From facebook, 9/2/12:

Okay, so here I am, minding my own business, playing stupid iPhone games… And my dog, Selkie, has given up on being petted and is sleeping on her bed in front of the recliner in front of the fireplace. And all of a sudden, I hear this noise… this kinda weird, unearthly, sonorous, mournful noise that was kinda like a howl/growl with a flutter in the middle. And I think, “What the hell could possibly have happened to my dear Selkie to make her make a noise like that?” Then it happens twice more.

So I peer over the couch, nervously, expecting to see her lying there missing a leg or something, and she’s just got her head kinda tilted to the side, as if thinking, “Huh. Interesting. Wonder what that could be.” This, by the way, is totally out of character for Selkie, who barks EVERY TIME there’s a knock on someone’s door on TV, so now I’m even more freaked out.

Then I think, it sounded a LITTLE like the noise a cat makes when it’s mad (and kinda like stomach noises of an enormous hungry animal), and THEN I think… “A mountain lion is in the corner of my house.”

Yes, that IS a ludicrous thought. I thought maybe a baby mountain lion.

So I slowly approach Selkie, not wanting her to leap up and run into the waiting jaws of the lion or badger or rabid fox (Oh my!), and I scoop her up in my arms (to which she objects with a grunt) and put her to bed.

Then I go and peer over the recliner, expecting some horror to leap at my face from the other side… and nothing. All is silence.

FInally, my brain starts wandering back into reality, and I think, “Oh. Owl. I bet it’s an owl. It’s probably a bird of prey sitting on our chimney and hooting, and I’m hearing it through the fireplace and it sounds like it’s in the house.” ‘Cause birds hang out on/in our chimney all the time.

So I’m assuming that’s what it was, but the noise was WEIRD, man. Weird. And it’s late. And it makes me wanna look up owl calls so that I can finally put the last lingering fears to rest of huge cats eating my dogs, but I don’t know how I’d find the right one, and I really ought to go to bed. Good night, internets.

From facebook, 11/22/12:

Today, the end of the world began with an animalocalypse in my very own front yard. When Spriggan and I came outside after an 8:40 wake-up-call, I hesitated to put her on the ground due to the flurry of activity in the dry leaves of my yard:
First, a flock, some fifty-strong, of small black birds whooshed into the air from the sunny corner of the yard.
Then, a small woodpecker started up on the eldest pecan tree.
One enormous gray squirrel came lumbering over the fence, leaping laboriously to a tiny branch of tree at the top. He was followed immediately by another huge squirrel.
Something white disrupted the grass under a bush I suspect hides copperheads, and it COULD’VE been a sparrow hopping off, but I imagined it was a poisonous snake leaping into the air, a la a fish breaking the surface of the water.
Finally, a giant crow came barreling through, grabbed a whole pecan, in hull, and flew off with it.
I was worried if I put my puppy down, she might get carried off, but we’re both fine, and the yard has quieted.

From facebook, 11/25/12:

Stepped out onto the porch to coax Spriggan outside for a bedtime potty break, and I hear a LOT of rustling in dry leaves, followed by some clawing on the younger pecan tree.

I think at first it could be a bird, then decide that’s dumb. (I have a mostly-ridiculous fear of a big owl snatching up Spriggan and flying off.) Nocturnal squirrel was the next guess, so I shine my flashlight at the tree.

I hear another little scrabble as I just catch a quick glimpse of a small, masked face in the crook of the tree. It’s a raccoon!! I’m guessing, from the relatively small head, that it’s a teenager.

I LOVE raccoons, but I’m not thrilled about having permanent yard inhabitants, for the safety of the dogs and the raccoon. Hopefully, this one will move on. But cool to see it!

From facebook, 11/27/12:

Last night, I went out with Spriggan and again saw the raccoon. It stayed on the ground this time, rather than scuttling up a tree.

I called Mike out to see it, and we watched it for maybe 10 minutes. It was a little startled by us if we touched the dry leaves, but basically ignored my training a flashlight on it and cooing. It’s much bigger than I thought… not much smaller than Selkie! (She’s our 44-pound dog, if that gives you an idea.)

It’s SO F-IN’ CUTE, and it was eating pecans. Just, wandering through the yard eating one pecan after another.

We made a bunch of noise, hoping it’d leave the yard, but it just ran up the elder pecan tree. It was gone after an hour or so, though.