Submitted by Susan Juetten.
My orange tabby cat Alexander got attacked by an owl the other evening. At least that was the logical guess by my neighbor when I told her Alexander had a wound on his neck about the size of a quarter; when I looked closer there was one tiny puncture mark to the side of the wound.
Blew my mind, the option that his puncture was from an owl, but it made sense – I’ve been hearing, and have seen once or twice, great horned owls in the trees and utility poles on the property. In fact, a couple of nights ago, I stuck my head out the door hoping to see the owl that, at dusk, was calling so nearby. And along came Alex, an inside/outside cat with a history we won’t go into, tail all puffy, and dashed through the door to the safety of inside.
My neighbor and I surmised that the great horneds are coming in close to prey on the cottontail rabbits, which inhabit our yards because there is more to munch than in the surrounding desert (we spend a lot of time surmising about the wildlife around us).
I’m glad Alexander survived, but there is nature’s rough justice in this story. Alexander is a great hunter, and kills baby rabbits every year – because of his hunting I realized that cottontails don’t just breed in the spring. And now he has himself been prey. We are guessing that domestic cats allowed outside around here are more in danger from the owls than from coyotes.