Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

topic posted Sat, July 28, 2007 - 2:34 PM by  Reverend
RIP Petie 7/20/07

I wrote this to come to grips with the horrible death of my best friend - my cat. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of human relationships, but in many ways Petie was my best buddy. Please be warned this is very graphic.

Reading this can save your pets life. Some people love dogs, some love cats, some love both and we are a love both kind of family. If you hate cats or pets in general, maybe this story will help you understand why cats and dogs are really a lot like us; each has its own personality and each will give back to you what you give to them. Regardless of if you love, hate, or don’t even think about pets, this is a brief story about the life and tragic death of Petie, our loving cat. He was seven years old and full of life.

Early on Friday morning, July twentieth, 2007, at 2:25 AM to be precise, one of our family cats Petie died in horrible battle with a den of coyote’s right in front of our house. Our video cameras were on and thankfully the motion lights were burned out so all we could see was the glow of his eyes and his beautiful platinum blond coat as he tried to protect our home from the invaders. He fought hard, but he was no match against such a force.

Six years ago Petie came into our lives as a kitten, maybe six months old and near starvation. My son Derrik was taking his driver’s license road test and when he pulled over to stop, a cat suddenly jumped up on the hood of the car and laid down. Just like that, out of nowhere this cat appeared in such a strange manner. Derrik got out and placed him back on the ground and continued on with his driving test.

Upon his return, he noticed the cat was still lying in the exact same place he left him on the sidewalk; so without hesitation, Derrik picked up the cat and brought him home. I was not too crazy about having another animal around the house as we already had two dogs, a cat, and a bird to take care of. Dad always seems to lose these battles and the cat was allowed to stay. He was the most handsome long haired blond cat we ever saw, he looked like a small lion and he was so happy to have a family to take care of him. My grandmother Pierina had recently passed away and we thought in some way the spirit of grandma had returned, so we named him Petie. He helped me get over her loss as she was always worried about me and her great-grandsons and knowing she was gone forever was not easy to accept.

Petie was one of those rare cats that loved you to hold him and rub his belly and his ears. He would greet everyone that came into the house as his best friend. He would follow you around the house like a dog and almost every night I had a place for him next to me on my bed. I even had one of those expensive Thermopedic pillows that he enjoyed more than I did. I didn’t use it anyway, but it was funny to see him use it like a person would use it. We have two sons at home and always have boys and girls visiting and everyone loved Petie. In the six years we had him, he never once hissed at us or scratched or bit anyone; even his meow was gentle.

He would tease Mimi, our old female cat; but, she would have nothing to do with him and she would strike at him and scream like she was being killed; Petie never hurt her. Petie got along well with our large dog when he was alive and she was an equal around the house with our two small dogs. Many days all four pets would lie on the rug together in the Den and wait for one of us to give them some love or to let them play outside.

As I write this I am overcome with waves of sadness as there are so many little things that are now gone from our daily routine with one of the family missing. For example, in the morning when I get my coffee, he would follow me half asleep, yawning and eyes half shut to wait for me to give him a sip of milk. He really loved milk, we didn’t give him much as we drink skim milk and it’s not really good for cats; just a few laps of milk was such a treat for him. Everyday, when I pour my coffee, I look down at the empty spot on the floor and wish this was all just a bad dream. We humans are generally not so fast to let other lives (people or animals) into our hearts, but when we do and we lose them, there is truly a deep cut and an empty void left in our heart that only time can heal.

If Petie was outside, he would usually be close by and he would always greet you and follow you inside to get a bite to eat and say to hello. One of our neighbors would brush him and give him treats although none have ever admitted this. He would sleep a lot as most cats do and when it was time to go out he let you know by simply walking up to the back door. If we ignored him he would start running around the house like a madman and if we continued to ignore him, he would knock something over on purpose and this always got our attention.

Part of me wishes we forced him to become a house cat, but another part knows he enjoyed his life so much more by being able to roam the yards to chase birds and squirrels and live the life of a true cat. He wore a little bell, so he would not have an easy time catching anything and we could hear him if we called him. He never tried to take it off, but sometimes he would lose it as we always buy the breakaway collars in case he got caught on something.

We live in a residential neighborhood of homes with 10,000 square foot lots and nearly everyone has six foot fences around their yards. There is no green space access for a few blocks from here. In the nine years we have lived here, we have never seen or heard the calls of coyotes. There has been some new housing development going on a few blocks from here and several acres of green space have been removed. We are now most certainly driving the wild animals into our neighborhoods and frankly we never thought coyotes came anywhere near the homes in a highly populated residential area.

I have seen Opossum’s and Raccoon’s in the yard over the years. I have even seen a Raccoon family walk ten yards behind Petie in the night without him even noticing. They didn’t bother him and I don’t think he would have bothered them. He would not allow any cat in our yard and if one came around he would chase them away.

I suppose this is one of those things that happen in the life of an indoor/outdoor cat and we have no choice but to accept it. The average life span of an indoor/outdoor cat is four to six years and I suppose we should all take these averages seriously. If you want your pet to live a full life, he has to stay indoors. The poor outdoor only cats live very short life spans for obvious reasons.

The unusual series of events of that day all played a part in his demise and I can’t help but think in some way this is a wake up call for us to pay more attention to each other and not take a moment of this life for granted as it can be gone in a few short seconds.

The hardest part of all this is the absolutely violent and gruesome death he suffered through. Most of us who lose pets never see the remains and may never actually know what happened to them. We always thought his worst danger was to get hit by a car. Even though our street is very quiet, we do have a few people who only know how to fly around the corner and up the hill. The “why” questions seems to nag at me: Why Petie, of all the cats in the world, why Petie? Of all the streets the coyotes could have chosen, why our street on that night?

Petie had been out all day on Thursday and I did see him at 9PM when I came home from work. He was standing in the driveway and he watched me park. I didn’t pull into the garage as my son Gary had his Jeep parked inside that day. It was still a bit light out and he didn’t follow me into the garage as usual, nor did I pick him up and bring him in as I would many times do. I guess I got too comfortable and secure with the routine. I also have this last time I saw him on the video so he was alive and well at that point.

We were all unusually tired Thursday night and we all fell asleep early. I almost always go to the door to let him in around 1AM, but this time I was asleep. At 1:30 AM my sons went to the store and when they came back the video shows Petie heard them and he came too slowly to make it to the garage before the door closed. About one hour later at 2:25AM he lost his life.

I do blame myself since he would be here if I had done my part as usual, I should have brought him in and later that evening I should have called him. The timing of events that day were all just a slight bit off and each contributed to the unfortunate end of his life. There were so many nights he has stayed out and for six years he had no problems with the creatures of the night. We just didn’t think of coyotes. My lesson learned here is that whenever you notice something is a little off, don’t ignore it, follow through on your usual routine or you just may be introducing the one variable that allows the end of your pets life or even your own life. I think anyone reading this has been through situations where they changed something one time in their routine and something undesired occurred.

My wife noticed Petie wasn’t around when she left for work at 6AM on Friday morning. Friday night came and we all started to wonder where he was as he only once disappeared for more than a full day. We think an elderly neighbor may have been keeping inside with her or he was trapped in her garage.

On Friday morning when I didn’t see Petie at the back door or sleeping on a patio chair I started to worry a bit more. I stayed home until 12:30 and didn’t see any sign of him. I was unaware that thirty minutes earlier an animal control van was at my neighbor’s home picking his remains up off of her front lawn. Friday night there was still no sign of Petie. We called him and called him, but we didn’t hear his bell and our fears of him being gone amplified. My wife had to go to work at 6AM on Saturday morning and I got up and walked up and down the street looking for him. I drove a few blocks in every direction hoping not to find him dead on the road and hoping he was just messing around a little further away than usual or stuck in a neighbor’s garage. Oddly, I am the one who always thinks the worse and for some reason and this time I was confident he would be strolling up to the door any minute. My wife came home at 7PM and she also decided to take a walk around and call for Petie.

A neighbor two houses away noticed my wife searching and she said she had something to tell her. She was walking her dog early Friday morning and she noticed the remains of what looked like Petie and she wanted to tell us; but had not gotten around to it. I am sure she was trying to avoid bringing such sad news to our family, she loves her dog and her cat, so we can understand the hesitation. Maybe she just thought somebody else would tell us?

I went to the corner where Petie was last seen and another neighbor across the street came over and told me that he also saw the remains of a cat there and that a third neighbor around the corner had called the Animal control to pick him up. This man across the street knew Petie very well as he spends a lot of time working in his front yard and he had to have seen Petie in front of our house hundreds of times. Again, he too must have had some need to avoid bringing such news to us. He too has a dog which he loves dearly; maybe he never loved a Cat and doesn’t think Cats are on the level of dogs?

I went around the corner to ask the lady who called animal control for any information about what she saw that day. All I could think was how could this happen, it can’t be our little Petie; my heart was on the ground with every step to her door. She told me it was a white cat (he was platinum blond and almost white underneath). She said that it was a hideous sight and could not have been the work of animals. She was certain that some sick animal abuser skinned and dissected our cat and displayed his parts on my neighbor’s front lawn. She said the cat appeared to be fully skinned and the head and legs were cut off. I told her I was going to the media and offering a reward; she was ready to support handing out flyers. I kind of went blank at that point and my mind was swirling and lost in a whirlpool of sadness and anger.

My mind shot back to Wednesday or Thursday night when I had noticed an unusual group of teen boys near where Petie was found around 11PM. They were hollering like they were up to something no good. We never see teens on this block anymore as most of my neighbors are past the child rearing years. When I looked out the window they noticed me and ran away. I thought this was odd, but maybe they were planning to bang on my door and run away as this had happened twice in the last couple of months. I was busy working on something and I just ignored it. In the confusion of this horrible news of what my neighbor just told me, I was really in a deep shock. How could our neighborhood boys do such a thing to an innocent creature? I walked home to tell my family all that had transpired. My other neighbors were still having a conversation and the man across the street said that wild animals can do these things too, but we all need to stick together and watch the neighborhood. This is all I heard as my mind was truly blanked out, the worst fears in life that we always try to avoid thinking about were now coming true. My little friend who gave me so much love and kindness was dead and he was killed in a horrible grotesque manner. I can only say that if I was then presented with the person who did such a thing, I don’t know how I would have controlled myself.

I went into my home and my wife and sons were sitting on the patio waiting for my return. I told them what the lady around the corner said and we all cried for a minute or so. Then we went out searching for more information and clues. We looked at the video recording from our security system and we didn’t notice anything alarming the first time through. There was no sign of people moving around our property on Thursday night.

What perplexes us is that everyone around us knew what happened to our pet and all of these people have pets they dearly love and not one of them had the heart or the strength to tell us what they saw. We know it is painful to have to deliver such news and maybe they were not 100% sure it was Petie, and maybe they all thought someone else would tell us, but if any of us saw the remains of a dog or cat, everyone in my family would sure have notified each of them. If we didn’t search, nobody would have told us what they saw.

So the lesson learned here is that we can’t expect our neighbors to tell us anything painful and we always must go out and ask questions and share information. I suppose this is why criminals can operate so freely in our society. Nobody wants to get involved, ask questions, or demand answers. It’s somehow safer or less stressful to avoid and deny the hard truths that surround us.

Well, here is where the story turns even more graphic and I must warn you this part is not something pet lovers want to even think about. However, if you have an indoor/outdoor pet, you need to really need to know the danger your pet faces in the night.

All that was left behind after the Animal control man came was his intestines which were strung out in a straight line and being devoured by bees, ants, and slugs. It was a hideous sight, but it reminds us of how the cycle of life really does work.

One neighbor said he saw Petie’s head; the others only saw his back legs and spine and his tail which was severed and lying vertically next to the leg.

I noticed the tree between my yard and the neighbor’s yard where Petie was found and something told me to search around it. Upon inspection I made the most distressing discovery of my life. Both of Petie’s front legs were buried in a shallow grave of bark dust. You can only imagine how I felt as I held his severed legs and paws in my hand. Just the other day he was hugging me like a baby with those paws. His legs were pulled off his body like we would pull off a turkey leg on Thanksgiving. They showed no sign of chewing at all. My son got a freezer bag and he placed them in the freezer in the garage. I know we will all be traumatized for a long time from this experience.

Of course, now I assumed this was the work of some sociopathic teenager. Wild animals don’t neatly bury two whole legs in a small hole under a tree. The legs were nearly standing almost vertically and placed right next to each other. I could possibly believe one partially eaten leg being found by a domestic dog or Opossum and buried in a scratched out hole, but not what I found.

I stood up and out from me came the loudest series of screams and threats of revenge that has ever come out of me. Certainly everyone within several blocks in every direction heard me that day and I must apologize as I honestly thought we were victims of a sadistic animal abuser and I wanted the entire neighborhood to know that I wasn’t going to rest until I found him. I was ready to put up $1,000 reward for starters to flush out some information. I simply was acting on 100% emotion and not able to think logically.

Unfortunately, I could not speak with the animal control officer as it was Saturday and he wouldn’t be back until Monday and the police won’t respond to an animal situation.

The buried legs are still very troubling to us. Possibly another person found the legs and buried them? The hole was too neatly covered and the legs too neatly placed together to have been the work of an animal. Maybe one of our neighbors did it and didn’t want us to see this horror or have the heart to tell us? Maybe my landscaper who can’t speak English did it as he was working on the property on Saturday at 11AM? The video shows two women in jogging outfits at 6:23AM, a middle aged couple walking a small dog at 7:29AM and our neighbor two houses away walking her dog at 7:32AM. Could any of these people have found and buried the legs? It doesn’t seem plausible that anyone would touch such a gruesome scene. My landscaper happened to come back on Sunday and he swore he did not see any cat or arms. Maybe he was just worried that I would blame him and fire him?

Frankly, this is a mystery that I wish we could close and if you read this and know the answer please tell us. An anonymous note mailed or stuffed in our mailbox would be fine.

I called the police and they referred me to Animal Control and thankfully they called me back to at least acknowledge that they had responded and picked up Petie’s remains on Friday at noon and they gave me the phone number of the officer who picked him up. Thankfully, we were able to go to the Humane society on Sunday morning to see the remains and to pay for his proper cremation. All that was left was his tail and a large hind quarter. This was very hard to look at. It was like a frozen leg of Lamb and there was no way to distinguish if it was our Petie, we could only accept that they had the right part in the right bag. They told us they had no other partial animals brought in the week prior so it had to be Petie. They did not have his head, as it must have been carried off by one of the coyotes. However, the man across the street said he did see the head and that is how he knew it was a cat, so this is another mystery. Maybe a passing dog carried it off?

Petie was wearing a pink break away collar, if anyone finds it, we would appreciate it if you would please return it to us or place it in our mailbox.

After a more careful frame by frame review of the video we discovered what actually happened that night. We can see Petie running up the street to the south and then turning and stopping in the middle of the road facing north. Suddenly he runs faster than we have ever seen him run back down the hill as if a coyote came up from behind him. Even though we have dogs, he really ran and hid from local dogs whenever they walked by with their owners. He would have never attacked a dog. Why he ran back down the street is a mystery as he could have run into our yard and hopped the fence. Was he trying to defend his turf or was he simply fooled into a trap? He just ran full speed down the street. Somehow I think the Coyotes set him up for the kill by placing a young Coyote in the road and Petie had no idea what he was about to face four hungry wild dogs.

Next we can see him revolving around and around in the street in battle with something that is invisible and then an image of a small coyote moves into view. In a few more seconds we see three more images of small coyotes move into the battle. The attack lasts a long time (over 60 seconds) and I think most of the battle was the coyotes fighting each other for a piece to eat and this is probably how his legs were ripped off his body.

The battle ends and the dark figures run to the cover of the bushes and trees next to our house to enjoy their dinner. Why they left a complete hind quarter out in the open and two complete legs either laying around or buried will always be a mystery to us. They had plenty of meat on them. Maybe they were spooked and ran off with what they could carry? Only an expert in the behavior of wild animals could tell us something about the hunting and feeding behavior of coyotes.

Oddly, we are all relieved to know how our friend met his fate. Not knowing what happens to a missing pet leaves us with a lifetime of wondering without any closure. We are very happy to know this wasn’t the work of a sociopath.

No pet deserves to die in such a horrible manner. He was fifty feet from his warm bed and we all now have to suffer from our ignorance of the existence of Coyotes in our own backyard. We can’t be angry at the Coyotes as they are simply hunting for food and feeding their young and it is man who is pushing them out of their homes and into our streets.

Please don’t allow your family pet to be alone in an unprotected area outside in the dark. Petie lost his life because we didn’t know any better, but now you do.

May you enjoy the full lifetime of all of your pets.
posted by:
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Sat, July 28, 2007 - 2:55 PM
    I am very sorry about the horrible loss of your pet.

    My advice to all cat lovers:

    Don't let your cats outdoors.
    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Sat, July 28, 2007 - 3:08 PM
      Iam sorry you lost yr best friend Reverend...not easy...but know yr sweet one lived as he wanted to and needed to...I do understand in some places needing to keep cats indoors like in cities..but I personally think outdoors is where they are at home...when they are not in home...

      I heard raccoons also kill cats...which I didnt know about...Here in NZ the only predator would be a dog...that someone has let we are lucky...that and cars...but cats live as long as they do and grace us with their love and beauty for as long as be...and though they are gone in form their spirit is right there still...blessings to you and your family....
      • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

        Sat, July 28, 2007 - 3:15 PM
        And I would make my cat stay indoors too if there are dangerous animals around who would most likely want my cat for their supper...

