Allyson Seconds was driving through midtown Sacramento on Thursday morning when she saw flashes of fur weaving between cars in traffic.
“I pulled over thinking I’d seen two loose dogs crossing the street and went into rescue mode,” the Sacramento woman recalled. “When I saw they were coyotes I grabbed my phone and took just these four shots of them running and jumping up at a tree.”
Seconds didn’t didn’t understand why the coyotes were so worked up until she reviewed the shots.
“I didn’t realize at first that it was a house cat they were after until I looked at the pictures,” she wrote. “That’s one lucky cat!”
The swift tabby managed to stay a stride ahead of his canid pursuers before going vertical and beating a quick retreat up a tree.
This photo shows the telltale signs of a terrified cat: Kitty’s tail is raised, rigid and three times its normal size while its ears are pinned back against its head.
The next two photos show the end of the chase: In the first we can see just a flash of fur as the cat scurries up the tree, and in the second shot the coyotes look miffed at being outplayed by a domestic cat.
As for Seconds, she understands what so many people and local media reports get wrong. There aren’t “more” coyotes, as if they’ve suddenly decided to start becoming prolific breeders. The reason those of us in urban and suburban neighborhoods see them more often is because we encroach on their habitats with every development, cul-de-sac and ugly strip mall we build.
It’s a story that is sadly repeated across the globe as animals as varied — and endangered — as mountain lions, tigers and orangutans find fewer contiguous plains, jungles and forests to hunt and forage within.
“This is not even close to a coyote damning post,” Seconds wrote on Facebook. “Housing developments and more homeless living at the river are certainly driving them inland from their more suitable terrain but guess what? The coyotes are adapting to city life and we are seeing more and more of them in all corners of our town. They aren’t going anywhere.”
She signed off by making a suggestion we’ve advocated many times on this blog.
“And as for those worried about their cats for reasons illustrated in my photos? Time to start keeping kitty inside.”