Need, need, need. Blah blah.]
For broadly "fifth amendment" reasons, I would prefer not to expand on why I would say this, but no one should be surprised if a middle-aged Amboina Box Turtle is also seen wandering the Reed canyon.

1 comment:

grrlpup said...

What is up with the canyon "blog" not having comments enabled? Blech.

I saw a coyote at 43rd and Steele a few weeks ago, at night. It was obviously out looking for conflict. Or roadrunners.