        Sometimes we want to know all the details but in the end we have to grieve and that is the hardest part...Iam soo sorry..
        • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

          Sat, July 28, 2007 - 4:14 PM
          I am so sorry to hear about your little one and my heart goes out to you. I use to have indoor/outdoor cats when I lived in New England, but as soon as I moved to New Mexico that changed. It took the girls a little time to get use to the fact but living in a house instead of a small apartment has helped I think.
          The animal control around here publically says that we have no wolves or coyotes in this area, but I think it's hard to believe when you can see them dead on the road sometimes. And yes, raccoons will attack and kill a cat for food. They are omnivourous.
          again, all my love and well wishes to you and your family. May you find him again in summerland.
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Sun, July 29, 2007 - 5:06 PM
    Reverand- So so sorry to hear about your terrible loss. I can only hope that Petie's death happened quickly and the sufferring wasn't as bad as it looked. Though terribly painful it is a blessing to know what happened!

    Cats are domesticated animals and as much as we like to think it is natural for them to go out & enjoy the outdoors they really aren't equipped to handle the dangers. An indoor cat can live for 15-20 years, but as you said an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat can expect to live about 6-7.

    I've been a pet care giver for nearly 20 years and worked in a veterinary hospital for 10 years and I have seen more than my share of deaths, injuries and diseases in cats that go outdoors. Cats can lose their life in broad daylight. One of my clients had a cat that only sat on the front porch. 3 dogs running loose tore her apart right in front of the owner! Another cat also killed by dogs on the loose almost made it through the cat door, but the dogs caught his hindquarters. Cats can be hit by cars, tortured by cruel humans, can contract fatal diseases, fleas and other parasites. It's just not worth it.

    It's sad that your neighbors were too uncomfortable to at least ask you if your cat was missing. Several times I have come accross cat or dog remains and always make an effort to find the owner even if they are picked up by animal control. It's just the right thing to do.

    Petie sounds like a terrific cat. Obviously a lot of love was shared between you. There's a saying I like, "The loss of a small friend is no small thing!" I wish you all the best.
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Sun, July 29, 2007 - 5:39 PM
    i'm sorry for your loss....

    about five years ago, my guy didn't come in at his usual time.

    i got up in the middle of the night and figured i'd better check on him.

    that was when a raccoon was attacking him (or trying to). amazing that my guy wasn't only not hurt, he drew blood from the raccoon (it was on his face).

    the next day he was pretty shell shocked, and from then on our rule is that he's indoors by 10-11 pm at the very latest.

    raccoons can do in cats too, as can coyotes.

    if they're innie outie cats, my rule of thumb is let them come in at night (i have neighbors who leave them out all the time...they're older and still alive, but then we don't have coyotoes here. cougars and bears, though, we do have ;-/)
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Sun, July 29, 2007 - 7:47 PM
    My heart felt condolensces to you and your family for such a horrible loss. I have lost a cat by coyote as well. I was awoken by her screams and the battle that took place as she and the coyotes bounced off my house. I got outside just in time to see them dissapear into the dark with my cat. I had tried to get her to come in earlier before it got dark, but she wouldn't come in. Needless to say it's something that you won't ever forget. Many of my neighbors lost their smaller pets in a few months time, small dogs and cats. Animal control sent a hunter into the park and killed a pack of coyotes after enough complaining from the surrounding neighborhoods.
    Again, I am truly sorry for your loss.
    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Mon, July 30, 2007 - 8:20 AM
      Ok, I just have to rant a little here, but I'll try to be nice.

      It's a shame that you had a pack of coyotes killed because they were killing your pets. Why is one more important than the other? The coyotes were here first and their presence is vital to the ecosystem, while our pets aren't. Why not make sure your pets are safe by having them inside at night? That would keep all parties safe. You can't expect coyotes to not kill pets when you allow them outside at night. To them it's just food and they are just trying to survive.
      • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

        Mon, July 30, 2007 - 10:17 AM
        Actually from what I've read, in many places the humans *were* there first, but the coyotes have spread into areas they never were before because the territory where they did precede us has now been made inhospitable to them by us. So it's six of one, half a dozen of the other, perhaps, but not a carefree picture for pets regardless. What it all boils down to is, if you love your cats, keep 'em inside, plain and simple. Daytime safety is an illusion--they can get taken by day too. I have a friend who lost a cat to a coyote in broad daylight.
      • Abstract from a research paper in the JWM. Before you go having coyotes murdered, please read at least the abstract. Consider this: Cats are invasive, non-native species. Coyotes belong here. Keep your cat indoors. Jackrabbits are highly detrimental to the ecosystem and are kept in check by coyotes. Without the coyotes, the jackrabbit population gets too big and we see a massive decrease in vegetative diversity. Don't kill the coyotes!

        Coyotes (Canis latrans) play a keystone role in the population regulation of microherbivores and mesopredators in certain ecosystems. Despite this fact, coyote control measures still are implemented. We evaluated the effects of removing coyotes on sympatric populations of rodents, lagomorphs, raptors, and mammalian mesopredators in a shortgrass prairie ecosystem of western Texas. Faunal communities were examined on 2 treatment and 2 comparison 5,000-ha sites of mixed grassland and shrubland habitats for 1 year before coyote removal and for 2 years during coyote removal. We removed 354 coyotes by aerial gunning on treatment sites. Removal efforts were initiated every third month from April 1990 to January 1992. Coyote density was reduced from 0.12 +- 0.01 (x +- SE) to 0.06 +- 0.01 coyotes/$\text{km}^{2}$ on treatment sites. Density on comparison sites remained stable at 0.14 +- 0.01 coyotes/$\text{km}^{2}$. We found no differences in faunal population estimates between comparison and treatment sites for the year before coyote removal. Within 9 months following the initiation of coyote removal, rodent species richness and rodent diversity declined on treatment sites. Without coyote predation, the Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) became the most abundant rodent in shrublands and was the only rodent species caught in grasslands after 12 months of coyote removal. Rodent density and biomass, black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) density, and relative abundance of badgers (Taxidea taxus), bobcats (Felis rufus), and gray foxes (Urocyon cineroargenteus) increased on treatment sites. Variation in the density of desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) and raptor richness, diversity, and density was not related to coyote density. Our findings were consistent with the predator-mediated coexistence hypothesis, which suggests that a keystone predator (coyote) can influence faunal community structure.
      • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

