In the summertime I let the cats have access to the screen porch during the day – they can get some fresh air and listen to the birds and chippies. They can see the wildlife but still be safely inside the house.
Several summers ago I was standing at the kitchen sink early one morning, which looks into the porch. The cats were already out there, and I was getting ready to go to work. Suddenly I heard a thump, and then the skinny gray cat came shooting into the kitchen like she’d been launched out of a rocket, skidded around the corner and disappeared into the basement. Actually she does this fairly often, but today it seemed more urgent. So I looked in the dining room, at the open window that leads into the porch, and there was another cat – Willis – perched on the windowsill with eyes as big as saucers. I thought, oh I’ll bet that fox is hanging around outside and he’s scared the cats. So I went over to the kitchen window again and looked out beyond the porch ….. and there were two big black bears! No wonder the cats were freaked! They walked along behind the house and crossed the road into the field, as I fumbled with my camera. I have many fuzzy photos of black bear hineys because it’s nerve-rattling to try to take pictures when you’re just feet away from one!
I was reminded of this story as I saw another black bear cross from the field to the back of the house one night last week. Fortunately, no cats were traumatized this time.