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Crying "Wolf"

gattina

By gattina

40 comments


Daughter and I sauntered up the garden to find out what was dead and what was growing last Sunday – a warm and beautiful day. We were investigating the freshly turned ground where the last of the broccoli had recently been pulled out, and she grabbed my arm. “Look at those HUGE paw prints – you’ve had a visitor!” And there they were – very clear “dog” pawprints. The strange thing is, there are no dogs that big in the neighbourhood, and if there were, they would, by public demand, stay chained up. Could it have been a wolf? Our neighbours always joke with us, telling us to “watch out for the wolves”, and they’ve (wolves, not the neighbours) been seen, and photographed in the national park 30 kilometers away, but in OUR garden? Surely not. Then one of our cats – the lovely Flora (see my photgraphs) has disappeared, and we’ve begun to get doubtful. A couple of friends came to dinner last night, and in passing, the wife said “We were driving home a couple of nights ago, and just as we turned the sharp bend in our drive (they live half a mile away), there was a wolf standing in the road.”
So maybe not a figment of our imagination. I doubt they would ever attack a human – they are far too shy, but any of the cats that want to stay in the house overnight for the next few months won’t have to ask twice.

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Comments

 

How exciting . . . in a scary way. :)) Please tell us that Flora has returned, safe and well??

15 Mar, 2012

 

Watch out Gattina ! Has the snow all cleared now ?
If it was a wolf it was probably starving , hence coming close to human habitation .

15 Mar, 2012

 

Very, very scary Gattina, take care

15 Mar, 2012

 

I hope Flora comes home unharmed. You wouldn't expect to see that in your garden.

15 Mar, 2012

 

Exciting to have wolves so close to you, hope your cat returns safe and sound for you..

15 Mar, 2012

 

Oh heck, I`d be scared out of my wits and excited at the same time, I hope Flora returns safely Gattina...

15 Mar, 2012

 

It's going to be quite difficult to tell, as Flora is pretty wild herself, and doesn't approach the house very often, certainly never comes into it, and will be hard-pressed to get close enough for us to stroke her. She just comes for food and shelter in our cellar when the weather is bad.
The sad news is that hunters have been out - whether legally or not at this time of year we aren't sure - we have heard the guns down in the valley, and any wolf that has been seen will be a goner, so we are keeping quiet about him for now.

15 Mar, 2012

 

:-0 scary !!! Hope your cat is okay - stay safe :)))

15 Mar, 2012

 

Oh jeez! Amazing aminals but I wouldnt want one in my garden! Hope Flora is safe :)

15 Mar, 2012

 

I hope Flora is safe to, I love wolves but not in the garden :(

15 Mar, 2012

 

Driad, we have both wolves and bears in our mountains. I have never heard that starving wolf attack human being. They are extremely shy. Bear does.

15 Mar, 2012

 

We have foxes and squirrels and a sparrow hawk occasionally.........doesn't sound quite as exciting as wolves and bears!!!!! :o)

15 Mar, 2012

 

I must admit that I would be thrilled actually to see one, but I should also be very upset that it has had to come this far out of its natural habitat, and would be very vulnerable in a number of ways.

15 Mar, 2012

 

We've occasionally come across huge 'dog' footprints when we've been walking in the mountains, but we've convinced ourselves that it must have been one of the huge Mastin dogs that look after sheep and cows. If you have no such 'carers' in your area and large dogs are chained up then it must be, as you say - wolf! You've had such heavy snowfall that wolves - along with other large wild mammals - are probably starving, especially if it's a female with cubs tucked away somewhere. Scary .... but thrilling too!

16 Mar, 2012

 

Nariz, I just hope for her sake, if, as you say, it could be a wolf bitch with cubs, she can make it back to protected territory. There is no animal stock in the fields here for farmers to feel threatened, but it's a knee-jerk reaction - wolf=threat. Out with the guns, and no-one would ask advice or permission of the relevant authorities. As for people feeling threatened - wolves are smaller than you might think - these aren't American timber wolves. A lone wolf without its pack won't attack. There is FAR more danger in the local boars, deer and badgers (and better eating from the first two).

16 Mar, 2012

 

In full agreement there! Luuuuuuurve Boar Casserole and haven't had Venison since I left Britain! Having said that - we watched a deer in the meadow by our casa while we were on the balcony with coffee this morning. Such lovely creatures! This one watched us with its ears pricked right up for about a minute and a half - during which time none of us moved a muscle. Then it suddenly decided NOT to come down and play, but to run off! Shame!

16 Mar, 2012

 

We thought we had just roe deer round here, but last year, late one summer's evening, I realised that the field below the road I was driving along was full of red deer (They're HUGE close up), then later, just before Christmas we were driving home from dinner with friends, and a great red deer stag (about a 14 pointer, but we didn't have time to count properly) sauntered across the road ahead of us, stopped and looked at us for a moment, then continued on his way, and then very early one morning last autumn (probably the rutting season) we were driving down to the station, and a magnificent fallow buck bounded across the road in front of us as if to say "You wouldn't DARE hit me!" There are supposed to be the tiny muntjaks as well, but we haven't seen those. We've only eaten roe deer venison, but Italians don't hang their meat, and insist on soaking it overnight in salt water to remove all the blood. It certainly takes away the flavour, and makes a very insipid meat. You can't buy it from butchers, you have to know someone with a gun! Shame!

16 Mar, 2012

 

Wow Nariz and Gattina . . . you really have WILD life. How wonderful to see deer in the wild like that. At least we do get the occasional muntjac in the garden, and can buy venison from the local butcher.

And that line, Nariz, "having our coffee on the balcony this morning" sounds just like someone on holiday . . . brilliant. :))

16 Mar, 2012

 

We saw a herd of deer this week ; we have seen one before but it is such a previlege . These were roe deer .
It must be amazing to have them so near .
I was thinking that a wolf so close to habitation would be searching for anything to eat , but not people .
It is worrying how the urban fox is getting into homes here in the UK and seemingly attacking folk .

16 Mar, 2012

 

How worrying for you Gattina. I would not want any creatures trampling through my garden. I hope it didn't cause too much damage.
I hope Flora returnes safe and well. Blodyn is never allowed to stay out all night.

16 Mar, 2012

 

Other than an upset potato planter, no damage at all, Hywel. Unfortunately, Flora isn't a house-cat - she is feral and wouldn't come anywhere near. There's no way we could accomodate all the cats in the house anyway - there are about 25 of them, but a catflap into the cellar is always there to supply a refuge if she needs or wants one.

16 Mar, 2012

 

I know we've gone off the subject of deer, but reading your comments, Gattina, made me remember when we were out on an early morning walk once - just strolling along a track admiring the view and listening to all the birds - and suddenly two Chamois (called Rebecos here) leapt out of the bushes right by the track and bounded off down the hill before disappearing into the undergrowth. We realised we'd both frozen on the spot as we watched them!

Sheila - you'll soon know the joy of sitting on a balcony in the Picos with coffee while watching 'things.' It's one of our favourite times of day - like a 'date' - as we both go about our business but always meet up for coffee at 11.00 am. :o)

17 Mar, 2012

 

When we first came here, the mountain road was closed (There had been a rockfall which took out the road and someone working on the rockface, poor soul) and one day, we noticed it had been opened again and decided to take a walk to have a look at the views from up there. We heard a noise from way up above the road, on the rockface itself, and there was a black mountain goat, perched on the tiniest ledge. How do they do that? He bounded off, so surefooted up an almost vertical drop, and disappeared into the woods at the top of the scarp. Thrilling! We've walked the road loads of times since then, but never seen another. Maybe there are now too many humans and cars for them to feel safe, even at that distance.

We do have a balcony, outside the summerhouse, but in summer it is mostly taken up with flowering tubs. Instead, we have a swingseat which looks out south over the garden to the mountains on the other side of the valley. It is SOOO difficult to heave ourselves out of that to carry on gardening on a beautiful spring day!

It beats south Manchester, I tell you!

17 Mar, 2012

 

Sounds dreamy Gattina. :)) Nothing like a lovely view to lift the spirits!

Thanks Nariz - REALLY looking forward to meeting you and your OH!

17 Mar, 2012

 

Hope the weather improves well before then, Sheila - it's cold and wet at the moment!

18 Mar, 2012

 

I have found a way to make everyday problems disappear! Mention them and have a little moan on GOY.
Guess who has turned up? GOT it in one - Flora! So NOT eaten by a wolf. Her tail, though, is in a terrible state - broken, hairless and a bit gory at the top - she keeps licking it, so it's obviously hurting her. I wonder what DID happen to her. She was very, very pleased to see me, and made a big fuss of me, which is most unusual - she normally won't come within three feet of any of us.
So, Cotinus Fred, I thought was dead has developed tiny sprouts, my lily of the valley and rhubarb that I thought I'd lost, I've found again, the forecast snow a couple of weeks ago didn't materialise, and all my fruit trees have suddenly developed flower buds that I thought had been frostbitten, and dear little Flora has returned.
What next, I wonder?

18 Mar, 2012

 

Brilliant news Gattina . . . phew. I'm particularly glad about Flora and Fred!!

18 Mar, 2012

 

Me too!

19 Mar, 2012

 

Good ole' Fred!