        Tue, July 31, 2007 - 11:29 AM
        I had lived close by a regional park that had several ranchers using that area for their cattle. I believe that year there was a boom in the coyote population. I *personally* did not request that the coyotes be killed. However, the ranchers and the surrounding neighborhoods were raising a fuss so the county decided to take action. You know the coyotes are wandering far when you see them walking San Pablo Ave in Richmond. And as far as keeping cats indoors. I did keep my cats indoors but they would slip out if they got the chance. There is only so much a person can do, aside from getting a snare net, to wrangle a cat back inside. All I could do that night was wait for her to decide to get back into the house. Unfortunately, this never happened.
      • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

        Tue, July 31, 2007 - 4:19 PM
        i agree with the rant....

        i love coyotes as much as i love my cat, the birds, the cougar who wanders down into town on occasion, the bears, the raccoons.

        granted, i'll tell the raccoons who's boss in my yard, not sure how far that goes, but i give it a shot.

        while having an indoor cat would be best, my cat has always been an innie/outie. as he ages, his outie tends to be on the porch anymore.

        the post below about cats being 'introduced' and coyotes being 'native' i'm not sure is well thought out zoology. there's always been small cats and large in the US, depending upon region, (bobcats, lynx, cougars, ocelots).

        the 'urban interface' where people and their pets live alongside whatever animals choose to use that territory as part of their travels is a continual challenge. i believe there is a way to co-exist and understand. on occasion, this does mean a cat, or a dog, might be lost to a wild predator.

        since coyotes' preferred prey are mice and rats, they actually do us a great service ;-). i think the best one can do is be aware of what kinds of animals might be a threat to your cat if your cat is allowed outdoors (coyotes, owls, raccoons are all pretty common in urban areas that abut wildlands).
        • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

          Tue, July 31, 2007 - 7:25 PM
          bobcats, lynx, and ocelots are considered big cats. The common domesticated house cat is not native to the US and was brought over during global expansion. I am wildlife researcher, cat owner/lover, and I deal with the problems associated with rampant uncontrolled breeding and habitat destruction which directly relates to the domesticated cat running free in America. The domesticated cat is native to only one country, Africa, and even that is from decades of animal husbandry Australia is the leading nation in feline eradication research. All other nations participate actively with the Australians in order to help figure out how to fix this problem, since the humans who own cats refuse to solve it themselves. It took about 30 years to eradicate domesticated cats from a small island wildlife refuge using poisons, shotguns, traps, etc. This is very well thought out zoology.
          • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

            Wed, August 1, 2007 - 8:12 PM
            hi wendy --

            i hope you're actively involved in SNIP (spay and neuter pets). my guy is neutered. i can't imagine anyone having a cat that they let out of doors that isn't spayed or neutered, and people need to be educated about this.

            there's lots of breeds of all kinds of animals that aren't native to north america that have been here for, oh, 400 years or so....which while it may be interesting from a perspective to NOT introduce species in the future, what's here is water under the bridge. we can learn from our mistakes and not repeat them in the future, but i don't think there's going to be a mass shipment of domestic housecats back to the middle east anytime soon ;-). the ones who are already here are people's companions for the most part (at least for this thread), and they're here to stay. we can all learn to live with that in the best way possible (hence organizations like SNIP)

            meantime, regardless of the hairsplitting on 'big cats'/small cats, my assertion about living in the urban interface still stands. we all need to be better educated about it (unless, we're going to move away from those interface areas, which isn't necessarily practical or possible for many people).

  • Unsu...

    Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Thu, August 2, 2007 - 10:59 AM
    Very sorry for you on the loss of your pet. To look back on should have/could have/would have is just torture for you and pointless unless you still have a another baby that is an innie/outie and you need to take precautions to get him or her in before bedtime. Mourn your Petie, but please make room in yuor heart and life for another that needs a home. You will benefit and so will they.
    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Thu, August 2, 2007 - 10:02 PM
      Thanks to all who commented, especially those who know the difference between a cat and a coyote. To those who questioned my letting him out, its all in the story, so I won't repeat it.

      We all miss him around, he would stroll in and out like any of us and he did this for seven years. He would climb up next to me every night, I just didn't get up that night. He would even sleep with the two little dogs we have. Oh well, some of us lose children or suffer with cancer and a myriad of other horrors this life can dish out. We all have to get our share of sadness.

      Thanks again.

      • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

        Sun, August 5, 2007 - 4:32 PM
        hey rev....

        he had a happy life with good people, and you had a good life with him ;-). that's the main thing.

        i've got an innie/outie cat myself. i always know there's a risk involved, but that's how he's happy living, so i'm willing to take the risk if it makes him happy. and that means i could be 'in the wrong place at the wrong time' too.....

        on the other hand, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. i can't protect my cat from his fate any more than i can dodge my own ;-).

        but to create happiness, whatever it looks like, however it lasts.....what a wonderfully spiritually uplifting thing (even though it may not fit someone's definition of perfection).

        perhaps that's what loving (cat loving and otherwise) is about...seeking the happiness, not the 'perfection' (being correct).

        we all do what we can do, and if we do it with the intention of creating happiness, then i believe we've done it for the best of reasons, even if the outcome sometimes might be something as traumatic as losing one's cat to a coyote, or a car, or a dog, or a whatever.

        none of us will be here forever. but to be happy while we're here....ahhh!!!!! and to be loved too ;-). that's no small thing.
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Fri, August 17, 2007 - 8:14 AM
    I'm so sorry for your loss. That is so horrible. I wish I read this sooner to warn myself of danger outside, but you think It won't happen to your own cat.
    I am also a cat lover. I live on Cape Cod and tragically my cat Buddy 6yrs an indoor/outdoor hasnt' come home since last Saturday morning. The only remnant of Buddy was a little bit of fur and some movement on the ground where the fur was in the next door neighbors yard that's it nothing else. He just disappeared into thin air. He was a very skiddish cat and afraid of his own shadow, but he loved it outside at night especially that for sure. He always stayed in the near our yard or the neighbors and he never went far that's what I don't understand. We have put signs up in the neighborhood and called the MSPSA and local vets offices to let them know if they hear anything. I have come to the conclusion that Buddy is infact is gone. Probably a coyote, but I don't know for sure. I've just been sick over it and his brother who is alive and well is just moping around the house and staring into the backyard. Very sad...
    It's like a part of our family has died.
    My heart goes out to you and yes I will take the advice and my other cat will never go outside after dark EVER!
    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Fri, August 17, 2007 - 5:07 PM
      oh poor petie. i am so sad for your kitties gruesome death. it's rally awful. my people love me so much, they would be so very sad if i were to die in such a way.. or any way at all....
      lots of healing purrs and cat-massages to you sweet one
      pete the cat
    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Fri, August 17, 2007 - 6:47 PM
      Sorry about Buddy, I know how you feel and its so hard to accept. Our pets just don't have any concept of real predators. They are so used to being the king of the jungle. Oddly, there seems to be no information shared about the wild animals that prowl our neighborhoods at night. So many cats and small dogs disappear everyday and we see the flyer's and it just doesn't dawn on us that mother nature has some other life forms nearby that are searching for food.

      Everyday, we all still think we see Petie on the bed or curled up somewhere and its only the cover or an item with his coloring. We watch as we leave the garage and again when we return home, forgetting that he isn't there anymore.

      We love our pets, always had two cats, two dogs, and a bird or two. Now its one cat, one bird and two small dogs and one dog and the cat are very old now, so we may be seeing our time with several pets coming near the end. They were all so much fun for the kids growing up. Anyone who has a child should also have pets, the things we all learn from our pets lives in our hearts and simply can't be replaced by a book or a video game.

      No more in and out cats for us ever again either.

      Again - thanks to all who commented.

  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Thu, August 25, 2011 - 9:49 AM
    Sh*t.....same situation here.

    We rescued a juvie male cat, who had lost an eye about 12 years ago. He turned out to be an affectionate, loving, gentle soul, a cat my entire family fell in love with, especially my wife. Her and I have always been at odds about the cats being out at night. She simply asked me which situation would make the cat happier, in or out?? I had to admit that forcing the cat to be IN at night was something that would make ME happier, NOT the cat.....and even with the dangers, this is the cats life. Well it SEEMS that after a dozen years, the odds ran out.

    On a return trip from Utah, my oldest son imformed us that the cat hadn't been seen in three days. My wife and I were worried. While she was putting MISSING CAT signs up over the neighborhood, my son and his friend made a ghastly discovery while searching in the woods. Two paws, a tip of a tail and some entrails......I feel badly for him, for he loved this cat also. Now, we aren't 100 percent sure these are the remains of OUR cat, since the fur IS lighter....BUT, what are the odds that it isn't our cat? Truthfully, no other cat IS missing, and the color IS close.....but my wife is keeping up hope....but also admits that this is most likely all that is left of her beloved Cyclops.

    You know, I liked the I admire cats in general, but I was SURPRISED how hard this hit ME.......I don't MIND that he's gone, but the persistant THOUGHT of the terror and PAIN he must have felt at the time and THE FACT I COULDN'T HELP absolutely DRIVING ME CRAZY!! I can't get it out of my mind!! I pray that it happened quickly and the poor guy didn't suffer.

    To tell you the truth, Im thinking about taking up hunting once again and simply KILLING AS MANY COYOTES as I can. Revenge, pure and simple, and I could care less. Im ONLY interested in the pain and misery caused to my pet and my family. NOTHING can talk me out of this feeling, whether or not it made all the sense in the world........I stopped hunting because I began to feel bad for the prey.......the thought of putting a bullet through a yote right now fills me with NOTHING but a sense of satisfaction. I know its nature....and Im part of nature also. So alls fair.

    We all will miss him...I never thought a pet could mean so much.

    Thanks for allowing me to sound off.
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Sat, August 27, 2011 - 4:13 AM
    Rev, please accept my deepest condolences. I know the pain of losing a beloved feline and.... well, to put it frankly, it just sucks.

    My dearest Bandito had been an indoor/outdoor cat. Like many have said, at the time I believed it was natural and made him happy. That all changed the day he was hit by a car. It was a crazy story. We were living in a tourist town. One car ran over him and kept going. But then another stopped and picked him up. They were tourists also and staying with local friends. The woman took him to her friend and asked what to do. Mind you, this was about 3 am as everyone was leaving the bars all drunk. The local friend said to take him to Dr. Jimmy, that he would be up at that hour. Well, Dr. Jimmy is a personal friend and my vet for years. He didn't even recognize 'Dito. He worked all night, saved his front paw, which was in a cast for weeks. Eventually, he checked the rabies tag on his collar and realized who it was and called us. My boyfriend at the time had the terrible task of telling me.

    I know without a doubt that what happened was a miracle that night. The woman might not have taken him to a vet, might not have taken him to Dr. Jimmy. I am also sure that any other vet would likely let Dito go. It was a long surgery and follow-up. Sadly, some do not have the dedication to do so.

    As soon as I brought him home, he was indoors only, as have been all of my cats over the years. Bandito lived to 21 years. His best buddy Casey was 19. That is a good, long life for cats.

    As someone else posted, indoor cats can live much longer than outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats. Twice as much or more.

    So please, keep your cats indoors. Or find a safe way to allow them outside. Maybe a fenced area in the yard. I used to take my Dito and Casey into the yard on a harness. Mostly they just lazed in the sun. Casey even let me walk him around the neighborhood. At the time, I also had an enclosed porch, so they could sit there for hours watching the birds and everything. I miss them so dearly, but I know I did the best I could to keep them both happy and safe.

    Now, I have two - Shadow and Pixel. They have never been outside. They love to sit at the windows and look out, but have never made a run for the door or anything. I'm working on an enclosed area outside for them now.

    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Wed, August 31, 2011 - 5:17 PM
      Im REALLY happy your cat survived....because I wouldn't want this pain for anyone.

      BUT, Im also sorry, cause I MUST disagree. It IS natural for a cat to be outdoors. And in my opinion only, a cat is MUCH happier being outdoors, with some exceptions, of course. BUT, sometimes, doing what makes your pet, or kids for that matter, happier is ALSO the MUCH, MUCH more dangerous. Nature is cruel, no doubt about it.........and even though I think a cat SHOULD be let out, I must admit, I NOW wish I was more selfish and did what made ME happier....simply BECAUSE i am SO FRIGGEN UNHAPPY NOW.

      AND I am FREAKIN FREAKED OUT AS HELL as to WHY I am reacting the way I am. Im walking around in a daze, crying when I think of my poor cyclops TERRIFYED, fighting to live only to be literally torn apart. Even writing this is bumming me out. I effin HATE those effin coyotes right now.....BUT, that nature, I guess.

      The thing that REALLY makes me feel guilty is this. Just a week before he was killed, I DREAMED about him. I had a dream in which I was walking outside in my yard only to find him withering on the lawn. As I walked up to him, I was shocked to see that his neck and half his face was eaten away and he was crazy in pain..........and I let this happen anyways. I NEVER, EVER dream about him....EVER. AND I never thought I was so attached to the big oaf. But...I guess I am. At this point, life just seems a lot less joyous....I keep hoping the parts I found WERE NOT HIM, and that he will show up someday....but deep down, I know this is simply a pipe dream.

      Ive owned another cat also, a small female, EXACTLY opposite of Cyclops. While Cyclops was a warm, loving cuddly animal, she is aloof, demanding, and tough. BUT, when I sit and watch her outside...and INSIDE also, I am AMAZED at her quickness, her agility, her nature to be perfectly happy and capable of surviving on her own. She DOESN'T LOVE OR LIKE ME, SHE TOLERATED ME. ....and Im cool with that. I wish I WAS A TOUGH AS HER. But, now, I worry ALL THE TIME. I don't let her out until well after 8 in the morning and make sure she is in the house before dusk....and SHE HATES IT. I don't know what to do. Both thoughts have merit, I must admit. ANd I am obviously leaning towards being selfish, doing what makes ME happy, and not her...BUT, I couldn't stand the pain again, this soon. (And I know I am being a worry wart, because Cyclops was out all times of the day for 12 years!) But, I am worried that a rogue pack of yotes may be around in this area.

      Well, thanks for giving me a place to vent. Even though I call it a SELFISH decision to keep a cat indoors, I truly understand WHY you and I would do it. You want to PROTECT your pets, I understand.......NOW, more than ever.
      • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

        Thu, January 5, 2012 - 4:14 PM
        I am here with my wife, after burying our beloved "Sammy". Our hearts have been ripped out and we are raw with the emotions we are experiencing. Sammy was a Maine Coon/Domestic Shorthair mix which we thought was an ideal combination. When we rescued him at the age of 10 weeks, we didn't know he had Maine Coon in him. After finding this out, we were pleased to read what Maine Coons are about. He grew to 16 pounds, looked like a small panther in stature, acted like a dog, and was an "unfussy eater". Too cute! It was a daily occurance to find him in his most comfortable position(dead cockroach) anywhere in the house. Belly rubbing...loved it. He especially loved lying by the gas fireplace. In fact, if the fireplace wasn't lit, he would sit in front of it, staring in the glass, thinking he could possibly start it. Of course, we were to turn it on. I affectionately called him "Sandbag Sammy" for that is what he felt like when you picked him up and slung him over your shoulder. He purred at the drop of a hat. I could go on and on. At the age of only 2 1/2 years, he met his horrible fate with a pack of coyotes. I now need to back up here 20 some years. Our previous cat, Zeke, was a domestic shorthair, and from day 1 he was an inside/outside cat. Quite the hunter. Would you believe he lived 22 years?! So naturally when we got Sammy, we thought maybe he'd enjoy the same long life. Not so. We think one of the reasons Zeke lived so long, he was able to escape into the wooded area behind our home and climb a tree. Where we live now, it is mostly fields. Sammy loved being outside and we would let him out during the day. However, his roaming schedule slowly turned around to nocturnal due to all the construction in our neighborhood. Obviously, he hated the noises, so he preferred to sleep in during the day, and much to our dismay wanted out for the night. We always thought it was OK for a cat to be inside/outside and understood the dangers. And, the thought of packs of coyotes around our neighborhood didn't enter much in our minds. Big mistake....we are now paying the price for our ignorance and naivety...and Sammy paid with his life. The normal routine, when he came home at 5:00am - 6:00am, would be to paw at the rear sliding door until I heard him. Our bedroom was adjacent so I heard him almost immediately and we would have breakfast. Yesterday morning he didn't show up and my gut told me there was something terribly wrong. I needed to run into town and upon exiting our development, I noticed in a harvested soybean field what looked like material of some sort, like a large towel, or perhaps a blanket. I didn't stop then to check it out; I needed to continue on with my work day. When I came home, I immediately went to that field, and to my absolute horror, found our Sammy, totally devastated from coyotes. I am trying to make some kind of sense out of all this. You know, predator and the prey. That is not going to happen. I am feeling guilt ridden and can't imagine the horrible end to this sweet cat's life. I cry as I write this...Sammy meant more to me than one can imagine. I come from a dysfunctional life from my beginning and I cherish the fact I have a beautiful, loving wife and daughter. Sammy was right there as my love and joy also. It's amazing how much heartbreak comes along with loving someone and then losing them. I have to learn how to block out the sight of him lying in that field, and replace those thoughts, immediately, with thoughts of his loving ways. I understand, if you want your cat to live a long life, keep them inside. The other side of me says, "Hey, if you were a cat, wouldn't you love the outdoors to roam around and do your mousing and birding, and generally speaking, just being a CAT?" I am at a loss....we want get to rescue another cat, later on, when our hearts are ready and open. What do we do then? I told my wife maybe we should get 2 and keep them inside. Since there are 2 of them, they can expend their pent up energy on each other as opposed to going out. I'd like to end saying I am glad I Googled and stumbled upon this "tribe" site. After reading all the posts and now posting mine, maybe the psychology of all what I'm doing will help get me through this. I am so truly sorry for all of you who have experienced this. If you took the time to read this, thank you.
        • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

