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Pet Tales: Looking out for coyotes

Nancy King

Nancy King

Nancy King/Pets Lifeline

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Happy summer solstice Sonoma! I love this time of year when the days seem endless. I especially like taking Doc out for an evening stroll after it cools down from a hot summer day. We always go for a walk when I get home, but now he gets two romps before bedtime so by 9 p.m. he’s out like a light, snoring up a storm and dreaming about liver treats and tennis balls.

Has anyone else noticed an increase to the coyote presence in their neighborhood? I have always had indoor/outdoor cats, but my cats are now exclusively indoors. I see coyotes everywhere and being an animal lover, I respect their right to live and thrive.

I just don’t want them to make dinner out of my kitty cats. There is a family of four living on the property next door and one day a couple of weeks ago, one of the adults charged the fence when Doc and I were out walking in the vineyard. It certainly startled both of us, and two days later I saw a mom with two pups hanging around. Then I understood the charging of the fence. I have one cat, Cowboy who has always been my adventure boy. I never worried too much about him as he always came in at night and if I just couldn’t wait up for him, I’d either hear him meowing during the night or he’d be at the door in the morning.

Well, I didn’t see him for almost two nights and I was panicking. With flashlight in hand I drove my neighbors crazy calling and meowing for him, but no luck. I was going into the city for the night and feared the worse, but when I came back the next day, there he was just rolling around in the garden. I scooped him up and closed the cat window and have not opened it since.

I have done some research and unfortunately there is no natural coyote repellent, so it is a matter of co-existing for now.

Speaking of creatures great and small, we are bubbling over with the smaller versions in the form of kittens. The kitten room is a very lively place these days, so if you are looking for a little four-legged bundle of joy, please pay us a visit. The gift of our little shelter is our community cat and kitten rooms where you can really get to see their personalities. All you have to do is sit there and your purrrfect match will find you. Of course, I’m convinced that’s they way it works anyway, but we humans still like to think we are in control. We also have our Spring Fling special with all adult cat adoptions only $10.

We have a nice mix of small- and medium-size dogs right now. We still have Bessie/Cassie, our beautiful black lab who is a lovebug with people but no so much with the four-legged kind. Blanca is a sweet girl who is a white and fawn colored chi mix. Daisy is an energetic Jack Russel mix that would be a great family dog. Ronnie is an 8-month-old rambunctious lab mix that loves to play and wants to be trained. Chip is our supersized Boston terrier mix that is currently a volunteer favorite (not that we have favorites, mind you)! By the time you read this, we will probably have more as the population changes very quickly around these parts.

Summer Camp is off to a smashing start and the kids are having a blast with making cat toys, reading animal stories on the ELMO, playing with kittens and learning about wildlife from Lynette Lyon every Wednesday when she brings her “friends” to visit. Last week, she brought a baby wallaby and a servil kitten that were the most adorable things I’ve ever seen.

Mary Green, Pets Lifeline’s humane education director does a brilliant job with the kids and they learn about caring for animals and about compassion for all living things.

Mary is one of the few if not the only person in Sonoma Valley who teaches humane education. It’s the kind of camp that teaches values the kids keep for life.

We have eight weeks left and slots are filling fast, so go to petlifeline.org to sign up.

See you soon my fellow Sonomans! Until then, peace, love and paws.