What were you doing at 3am today? Probably sleeping, I hope.
Unfortunately for me, I was in the back yard, in pitch darkness, with a large flashlight in my hand. I’d run outside because of all the noises on the patio. I couldn’t see anything from my bedroom window because for some reason the motion-sensored light in the back did not come on when it should have. I heard loud, ferocious animal noises and snarling and rustling (something was definitely chasing something else) and tons of whimpering. Immediately I thought of Coco and her poor babies. Could it be a raccoon, coyote or maybe the boogeyman coming to poach the little ones?
Anyway, I was half awake but full of adrenaline, so I shouted Hey, hey! and tapped on the window to scare the animals away. Apparently I didn’t do animal speak well because they continued, and by now the whimpering was intense– and that totally lit the fire under me. I grabbed my glasses–it dawned on me that I couldn’t see anything outside my window because I didn’t have my contacts in!–and flashlight and ran to the back. Is it always this dark at 3am?
When I was outside, the noises were still there but I saw absolutely nothing. I might have made some snarling noises of my own…I’m taking the fifth on this one, come to think of it now. I scanned the back yard with the flashlight clutched against my chest and saw no movement. I turned it off, waited a few seconds, then turned it on again, thinking I would catch something by surprise. Nothing. Then I had an epiphany and rushed back inside.
The last thing I needed was to have my neighbors call the police about some crazy boogeywoman in a flimsy nightgown shouting at invisible animals. It occurred to me that in the pitch black, I might have just lit myself up with the flashlight for all the neighbors that I’d wakened with my shouting to see. Geez, do I really need to be this crazy all the time?
So I tossed and turned and finally drifted back to sleep, the whole time preparing myself to find cat carcasses on the patio in the morning. But a new day began today with birds whistling just like all the other days in quiet Pasadena. There were no vultures circling the air over any dead cats. Most likely it was Coco defending her territory against whatever animal that probably came by to eat the food I left for her.
I haven’t seen her or her babies since the day I saw them for the first time. It will be tough to find them and take them to the shelter, so we’ll see what happens.
Meanwhile, I think I should invest in pretty pyjamas for rough nights like this one.
PS: here’s a video I made of Coco and her baby. You can see my mellow Shogun watching the rugrat trying to attack him from the other side of the glass door.