          Fri, July 20, 2012 - 8:18 PM
          I too am glad I stumbled in this site. I believe our cat also met her fate by a pack of coyotes. I still haven't found her after 4 days. I also had a horrible feeling when she didn't come home that first night. I just knew something was wrong. I want to get more cats too. I want to rescue them from being put down just because someone is moving and can't take them. ( how can people do that??) I also wonder about indoor or outdoor cats. There's always a risks having an outdoor cat but I know how much they love it. I thought I was doing everything right.... letting her in at night, but I was so tired that night and didn't bother getting a flashlight to find her. I have so much guilt about that. How do I forgive myself for not protecting my baby that night??
          Since we have yet to find a body, I still have hope that she'll show up one day.... walk in the cat door and eat some food like nothing happened. I miss her so much
    • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

      Fri, July 20, 2012 - 11:12 PM
      I'm so glad your Bandito was saved!
      As I read your post, it put a smile on my face. My last 2 cats were named Shadow and Pixel. Shadow was hit by a car when he was 8. He was my baby before I had kids. He survived the hit but we took him to the vet and had to put him down since his whole back end was busted up. I will never ever forget the moment I had to decide to put him down. I was a basket case and inconsolable. He was like my child. I cry just thinking about it and always will. The worst day of my life!!
      Pixel has been missing now for 5 days. I thought at first that he might be locked in someones garage or shed, since this did happen to another cat of mine ( I found her after 2 days!) Now I am thinking the worst and she may have been killed my coyotes. I did my best to get her in at night and close the cat door, but that night I was sooo tired and didn't go looking for her. Some nights when it's so hot, she doesn't want to come in and it's soooo difficult to find her. She hides. I have guilt for not making the attempt that night. I still have some hope though that she's just wandered off too far and will show up someday soon. I've heard so many stories like that. I miss her so much!
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Mon, May 28, 2012 - 10:55 PM
    I'm so sorry about your cat Petie. My cat Cliff acted extremely similar to Petie and he met the same end I believe. When I was reading your story I felt like I was reading the past week and a half of my life. It's like a nightmare you want to awake from and when you wake from it, you want your baby cat cuddling next to you or meowing at your window to come inside. One of the biggest mysteries for me was when one of my neighbors said she saw Cliff running down the street. Not just running but sprinting.. and she said she actually had never seen a cat run that fast. And Cliff was just like Petie too, he would back off of any dogs and knew where to go to get out of danger. That's why I have no idea why he ran so fast down our street completely missing our house. He could have just turned to the right and jumped our gate and came into our garage but he didn't. He ran to the end of our road where he met his fate. I don't know, maybe he was so scared he forgot where he lived? I guess good thing he didn't bring the coyotes our way because our other two cats would have been gone too. But Cliff was my baby, my once in a lifetime pet, my best friend, my everything. He had just turned 5 on May 1st 2012 and passed away on May 18th, 2012 so I guess your indoor/outdoor lifespan is right. Between 4 and 6. I have always been super protective of Cliff and never ever let him outside. I didn't even let my brother hold him outside because I knew about coyotes but I had to move back with my mom and she would not let the cat's in so we got in this routine of them being out at night and came inside during the day to sleep. So the first time I let Cliff do the inside/outside thing he only lasted 4 months. 4 months of freedom I guess. Oh and I saw you were talking about the last time you saw Petie and you felt like you should've brought him inside at the time. I have the same image burned into my brain. I was having a cigarette (yes omg I was having a cigarette, it's not that big of a deal calm down, I won't die tomorrow) and Cliff was laying on the stone in from of me just waiting for me to go inside so he could go tear up the neighborhood like he loved to do every night and I walked to go inside and walked back begging Cliff to come inside 4 times and he wouldn't budge. He looked so happy. I never got to see his remains or find out who picked him up. I think I'm finally calling the right one tomorrow. Why Petie, why Cliff? WHY???!! I know that's exactly how I feel. I guess heaven needed their angels back.
  • Re: Our Cat was killed by Coyotes - Warning

    Fri, July 20, 2012 - 8:06 PM
    Sorry about your loss.
    I stumbled on this post today, as I too am dealing with a missing loved one. Our sweet kitty has been missing for 4 days now. I let her in every night and close the cat door but on Sunday night she never came in. I too was unusually tired that night and didn't go outside with a flashlight to find her. I wish I had. :-( For the first 3 days I was sure that she was locked in a nieghbours shed, garage or open trailer, but now that my neighbour told me he heard coyotes the other night, I'm starting to think the worst. My heart breaks thinking about what her last moments might have been. I have done everything possible to find her.... posters, phone calls, talking to my neighbours, walking up and down that streets at night to hear possible meowing while is quite and my husband has even hiked up and down our mountain side for signs of anything. I don't know what has happened to her. I have hope though and have heard many stories about cats coming back home after weeks away. Everytime I walk by a window in the house I look outside hoping to see her walking up the walkway. When I come home and have the key in the door, I wish and hope that I'll see her coming down the stairs to greet me like she always did, but as soon as I open the door, my heart breaks..... I don't see her. I check her food bowl in the hopes that she's come in for something to eat and then gone back out.
    She's never done anything like this before. I feel like I have a missing child. It's like she's disapeared but since we can't find her or any signs of her.... I still have hope. I've had many cats in my lifetime and been through the loss of them all. It's never easy, but this is the first time I've had a cat just dissapear. Nothing to even bury.

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