We live in an apartment in San Diego that’s so small our cockroaches are hunchbacked. That’s the bad news. The good is that connected to the back of our McUnit is a large deck that overlooks this huge, wild canyon. Many’s the time I’ve sat on my trusty lawn chair above this vast expanse of wilderness, and deeply reflected upon the wonder and joy of being able, via an electrical outlet out there, to keep a little refrigerator on my patio. It’s awesome, the hours I can kill out there whilst hardly moving at all.
What regularly feels like my private canyon has afforded me views of so many different kinds of wild creatures that I scoff at those who think the San Diego Zoo might have anything new to show me. Sure, I haven’t seen anything with horns on it running around the canyon, but still. I’ve seen hawks a’plenty—which are pretty darn inspiring until they start popping the heads off pigeons like they’re opening soda bottles. I’ve seen the majestic owls, whose beautifully haunting “hoot! hoot!” is enough to have you belting pillows around your head by about two in the morning. I’ve seen the white-faced opossum, scurrying around like nature’s own Phantom of the Opera. I’ve seen snakes silently going about their business despite my screaming. I’ve seen fat, sleek, disturbingly dexterous raccoons fastidiously picking through my garbage cans, unmistakably miffed at how many TV dinners I eat. I’ve seen the snuffling, oblivious skunk waddling about, its blatantly visible white tail mocking all would-be predators with noses. I’ve seen furry little foxes, looking so adorable you almost want to eat them except for they’re so fuzzy.
And I’ve seen these coyotes I’m talking about actually eat those same fuzzy foxes. Not pretty. Those stupid coyotes. They’ll eat anything. They ate our cat. They eat everybody’s cat. There isn’t a telephone pole within half a mile of our place that doesn’t have a message attached to it from someone new to the neighborhood wondering what happened to their cat. Anyone who’s lived here more than six months knows what happened to their cat. It became what ‘ere it ate: Cat chow.
Coyotes. They so … owe me a cat.
Still and all, it is difficult not to admire these crafty, carnivorous kings of the canyon. I know they couldn’t help but eat my beloved cat. What would I do if I was on my couch having a Blockbuster night, and a giant pizza waltzed into my apartment and flopped down next to me? I’d be licking my fingers before you could say, “Napkin, please.” It’s nature’s way. I know that. I’ve seen those ratings-grabbing National Geographics specials, “Insane Bloodthirsty Flesh Eaters of the Serengeti,” “Bambi Bleeds, Too,” and “Attack! When Sharks Get Confused.” I know the score. I understand the circle of life. Haven’t I witnessed my very own cats playing volleyball with a dead mouse? And haven’t I seen mice, in their turn, viciously nibbling cheese? And doesn’t cheese come from milk? And doesn’t milk come from cows? And isn’t a male cow a bull? And don’t bulls stampede through the streets of Pamplona every year in their crazed determination to decorate their horns with drunks dressed like revolutionary milkmen?
It’s all, I know, just the miraculous circle of life. And it’s why I, for one, take a bib with me wherever I go.
Anyway, about these coyotes.
Well. Next time.
The rest of the posts in this series about coyotes are, in order: