Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's not a cat and it doesn't fish

We have been discussing the flora and fauna of our new neighborhood in rural Connecticut with the locals. We live in the Quinebaug-Shetucket River valley, dubbed the last green valley on the over developed East Coast. Gabbi, who is my city girl, said, not without a bit of irony, "leave it to you, Mom to find the last green valley".
It's a beautifully rural area which seems to have escaped the ravages of modern development, colonial era farms dot the landscape and tiny rural villages surprise at the bend of a meandering road. We are getting excited as fall colors begin to tinge the leaves, thinking of the joys of discovering a new pumpkin farm, and pouring over pamphlets about October harvest events and nature walks. This little corner of New England is one of those areas of this nation which has retained it's unique regional flavor, and I am often surprised at how different it is culturally from Long Island, which is only an hour south of here. But that's another post.
I was asked by a friend to discuss the animal which is reputed to prowl the woods beyond our home; the Fisher Cat. Reintroduced to cut down the Porcupine population (was that a problem?) this ill-tempered member of the mink family is a threat to domestic animals like cats and small dogs. I had heard of them from friends in Northern Vermont and New Hampshire, but now they are down here in Eastern Connecticut, and I was not happy to hear it. They are particularly aggressive, and don't seem to be frightened off easily by humans or dogs.
My girls are afraid to let the cats out at night, since Fisher Cats are nocturnal, and our neighbor described a deep wound one of his cats received after an encounter with one of these 'weasels with an attitude'.Yikes!
We may be overreacting, but we are suburbanites, after all, the country life is new to us!


Monica said...

Wow . . . that is one crazy looking creature!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Maybe there is a place where the faeries can go after all along the urban riverside of Connecticut. I don't think they are afraid of fisher cats. I think I saw one of these at the zoo in Holtsville, which only has rescued animals; which means someone was illegally keeping this predator as a pet.