19 Mar, 2012

 

Fred really is VERY tiny, Nariz, but a fighter. On a 2" stem (all that was left) he has around 6 tiny shoots coming. I'm not sure whether it's likely to be more constructive to murmur sweet, encouraging "nientes" or to shout "Grow, you Ba****d!" It's a bit too chilly and too early in the season to feed him, so for the moment he's on his own.

19 Mar, 2012

 

Give him a mulch of anything that's around - I even wrapped an old teatowel around my agapanthus before the snow - not pretty, but it worked. It also made a cosy home for a tribe of snails - now no more - but as they didn't want to eat the agapanthus, only hide out the worst of the weather - it made a trap for them so they will never munch on any more of my plants! Ha!

19 Mar, 2012

 

Oh dear! The perfidious host......Even snails have rights, you know, Nariz!

Just to let you all know, Flora, since she found her way back to us, has been so sweet and approachable, but obviously in bad pain and distressed by the state of her poor, broken, gory tail, that we were able to catch her relatively easily and took her off to have it amputated at the vet this afternoon, who reckoned it had been badly bitten by something. If we hadn't, she would have ended up dying rather horribly of blood poisoning eventually, and we couldn't have that. She cried piteously all the way there, and I get the feeling she's going to have a hard time forgiving us when she gets home tomorrow. I wish there were some way of explaining to animals that we have to put them through all this distress, and why, and that things WILL be better. She bit the vet. She'll probably bite us, too. It was really strange that as we drove down the drive this evening without her, ALL the other cats were waiting, sitting in a circle in the courtyard. We know that when we bring her home again tomorrow, they'll be waiting for her again, almost like a welcoming party. They do it every time.

20 Mar, 2012

 

The snails have no rights in MY garden! I'M in charge there and my boots know no mercy!

Hope Flora recovers well and regales her friends with the story of her escape and how she became a 'Manx' cat. ;o)

20 Mar, 2012

 

She'll be fine! There are quite a few of "our" cats with abnormally stumpy tails, so she'll fit right in.
We throw our snails over the wall for the neighbours' ducks to eat.

20 Mar, 2012

 

I throw snails into the field at the back of the garden . . the only things I can kill are ants.

Well done for giving Flora TLC, Gattina!

20 Mar, 2012

 

Poor little thing is home, still very wobbly and disorientated. The vet told us to keep her apart from the other cats in a quiet place, so we shut all the summerhouse windows, put her towel in a nice dark corner, with food, water and a litter tray, and after 5 minutes we had to let her out 'cos she was trying to break the window with her head and escape. We have no idea where she sleeps normally, but she feels cold and is trembling, and while I was planting out my onions, she kept coming and sitting right next to my leg. I took her into my arms and sat on the swing seat, keeping her warm and comfortable, and she even started to purr, then I could feel her relax and she fell asleep, but there's only so long one can sit in a cold, dark garden, and she won't come near the house. There's only so much we can do, so we've left an old grocery box lined with a blanket under the table in the porch and turned the light off. She's investigated and doesn't seem very impressed, but she's crouching right next to the front door, and we just hope she decides to come in for some shelter. Watch this space. Honestly, it's worse than lying in bed listening and waiting for adolescent children to come home after a party!
As we predicted, when we drove home with her, the courtyard had 10 cats waiting for us, and they've all been to see her and lick her a welcome, but she's not really very appreciative right now. Let's hope she might be a little more friendly and approachable when she's recovered a bit.

20 Mar, 2012

 

Well done with Flora , Gattina , she's a lucky girl having you to care for her .
The worse that my two have to suffer is being held fast to put on the flea and worm treatments , and they strongly object ; also having trouble with the menu lately ! Not gourmet enough .

20 Mar, 2012

 

I must admit, I had a sneaky suspicion while I was sitting cuddling her in a very cold dark garden, whispering sweet nothings that I must be completely losing it, and I was going to get pneumonia myself, but you do these things, don't you? Else why are we here?
I'm never very popular when having to administer treatment - drops, horrid worm pills, or holding them for the vet to inject or examine, and I have a splendid display of scars to prove it - OH even more so. Most of them forgive us. None of them forgives us though when we are roasting a chicken and they find out it's not for them! Dried cat food goes ignored. Tough! They're lucky to get anything at all.

20 Mar, 2012

 

Well - you've done so much for Flora - you could hardly do more, and she's a lucky little being to have you caring for her. What a worry! but it sounds as though she will recover from her trauma, tho' it may well be slow.

20 Mar, 2012

 

Well, we've spent a worrying evening as she staggered off into the cold and the dark, but I went out an hour ago to search, there she was, sitting just near the car, and as I approached, she got up, right as ninepence and trotted off into the cellar, so we are relieved and can now only leave her to her own devices. She seems awake enough to look out for herself and is happy to get herself to a place of slightly greater warmth and safety.

20 Mar, 2012

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