You would not believe the animal ruckus in the backyard early this morning.  First off, some squirrel was dropping pine cone remnants from high above the deck, just to bother me.  I’m dozing away (it’s around 5:45 am, just so you know) and these cone bits keep hitting the deck and rattling around.  A few seconds go by, then another cone fragment falls.  And so on.  The birds were in full voice as well, and other squirrels then start ratcheting up the old chatter-box.  I can deal with this; I had to get up pretty soon anyway.  But then we get these really loud snarling sounds – I don’t know what kind of animal was involved in this fracas, but it could have been any one of the regulars, (cat, squirrel, possum, raccoon, or raven).  I was worried that Kitty was out there mixing it up, but she came strolling into the bedroom, as if to say, “hey, you might want to check that out, sounds bad.”  So I did scout around the yard.  The squirrels were racing around the various trees overhead, making their panicky little shrieking sounds.  There was an unfamiliar dark gray tabby cat way up in the pepper tree, looking down into the mass of ivy and who-knows-what in our neighbor’s yard.  Something thrashed around on the other side of the fence, and we heard that snarling sound again.  Then things settled down.  Later on, I went back down to check and that gray cat was still up in the pepper tree.  When I got closer to the fence he climbed down and made his way off into the neighborhood.  I wonder what that mystery animal could have been?

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