A few weeks ago…It’s around 8:30am on Saturday. Matt and I are busy setting up our tables for market, which is quickly approaching at 9am. My dad had just gone to park the truck and trailer down the street.
A couple minutes pass and Crayton comes running around the corner. “I’ve got to go! Debby just called. There are coyotes at the house, chasing the cats!” He turns and runs. I have enough time to tell “Unhook the trailer and drive careful!”
Matt and I look at each other, both with horror-stricken faces. “Should we go?” Matt, the even-thinking gent he is, suggested we finish setting up and then he would head out with his shotgun.
I’m sick to my stomach. Just a couple days earlier, a coyote had killed a peahen in the middle of the night. She was nesting near the garden. A few months ago, when the guinea fowl and peacocks were acting funny, my mom found a coyote climbing up the stack of hay bales trying to get to the birds. And, last winter, we lost a lot of farm cats to coyotes. It seemed strange, though, that they would have come up so early in the morning.
It’s 8:45am. My phone rings. It’s my mom. I barely get a “hello” in before I hear her frantic and screaming “Who’s coming?! I am getting the cats in as fast as I can!!” I respond that dad is on his way and then I say “Mom”, but she has already hung up.
Again, my stomach cramps. I picture all the sweet kitties at the farm and the terror of coyotes running around snatching up whichever cat or cats they want. Ugghh, I think I might get sick.
We start market and it’s busy. Matt couldn’t leave. Not just yet. About 9:30am my phone rings again. It’s my mom. “Two foot rattle snake! Six rattles!” Me, in complete disbelief, “There are coyotes AND rattle snakes?!” What the hell is going on out there? I have a brief vision of coyotes circling the house picking off cats as they run, random rattle snakes, and I’m wondering when the birds of prey are going to appear. “No”, she says, “just a rattle snake”. But what about the coyotes? Dad said there were coyotes. “I could shoot at the coyotes”, she says. I should clarify…she could shoot at or near the coyotes. The thought of Debby running around the farm with a gun is terrifying in itself.
And my visions of Farmegeddon fade away. I imagine when my mom called, she was yelling incomprehensible sentences. It’s been years since we’ve had a rattle snake at the house, so my dad assumed it must be coyotes. My mom also called their neighbors, the Wilkens, in Canning during the chaos. According to Jesse, he had no idea what he was going into when he headed toward my parents’ house that morning.
Luckily, only one cat was bitten by the snake. That cat, is now safely back at home being groomed by his friend, Bijou.